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Stepping into the CEO role

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For MBA ’22 Mackie Swan, leading a consumer brand has always been part of the plan. She didn’t expect that to happen at the beginning of her senior year at her MBA in Oregon Executive in Portland.

As Swan says, she landed the top job at WOO More Play by accident. The Los Angeles-based maker of natural and organic women’s sexual her wellness products had already seen some success, but the founders were looking for a leader who could expand the brand.

“WOO’s founders were looking for someone who had experience in this space, but was willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done, just like any growing startup. It was a perfect fit for me and my own career trajectory,” said Swan.

In addition to her do-it-yourself approach, Swan brings valuable and tangible experience to WOO, having spent several years working in the sexual wellness industry as Vice President of Marketing and Sales.

“Frankly, as soon as I met the founders of WOO, I knew we could work really well together,” Swan said.

Swan will become CEO of WOO in November 2021. This is less than two months after he started his final year of the Executive MBA program. Taking on top roles in a new company is always tough. A rigorous academic he earned his MBA through the program while doing this at the same time compounded the challenges, but also brought unexpected benefits for Swan.

“The pressure of going through an MBA program can actually give you an advantage when trying new things. You are already challenging yourself. You are already stepping up and growing into a bigger role.” So I think it’s a nice blend of those two things,” Swan said.

The Oregon Executive MBA provided Swan with two supports in addition to his academic assignments. One was her Amanda Fontenot, her advisor on the program’s academic and career, who introduced Swan to recent graduates who are also C-level executives. Swan said her community of other her C-level executive MBA graduates and other her C-levels provided her system of support while she transitioned into her new role.

Scott Grout, Swan’s Chief Advisor, was also a key resource, serving as a consultant and mentor during his first months leading the company.

“Scott was more than just an advisor on my pinnacle project. After that, he continued to provide support and advice.”

With nearly three months to go before graduating in June 2022, Swann is busy. WOO More Play is actively hiring a Growth Officer to oversee performance marketing initiatives. The brand continues to expand product lines already sold at leading retailers such as Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Revolve.

July, women’s magazine Marie Claire We included the company’s signature Coconut Love Oil in our “All Time Best Lube.” Swann’s team launched Nightcap, a card game for couples designed to start intimate conversations.

Clearly, the sky is the limit for Swan and the thriving startup she leads.