Marketer You Should Know: Linda McGovern, VP-Marketing, USG Corp.

Learn About Her Headwinds, Tailwinds, Biggest Challenge and More

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Linda McGovern
Linda McGovern

Résumé recap

Before joining USG in 2005, she was director-marketing communications and brand strategy at Navistar and held marketing positions at Baxter Healthcare and USF Logistics.

Biggest challenge

USG is a 112-year-old manufacturer of drywall and other materials for the construction industry. For most of its history, marketing included sales brochures and trade shows. Ms. McGovern said her big challenge has been demonstrating internally the impact marketing can have, making use of data, analytics, social media and mobile.


The building industry was slammed by the recession, and over the past five years, USG saw its revenue cut in half -- it had to lay off approximately half of its employees. "We went through a very difficult time," Ms. McGovern said. "Morale was low, and people were asked to do a lot more with a lot less."


In 2010, she oversaw the launch of an award-winning campaign called "The Weight Has Been Lifted" for a new lightweight drywall and this year spearheaded a brand relaunch, "It's Your World. Build It," tied to an Olympic sponsorship. In July, USG reported second-quarter net income of $57 million, more than double its net income of $25 million for the same period last year -- its strongest since 2007.


"In the middle of the housing disaster ... she went to her CEO and convinced him to support a full-blown marketing blitz," said Frank Anton, Hanley Wood vice chairman. "It was her idea and her show. And it worked. USG gained share and reinvigorated its venerable brand."

Fun fact

Ms. McGovern likes to get away to her family's cabin in Wisconsin, where she can relax with her husband and two children, ages 5 and 11.

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