Greg Stoner had a change in “Fortune” in 2007, becoming president of MasterBrand Cabinets. Before joining the Fortune Brands unit in 2004, Stoner had spent a number of years at traditional consumer goods companies, including Newell Rubbermaid and units of General Electric.
|Greg Stoner, President, Masterbrand Cabinets|
|• Education: BA, Finance, Michigan State University • Years at the company: 6
• Years in the industry: 6
• Words that best describe you: Passionate. Firm but fair.
• The persons you have tried to emulate in business and why: I have been fortunate to have a number of key influencers and mentors in my career. I have learned much from each of them and try to incorporate what they shared with me in my daily life, both at and away from the office.
Stoner has parlayed his experience in large-scale manufacturing environments and working with multiple distribution channels in positioning MasterBrand Cabinets in its leadership role. “The supply chain and route to market for our industry is one of the most complex I have been a part of, so this prior experience was very beneficial. Even after six years in the industry I still learn new things almost every day.”
But in helping MasterBrand Cabinets grow its success, Stoner has had to face a number of challenges his predecessors never encountered. “Our greatest challenge has been in navigating the severe downturn our market has taken over the last few years. The toughest call any leader can make is to have to idle or close a facility. Being the size and scale of MasterBrand Cabinets we had to close some of our facilities to keep capacity in line with demand. However, despite this downward pressure, we have been careful to maintain adequate capacity to be able to ramp up production when conditions improve.”
Throughout it all, MasterBrand Cabinets has continued to implement lean manufacturing at all facilities, which Stoner says has helped improve all aspects of the supply chain, from product quality to on-time and complete delivery. “The supply-chain work we’ve done has positioned us very well for the future, and has already enabled us to take on significant new business and helped us outperform the market in 2010,” he says. “We continued to make strategic investments in our factories, product development and market, facing opportunities despite the downturn, and each of these investments will contribute to our future success.”
In addition to his duties at MasterBrand Cabinets, Stoner also has been hard at work on behalf of the U.S. cabinet industry and is an active participant in the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Assn., as well as serving the past four years on its board.
“I find that we, as a KCMA board of directors, really are trying to do things in the best interest of the industry. Also, the collaborative work between our industry and other woodworking-related associations makes for very powerful alliances to further collective efforts across the broader woodworking-related industry,” he says.