Paul W. Earle, Jr. is a marketing executive, entrepreneur, and adjunct lecturer with significant experience in innovation, new venture formation, intellectual property strategy, new product development, brand management, and advertising.
Prior to opening Paul Earle & Co. in 2009, Paul served as President of River West Brands LLC, a dormant brand acquisition and redevelopment company that he founded in 2001. River West acquired or otherwise monetized well known but distressed brand properties such as COLECO toys, UNDERALLS hosiery, BRIM coffee, EAGLE snacks, NUPRIN analgesics, SALON SELECTIVES hair care, STRUCTURE apparel, and a number of others. The company emerged as a true innovator in many facets of its business model, from its partnership approach to brand commercialization to a number of unique strategies and tactics it pioneered in intellectual property transactions.
Specifically at River West, Paul led the process to analyze and screen hundreds if not thousands of brands, working closely on the acquisition of many of them through various strategies and structures; stewarded over ten brands from pure dormancy ($0 sales) to the marketplace through various ways and means; forged and managed relationships with a range of River West’s key external strategic partners, including several Fortune 50 brand owners; co-led the process that resulted in a strategic investment from Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC), a sophisticated global holding company of marketing firms; and played an important role in five new brand ventures that River West itself created and spun off.
Prior to River West, Paul worked in brand management at Kraft Foods, Inc., where he primarily focused on the $1 billion+ prepared pasta business, one of Kraft’s flagships (Kraft “Blue Box” Macaroni & Cheese, and others). He began his marketing career at Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide in New York, where he worked on the development of advertising, brand strategy, and new product concepts for such clients as General Mills, British Airways, and Johnson & Johnson.
In an academic setting, Paul is an adjunct member of the faculty at the University of Chicago (Graham School), where he teaches “Branding for Competitive Advantage,” an immersive study in what good brands are, and how to build them. He is also an active member of Northwestern University’s Kellogg Innovation Network, a platform for ongoing collaboration between Kellogg faculty, corporate innovation leaders, nonprofits, and government.
Paul holds a BA from Hamilton College and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He lives in Chicago with his wife Melanie, and son Paul III.