Maria Eduarda Kertesz, who goes by her nickname “Duda”, started her career at Johnson & Johnson over 20 years ago in her native Brazil to do marketing on some of her favorite consumer brands. Her leadership in leading teams and growing consumer business in emerging markets has resulted in her taking a senior position in the company. Read her story:
hen I first joined Johnson & Johnson I only knew its iconic brands I grew up with and admired. Little did I know then that Johnson & Johnson was also a great employer. Throughout my 18-year career at the company, from my first job as a college intern in Brazil to my current role of company president, I’ve been supported by leaders who have provided me with the skills and training that have helped me succeed. But it is the underlying values of the company – and how serious people are about supporting patients, consumers and employees – that truly sets it apart.
After working briefly at the company while I was in college, I rejoined in 1999 as a senior brand manager and, thanks to leaders who believed in and supported me, by 2003 I had worked my way up to become the head of the Marketing team for Brazil. With a strong consumer and market understanding and, a lot of collaboration, I was able to take calculated risks, make bigger bets to grow the business. That set me on a career path that took me to different roles over time. As importantly, I learned early on to use The Credo as the foundation of my decision making.
Recognizing my skillset and experience, I was offered a new challenge, becoming a VP of our Baby and Beauty business for Brazil and Latin America. There, I oversaw a dramatic rise in sales by focusing on consumer and customer needs and thinking big. Given the strong results, I was named President of the Consumer Products business, recognized twice as one of the top 10 women in business in Brazil by Valor Econômico, and as of the 15 most powerful women in Brazil by Forbes magazine.
I was given an opportunity to move with my two children to the United States to become President of HealthE, the consumer business unit that encompasses Baby Care, Oral Care and WoundCare. I’m bringing my experience leading an organization-wide transformation to accelerate growth in emerging markets to the United States, where I will continue to energize and grow some of Johnson & Johnson’s most-recognizable brands. We can never get comfortable, need to continually improve our brands and be a leader.
Throughout my career, I have been passionate about women’s leadership and have committed to develop and support women through their professional journey within and beyond Johnson & Johnson. This year, I have the great honor to be recognized by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) and Johnson & Johnson as a 2017 HBA Luminary for my business track record and ongoing commitment to advancing a robust and diverse talent pool. I am very proud of this work!