Title: Business Executive (Retired)
Location: Henrico, Virginia
Michael B. French, retired Business Executive at Altria, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in marketing.
Mr. French always displayed an interest and curiosity in what makes people make the decisions they make. By the time, he got to college he chose to study marketing and became enamored with the subject. His curiosity sparked his passion. Mr. French earned a BA at Princeton University in 1976, and a Master’s in management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in 1978. After college, Mr. French joined the Procter & Gamble Company in 1978 as a brand assistant and assistant brand manager. In 1981, they promoted him to brand manager and he remained there until he joined Coca-Cola in 1984. Mr. French remained with Coca-Cola at various locations until 2000. He started at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Lexington, Kentucky as a marketing director and moved up to vice president of marketing. From there, he went to Coca-Cola USA and Coca-Cola Fountain both in Atlanta and served as a brand manager, marketing manager of chain accounts, vice president, director of channel marketing, assistant vice president of marketing operations, vice president of marketing, director of education marketing and director of consumer occasions marketing. In 1999, Mr. French became vice president and director of Coca-Cola Connection.
After leaving Coca-Cola, he moved on to the Monitor Company as a senior consultant and stayed for two years before going to the Brown-Forman Corporation. From 2003 to 2011, Mr. French moved up the ranks from vice president to senior vice president of consumer insights and then to senior vice president of corporate strategy at Brown-Forman Corporation. In 2011, he was a founder and principal of Mike French Consulting until 2012, when he moved on to Altria as a chief marketing officer until he retired in 2015. Mr. French’s overall success and reputation he has developed comes from him being able to identify and harbor talent in order to help people grow and achieve their potential.
Mr. French spends his spare time working in the community. He has spent time as a member of the board of directors for the Community Foundation of Louisville, a member of the baseball steering committee at the University of Kentucky, a fundraising chairman for the Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass and a member of the Louisville Fund for Arts to name a few. As a testament to his success, Mr. French was named to the Honorary Order of the Kentucky Colonels in 1986 and received the Outstanding Kentuckian Award from Governor Collins in 1987. He has been inducted as a member of the executive committee and chair of the National Board of Directors for Communities in Schools since 2014, and chair of the Governance & Nominating Committee. Furthermore, Mr. French is listed in multiple editions of Who’s Who in Finance and Business, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America.
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