Group President, Paul Sternlieb, kicks off 2017-2018 Global Speaker Series hosted by College of Business


by Maci Killman

A Fortune 500 business executive kicked off the Global Speaker Series event on September 18th at Concordia University-Chicago. It took place in Krentz 120 with around 30 students and faculty members. Paul Sternlieb, Group President, Global Cooking at Illinois Tool Work Inc.’s Food Equipment Group, offered students and faculty members some career tips based on his years of experience working in a variety of businesses. The Global Speaker Series is hosted by the CUC College of Business.

A spark in Sternlieb’s career journey came from his father who worked for the Gillette Company in the IT field. All things computers and Gillette would enter and exit his home, and he was constantly around the company growing up. Growing up around this company allowed him to appreciate and create a passion for companies that made tangible products.

Sternlieb with students

Paul Sternlieb attended the University of Pennsylvania and majored in computer science and economics.  After he graduated he spent five years in the IT consulting field at a company called American Management Systems. Sternlieb then went back to the University of Pennsylvania to earn an MBA degree. Following that, he spent the next five years working as a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company where he also became an Engagement Manager, in which he was responsible for “leading teams and running projects day to day.” He then joined Heinz, a global food company, where he was able to work internationally and spend several years in London running the UK frozen foods portfolio of Heinz with the title of Marketing Director. “I could apply what I learned in consulting into a real world environment. I was no longer just in consulting but I was making change, making things happen.”

From Heinz, he moved to North Carolina to join Danaher Co, a $20 billion publicly traded diversified industrial manufacture company. There he would become the Vice President & General Manager . Taking this position allowed Sternlieb to have responsibility, manage a complex business, and lead a multi-functional team. Danaher was also a place where Sternlieb was able to manage a highly autonomous structure and complex business.

Currently, Sternlieb works for a Fortune 500 company, Illinois Tool Works, and is responsible for leading a business that manufacturers Global Cooking Equipment. With over $14 billion in revenue, ITW is located in Glenview, Illinois and is over one hundred years old. The business Sternlieb leads manufactures and sells appliances for commercial foodservice operations (such as restaurants), with products ranges from ovens to fryers, that you can actually find in the kitchen at our school, Concordia. Sternlieb joined this company as Group President and has a broader role than he has had at previous companies. ITW is a global company and is well known for their 80/20 business model. Sternlieb describes it as “80% of what we can get comes from 20%.” Meaning, 20% of customers driving 80% of your revenue, for example.