After Isabel Hochgesand has acquired an MBA in the US, she joined Procter & Gamble in 1992 in their Schwalbach/Germany office as a Purchasing Manager for Pampers Materials Europe. Isabel has then started to lead smaller teams, and transferred her European Feminine Care Purchasing team in 1998 to the new Headquarters in Geneva/Switzerland. She managed internal as well as external relationships very well, always trying to find solutions with her team, her colleagues and her suppliers. ‘If you don’t like the box you’re in, change it’ is a typical saying of her.
In 2001, Isabel took on a transformation role: She was asked to create the Marketing and Media Purchasing organization in P&G in Europe from scratch which meant a lot of internal talks, alignments, and negotiations as roles, budgets and people had to move from country or GBU roles into the new Purchasing team.
In 2008, Isabel moved to the global P&G Headquarter in Cincinnati OH, USA, to first lead the global Instore & Displays Purchasing team and then the global Paper Purchasing organization, responsible for more than 5 Bn$ spend, namely for Pampers, Always, Charmin, and Bounty products. She was part of the global leadership team and drove the acceleration of the business into the Emerging Markets with her supply base forward.
End of 2012, Isabel returned with her family from the US to a new role in a new function in P&G Germany. She became Managing Director Supply Chain for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, thus changing from a global to a local role, from dealing with suppliers to dealing with customers, from one end of the supply chain to the other one. Isabel stands for customer relationship building, understanding the customer needs, driving new programs forward, already at that time creating a critical sustainability program with the trade partners and GS1. During her tenure as MD Supply Chain, she managed several restructuring programs in a constructive, collaborative and fair manner. She also gained experience in Acquisitions and Divestitures by integrating teams and businesses with the Wella and Gillette Acquisitions and the Divestiture to Coty.
When she returned from the US, she joined the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in German and soon got asked to join the Executive Committee. She was an active member of the small Board, driving especially young talent development and executive female networks forward.
In 2017, Isabel left P&G after 25 years to join Beiersdorf as the Chief Procurement Officer. After she had seen the whole supply chain, led teams for direct and indirect Purchasing spend, worked in 3 different locations, she felt ready to take on this important new role to create a new, state of the art, global Procurement organization at the skin care company. She quickly developed her new ‘Lighthouse’ and communicated very transparently the new vision and strategy. She ensured that her internal stakeholders were being heard and respected on this journey. She now leads a global organization that is ‘as global as it can be and as local and regional as it has to be’ (quote from the Lighthouse). Isabel is also passionate about being integrated with the business, aligning on common goals, influencing strategies early on. Especially the eye level relationship that she and her Marketing Procurement team have developed around the whole Marketing and Agency spend is leading in the industry. Furthermore, she is a key pillar in the Sustainability journey of the Company, sitting in the Beiersdorf Sustainability Council, co-leading the Supply Chain Sustainability pillar and pioneering new and great partnerships with direct and indirect suppliers to make a meaningful difference in the fight for a climate positive future.
Isabel serves on the Supervisory Boards of Ontex and Matilda AG. She is a sought-after speaker at conferences on the topics of Transformation, Procurement 4.0, Future of Supply Chain, and Women empowerment. She is also member of several female networks.
Isabel is married, a mother of 2 children, and lives in Hamburg, Germany.