10 Things You Didn’t Know about Colgate-Palmolive CEO Ian Cook

There can be no doubt about the fact that Ian Cook is the current head of Colgate-Palmolive. For proof, look no further than the fact that he holds not one, not two, but three powerful positions in the corporation, which are the CEO, the President, and the Chairman of the Board. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Ian Cook:

1. Ian Has Passed Through a Number of Languages

Ian is one of those interesting names that have passed through a number of languages. In short, it is the Anglicized version of the Scottish Iain, which in turn, can be traced to the Hebrew Yohanan. This means that Ian shares a name origin with a wide range of other names such as John and Jonathan.

2. Cook Is an Occupational Name

Cook is a name that means pretty much exactly what most people would expect because it is an occupational name. With that said, it seems to be a pretty old name as well, with some people suggesting that it can be traced back as far as the Anglo-Saxons who swept into post-Roman Britain.

3. Is British

It should be mentioned that Cook is British, seeing as how he was born in the United Kingdom. Generally speaking, British people tend to have an easier time rising up the ranks in American companies and vice versa when compared to a lot of other nationalities, which makes sense because a shared language counts for a lot.

4. Graduated from London Guildhall University

Cook went to a school called London Guildhall University. For those who are curious, the school came into existence in the Victorian Age when the Bishop of London called for the establishment of evening classes for the purpose of improving the condition of young men living in London. Some people might wonder why they have never heard of London Guildhall University. If so, they should know that it merged with another school in 2002 to create what is now called London Metropolitan University.

5. Joined Colgate-Palmolive in the 1970s

To get an idea of just how long Cook has been at Colgate-Palmolive, it should be mentioned that he joined its United Kingdom operations in the 1970s. This means that he can claim a lot of experience with the corporation, which has helped him reach his current position.

6. Became COO in 2004

Unsurprisingly, Cook rose up through the ranks of Colgate-Palmolive over the course of his career. For instance, it was in 2004 that he winded up becoming the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the corporation, which was a position of incredible responsibility because it involved him overseeing operations in no fewer than five regions on four continents.

7. Became CEO and President in 2005

With that said, it wasn’t too long before Cook winded up becoming both CEO and President of Colgate-Palmolive in 2005. This was not particularly unsurprising, seeing as how COOs often wind up becoming CEOs because the position is often considered to be the second-in-command on the corporate hierarchy, thus making the move a natural promotion.

8. Believes that Integrity Is a Core Component of Leadership

Cook has stated that he sees integrity as a core component of leadership. Essentially, integrity inspires a sense of trust in other people. In turn, that sense of trust is what enables leaders to convince other people to follow their leadership.

9. Believes that Consistency Is Important As Well

Besides integrity, Cook has spoken about the importance of consistency as well. In his view, consistency means creating a sense of reliability by showing good judgment on a wide range of business matters. This matters because it tells people that they can have faith in a leader’s choices being the right ones under the current circumstances, which serves to minimize internal tensions.

10. Courage Completes the Trio

Finally, Cook has mentioned the value of courage, so much so that it is the third of the three characteristics that he sees making up leadership. For him, courage is essentially the courage to do the right thing even when it is tough, which makes sense because without it, the other two characteristics would be hopelessly undermined.


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