In early January, Greg Pearson was named CEO of Compana Pet Brands. A seasoned and proven executive with deep experience leading and transforming consumer businesses, Pearson brings a wealth of experience in pet products ot Compana, having spent three years at Chewy.com, the leading online retailer for pet food and pet-related products. Pet Age recently spoke with Pearson, to learn more about his strategic plan to build on the company’s strong momentum.
What is it about Compana that attracted you to the company?
I joined Compana as CEO in January 2023 and I could not be more excited about the potential of the company. Compana has had an incredible track record of growth, with revenue over eight times in the last 15 years, and I see significant opportunities to continue that momentum and fuel the next chapter of growth by expanding its retail footprint, acquiring new brands and strengthening our value proposition for partners and employees. I was also very drawn to the transparent and collaborative culture, which matches my own style, and I’m looking forward to partnering with the Carlyle board and the talented team at Compana to scale the business and make a real difference in the lives of pets and pet parents.
How would you describe Compana’s transformation over the last 10 years?
Our company has changed dramatically in the last decade. The roots of the company go back 150 years and most of that time we were an ag focused animal feed business. Over the last 10 years we’ve really worked to build a true consumer product, pet-focused company that meets the needs of pets across a broad range of species from dogs and cats to backyard chickens, indoor birds, rabbits and guinea pigs. We’ve consistently driven year over year growth with revenue now topping $600 million – fueled by product innovation, retail expansion, organic growth and acquisitions. We’ve evolved in the digital space, elevated the experience for our pet consumers and expanded our organizational capabilities within ecommerce and direct-to-consumer. All of this transformation was the inspiration behind our company rebrand in March 2022 from Manna Pro to Compana Pet Brands, to better reflect the modern, diverse pet care and wellness company we are today.
What makes Compana’s portfolio such a unique company in the pet industry?
No other pet company serves the broad spectrum of pets the way Compana does. We have a diverse portfolio of unique brands consumers love and trust, and our ability to provide distinct care and wellness experiences for pets from barnyard to backyard (furry and feathered!) throughout their lifespans is unique in the industry. Our rate of acquisitions also sets us apart; we’ve successfully integrated brands and talent into our portfolio – 15 acquisitions in the last 10 years, which has been a huge growth driver for us. Finally, our mission to ‘Nurture what you love’ also extends to community and environment through responsible sourcing, healthy and nutritious products, eco-friendly and recyclable packaging, greener operations and community outreach.
How does your time with Chewy benefit you as CEO of Compana?
Chewy has been on the leading edge of building relationships with pet parents since its founding. I learned a lot during my time there, and it gave me deep experience working across every segment of the pet category, building outstanding teams, and learning how to scale fast growing enterprises. All of those skills will be useful here at Compana. In addition, my experience in building digital marketing programs and serving customers in the DTC channel will enhance Compana’s existing strengths in these areas.
Of all the pets that you’ve had, which one holds a special place in your heart?
All of my pets hold special places in my heart for different reasons, but the latest pet addition has been very special in our family. For the last year leading up to his 7th birthday, my son had been asking for a hamster for his birthday. I had been reluctant to add another member to our family, as we already had a busy schedule with two young children and an active Mini Goldendoodle, Maggie. As my discussions with Compana developed and I learned about the strength of the beloved Oxbow brand, it felt like the universe was telling us we should get a hamster. We added Oreo the hamster to our family in December, and he has quickly become a beloved member of our household.