Kevin Rutherford, CEO of Nuun Hydration

Kevin Rutherford CEO, Chief Eternal Optimist, at Nuun Hydration

Kevin Rutherford is the Chief Eternal Optimist (CEO) at Nuun Hydration, an innovative, Seattle-based company offering clean-ingredient lifestyle products for everyday hydration. He’s a positive, innovative leader who keeps purpose and mission at the core of his work. Kevin spent his early career as a Senior Brand Manager at SC Johnson and Miller Brewing Company before serving as Marketing Director at Kashi Company and eventually CEO at Caldrea Company. Kevin shares his people-first approach to hiring and evaluating teams. We also discuss how he leverages purpose and vision to build thriving cultures.


Highlights from our conversation include

● How optimism became integral to Kevin’s leadership style (1:42)
● Lessons about people, inclusivity, and positivity from his career path (3:04)
● Connection to mission and purpose (9:01)
● Canadians’ unique scrappiness (10:57)
● His approach to building leadership teams (12:22)
● Culture add vs. culture fit (15:56)
● His experience coming into Nuun (20:30)
● Defining leadership competencies (22:35)
● How his team contributes to hiring decisions (24:10)
● The benefit of working with recruiters to make key hires (26:49)
● How the recent health and social crises have affected Kevin’s approach (31:54)
● Nuun’s success hiring virtually (36:26)
● Adapting to 2021’s accelerated pace of change (37:49)

Visit for transcripts and more on this episode.

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