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University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics

By Jeff Elliance November 2, 2012

Anyone who’s grabbed a convenient 20-ounce drink from a grocery store aisle mini-refrigerator has Eric Foss to thank.

Foss and his team created the idea for aisle mini-fridges during his time at Pepsi Bottling Group, when the team discovered that half of grocery store customers go through the express aisle.

This idea eventually became a huge and profitable success that strongly affected the beverage industry, but Foss and his team took chances and suffered financial losses to get there. This willingness to take risks and create innovative ideas represents one part of the leadership model that Foss shared with University of Delaware students during the Oct. 1 Chaplin Tyler Executive Leadership Lecture.

Foss, who currently leads a team of 270,000 employees as chairman, president and CEO of Aramark, said that he wanted to provide UD students with the advice that he would have appreciated as a university student.

“If I had a wish when I was sitting in your shoes… it would be for somebody to talk to me, even before my career started, about the topic of leadership,” Foss said. He called leadership “the most important thing for you to carry forward, almost regardless of what career you pick.”

To read the full story on UDaily, click here.