What an appropriate announcement on September 11, 2006. . . Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE: NWL), makers of Sharpie, Paper Mate, Waterman, EXPO, Rubbermaid, Calphalon, Graco, Goody, BernzOmatic, IRWIN and LENOX, announced today they hired Magnus Nicolin as President of Newell Rubbermaid Europe. As far as I am concerned, you can kiss all of these brands goodbye...or at least their business on the other side of the Ocean.
HWH worked for this guy in the United States along with his henchwoman Helena Wong at Esselte, the worldwide office products company, they managed to ....er..........."let's just say the company is a shadow of its former self." We worked for Esselte long before Magnus and that little snot Helena showed up.
It probably won't be too long before Magnus hires his crony whom he met at P&G. He did that at Esselte. They like to work together as a team flashing their P&G backgrounds around because, in my opinion, they are totally clueless, socially and professionally.
Nicolin is very handsome, and his movie star good looks cover up for other weaknesses. The picture of Magnus here doesn't make him look like the debonair devil that he is. But trust me, he is very tall and distinguished looking. He is one of those people that make you stop and stare.
Helena is just the opposite. I don't know what her talents are but in my experience she had about as much authority being the Chief Marketing Officer for Esselte as I have being Miss USA. In all my years working (40 years this past Sept 9th), I have never met someone so condescending and misinformed than she.
One day she decided that Esselte needed a big idea to make the company famous. She asked HWH and two other agencies to present creative ideas. I don't know what happened at the other presentations, but during ours she spent the entire time telling us we were worthless. I have never experienced this before and the only reason why I didn't wipe the walls with her is because I thought I owed some respect to her two lieutenants, Chris Ang and Chris Curran.They applauded our ideas in a preview meeting but disassociated themselves when she mouthed off. I have never forgiven myself for not putting her in her place, especially when she announced that Samsung, one of our other clients, was not a good example of the great work we were doing. Samsung, as far as she was concerned, was an inferior brand stuck in a garage some place. The Chris' slid down in their chairs from embarrassment.
The meeting got even worse but I will save those details for anyone who wants a first hand account of the dragon lady. When I tried to contact Magnus to tell him that Helena was a disaster, he never returned phone calls. He was off globetrotting. Why sweat the small stuff and HWH obviously fell in that category. That's okay. We went on to bigger and better things while Esselte fell apart. Perhaps it was the big idea Helena fell in love with:
She selected an agency that told her to drop a sizeable paper plane branded with the name Esselte on it off the Empire State Building to generate big news.
Needless to say that idea was never executed but the company was.