20th September: Paul Lindley
This week Elliot Moss is joined by Paul Lindley
Paul is the founder & CEO of Ella's Kitchen, he loves to explore, dream and discover. He was born in Sheffield, England and grew up in Zambia where his explorations, dreams and discoveries truly began. Graduating from the University of Bristol, he trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG in London and Los Angeles. He then spent 9 years at Nickelodeon UK where he rose from Financial Controller to Deputy CEO via the roles of Chief Financial Officer, Commercial Director, Communications Director and General Manager. These career and character forming years gave him a passion for children’s issues, a deep understanding of how children think.
He thought he had the coolest job in the world until he thought of the idea for Ella’s Kitchen®, and realised that that seed of an idea had to grow. In 2004 he gave up his job to follow his dream and almost 2 years to the day after leaving Nickelodeon, he - together with his daughter Ella – proudly saw their Ella’s Kitchen products on supermarket shelves for the first time. Ella’s Kitchen grew extremely quickly, catching the zeitgeist of our times and really connecting with parents and most importantly kids. The brand launched in Scandinavia and the US in 2009 and has subsequently launched in 12 other territories. In 2013 families spent over $150million on Ella’s Kitchen foods; every half of a second of every day someone, somewhere around the world eats an Ella’s Kitchen product.
Ella’s Kitchen has been recognised as one of Britain’s fastest growing businesses, one that is led by profit AND purpose. In 8 years the company has gone from being a small business to commanding almost 25% of the UK’s baby food market and a significant market presence in the USA and other countries, whilst also becoming a division of a NASDAQ listed company. The Hain Celestial Group Inc acquired Ella’s Kitchen in May 2013. Paul is now CEO of the Global Infant Toddler and Kids division under which Ella’s Kitchen and the leading US organic kids food brand, Earth’s Best® sit.
In 2011 and 2012 Paul won national Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. In 2013 he published an influential report on improving children’s health in the UK – ‘Averting a Recipe for Disaster’ and in March 2014 led a collaboration of government, businesses and communities in Leicester with the report inspired Start Smart pilot programme. Paul sits on the Santander SME advisory board, is an ambassador for the Family and Childcare Trust, he was a Counsellor at One Young World 2013 and he has an honorary doctorate from the University of Reading for his contribution to improving children’s health and his work as an entrepreneur.