Chris McDonough, L.L.Bean’s Chief Sales & Brand Officer

Chris McDonough is the Chief Sales and Brand Officer for L.L.Bean where he leads a team of over 2,000 people. He’s led commercial, marketing, eCommerce, and international divisions across a range of industry sectors. Chris is a seasoned global leader who prioritizes authenticity in his management style. He drives change and performance by bringing out the best in his team and maximizing their individual capabilities.

Chris also explains how his approach to hiring has developed. Tune in to hear all of this, and more, on this month’s “How I Hire” podcast.

Listen to the podcast

Highlights from our conversation include:

  • What influenced Chris’s leadership and hiring philosophies (3:40)
  • How his approach to hiring has developed (4:33)
  • How he drives change and growth at L.L.Bean (6:09)
  • His methods for assessing team capabilities vs. hiring from the outside (7:36)
  • The importance of preserving culture while growing a well-established business (9:02)
  • How Chris ensures that new hires are aligned with his vision (9:56)
  • Why role-clarity is so important in the fast-changing world of retail (11:24)
  • Why diversity needs to be more than a check-box for brands (13:12)
  • How Chris recognizes and cultivates leadership potential (14:05)
  • When to promote from within and when to bring in new talent (15:19)
  • The factors that contribute most to hiring mistakes (17:07)
  • Why face-to-face meetings are so valuable (18:20)
  • How Chris involves his team in the hiring process (19:17)
  • Two of the important traits he looks for in candidates (21:26)
  • What the future of hiring in retail and direct to consumer looks like (24:11)

Visit for transcripts and more on this episode.