No. 7: Lawrence Kurzius
CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT & CEO, MCCORMICK & COMPANY
Lawrence Kurzius, the chairman, president and CEO of McCormick & Company, says his biggest success has been continuing to grow the business, keeping McCormick a great place to work and ensuring the firm operates sustainably.
The company has 2,500 employees in Maryland and is nearing the $6 billion annual revenue mark as it continues to broaden its portfolio and flavor capabilities.
“I am also extremely proud of our sustainability track record as one of the world’s most sustainable companies and our continued commitment to doing what’s right for people, communities, and the planet we all share,” he said.
Kurzius joined McCormick & Company in 2003, when the Maryland spice company acquired Zatarain’s.
Kurzius had worked 12 years at Zatarain’s, where he became the president and CEO. He also worked as a marketing executive with the Quaker Oats Company and Mars Inc.’s Uncle Ben’s Company.
After joining McCormick, Kurzius held several executive management positions with the company. These include: president – U.S. Consumer Foods; president – Europe, Middle East and Africa; president – International Businesses; president – Global Consumer and Chief Administrative Officer; and president and COO.
He was promoted to CEO in February 2016, and also elected to the company’s board of directors in November 2015, becoming chairman of the board in 2016.
“We take the science of flavor very seriously,” he said in a 2019 interview. “The whole industry looks to us to provide insight into what’s next.”
At the beginning of the year, McCormick acquired natural flavorings company FONA International for $710 million in cash as it hopes to expand its reach into supplying health and performance nutrition products like protein drinks in North America. It was the latest in a string of acquisitions, including Cholula Hot Sauce, Frank’s RedHot and French’s.
Kurzius also serves on the boards of multiple industry and not-for-profit groups.