Vice President, Marketing
Beverage and Growth Channels
Campbell Soup Company
Leslie I. Waller began her 20-year marketing career at Ford Motor Co. in Memphis, Tenn. Then came more than a decade in the Global Snacks Division of Mondelez International, formerly Kraft Foods/Cadbury – where she rose from marketing for such iconic brands as Chips Ahoy!, Planters, and Triscuit, to overseeing the Asia Pacific Biscuit Category in
Singapore, to heading the $2 billion global Trident brand – before joining Campbell.
Her greatest asset, Waller learned, was “how comfortable I was being uncomfortable.” She explains, “I’ve always been one of the few Blacks in the room who was also smart and opinionated. I don’t shrink myself.” She saw her career path as “a collection of tools needed to fill my toolbox in order to build a custom house just for me.”
Her move to Singapore, for example, came with a role she created for herself. “It’s one of my proudest accomplishments,” she admits. “I was surprised how little my Blackness mattered there. It allowed me for the first time to enter a room free of inherited and systematic stereotypes.”
At Campbell, Waller is the marketing vice president for the Beverage and Growth Channels Business Unit. She is known for her focus on development, coaching, recruiting, and retention of top talent. The Delta Sigma Theta soror has undergraduate and M.B.A. degrees from Florida A&M University, an historically Black college she chose after its dean spoke at her high school. “She presented a bold vision of where Black students could really be nurtured to be leaders in the corporate realm,” Waller recalls.
Imbued with the passion for cultivating future leaders, Waller has mentored BIPOC startup founders through her consulting firm, Fire Opal Communications, led the Kraft Food African AmericanCouncil for several years and has served on the board of Teens for Food Justice in New York City.