President, Sales & Marketing, USA KMI Inc.
New York City. Age: 38
As president of sales and marketing for Knowledge and Merchandising Inc. USA, a British company that launched in the United States in 2000, Philip Williams must ensure the success of the shaving brand King of Shaves, as well as the new XCD (Exceed) brand and Fish from the company’s hair care lines for men. That means boosting the visibility and strength of those products so that they enjoy the same market share as in Britain, where KMI does $40 million a year in business.
Prior to joining KMI USA, Williams was vice president of brand development and corporate sales for the New Jersey Nets basketball team, where he made his mark by developing the secondary road jersey and establishing solid strategic partnerships with Fortune 500 companies, such as Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch and Wachovia. Those partnerships generated more than $8 million in corporate sales.
He worked in sales and marketing for five years at General Motors Corp. before joining the Nets.
Williams has a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from Philadelphia University and a master’s in international business and marketing from St. Joseph’s University. A solid family structure, with parents who always pushed him “to be the best and to use all of my God-given potential,” and the “undying support and love” of his wife throughout their 17-year relationship, also were key to his success, he says.
The youngest of four children, Williams is the first in his family to obtain an MBA. He is a dedicated mentor to youth in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, serving as a board member of the music group NSYNC’s Challenge for Children Foundation and of the Do Something Foundation, as well as an NBA summer basketball camp counselor and participant in Newark’s Celebrity Read program. “A life isn’t significant except for its impact on others,” he likes to say, quoting the late Black baseball superstar, Jackie Robinson.
With so much going on, Williams longs to spend more time with his family and honing his golf game, a sport he loves.