Most-Admired CEOs Profile: Randall W. White, Tulsa-Based Educational Development Corp

By Record, Journal | THE JOURNAL RECORD, February 18, 2010 | Go to article overview

Most-Admired CEOs Profile: Randall W. White, Tulsa-Based Educational Development Corp


Record, Journal, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Randall White's vision, leadership and determination as Educational Development Corp.'s chief executive officer transformed a near-bankrupt company to one in strong financial position.

When White was named CEO in 1986, Education Development had lost $5 million over the previous five years. The Oklahoma native stepped in and implemented a new short, simple policy - "Spend less than you make!" The strategy has worked as the company has not posted a losing quarter since that time.

White's commitment to Educational Development was evident from the start when he mortgaged his home to help save the Tulsa-based company.

Part of White's strategy after taking over as CEO was to restructure the company, eliminating one division and creating a direct selling division that has grown to be the company's largest division. During times when the direct selling division was struggling, White never wavered in his vision or commitment. He instituted incentives that stopped the decline and restarted growth. During this tough economic year, White formulated an idea to rebuild the sales force by reducing the requirements for promotion to supervisor. With this success, he instituted a recruitment plan to coincide with the Supervisor Promotion Plan. Because of the strong financial position, White was able to fund $100,000 for the program. The plan was so successful, 2,800 new sales consultants joined the company in August and the program repaid the investment in 45 days.

His dedication to the company is further witnessed by his willingness to work in the warehouse during the Christmas rush to inspire those putting in 10-hour or more days.

From pitching in his personal money to helping out in the warehouse until the last package is shipped during the holiday rush, White's hands-on leadership has resulted in a loyal work force. …

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