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Barbara Khouri is a transformational CEO and board director. She brings more than 30 years of leadership experience managing volatile turnarounds in fast-paced, entrepreneurial, and global companies, including Swatch – the largest watch company in the world. At Merryck & Co, she has mentored Fortune 200 C-suite executives in the energy, pharmaceutical, professional services and technology sectors.
Khouri has extensive experience in Asia in connection with her previous leadership positions. She oversaw satellite offices in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China and Bangledash. In addition, she has worked with clients in Japan and the Philippines.
In addition to her work at Merryck & Co, Khouri has advised private equity firms and existing management groups to grow and determine the strategic direction of their businesses. Her track record of success spans numerous industries, where she has directed all strategic, operational, and P&L for the companies she has led.
As Deputy CEO and president (U.S.) of Swatch watches, Khouri was responsible for the rapid expansion of the U.S. business. She also spearheaded all aspects of Swatch’s successful global sponsorship activation of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Previously, Khouri spent 12 years managing turnaround situations, serving as CEO and board director of Movie Star, Inc. While corporate senior vice president of Leslie Fay Companies, she led the division responsible for global licensing and acquisitions. She played a pivotal role in overseeing the successful restructuring of the company through bankruptcy, an experience she says, “every executive should go through once – and only once.”
Her additional C-suite experience includes serving as CEO and board director of the Mutterperl Group and prior to that, president, COO, and board member of Esmark. She spent several years with International Playtex, Inc. where she managed her first corporate turnaround, and developed her marketing and managerial skills working for Fortune 500 companies such as Revlon, Clairol Bristol-Myers, and General Foods.
While earning her MBA, Khouri was Chairman of Admissions and Financial Aid at NYU Graduate School of Business Administration. She also holds a B.S. in Biology from Tufts University. She has two grown children.
“It’s fast-paced. You’ve got to make decisions without a lot of data or time.”
“I’ve never been intimidated by anybody, and I’ve never felt insecure around anybody.”
“To have the help and support of a mentor who has ‘been there and done that’ is critical and in that respect, [my mentor] was the perfect mentoring partner for me”