Written by the Howard University Newsroom Staff
Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick welcomes Ben & Jerry’s Homemade CEO, Matthew McCarthy, on Wednesday, January 26 for a special fire side chat discussing equity, advocacy, and innovation. The virtual event will be livestreamed via Zoom.
As the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, McCarthy leads an iconic and pioneering global business that continually breaks the rules on how business can be a force for good in the world. He steers and serves a global team of passionate ice cream aficionados and aspiring activists, and he is responsible for Ben & Jerry’s long-standing 3-Part Mission of delivering economic, product and social mission impact in all the communities where the company operates. In addition to being CEO, McCarthy is a member of Ben & Jerry’s independent Board of Directors and is a member of Unilever’s global foods and refreshments leadership team.
“We are excited to engage Mr. McCarthy in this timely discussion on equity, advocacy, and innovation,” said President Frederick. “We hope the Howard community will join us and absorb insight on making a social impact and enhancing corporate initiatives.”
Since joining Ben & Jerry’s in 2018, McCarthy has accelerated the company’s global programs across social justice, refugee and immigrant rights and environmental/agricultural sustainability – and has expanded the brand beyond ice cream. Before assuming his current position, McCarthy was vice president of Unilever’s foods division in North America, where he also sat on the U.S. country board. In his 22 years with Unilever, McCarthy has led a number of classic and entrepreneurial brands across the foods and personal care divisions, including Hellmann’s, Knorr, AXE, Dove and Dove Men+Care. McCarthy headed up men’s grooming for Unilever, which included the acquisition of Dollar Shave Club. His work has received a number of industry recognitions, including Cannes Gold Lion, One Show Gold Pencil, IAB MIXX and Adweek’s Brand Genius award.
McCarthy began his career working with his dad in a family printing business. In 1997 he joined Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s parent company, in brand management and has worked across marketing, sales and general management. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in politics and French from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and his MBA from the Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University. McCarthy has a deep passion for driving social impact and systemic change through the power of business. He considers himself an aspiring activist, learning every day how better to leverage the power of brands and business to address pressing social and environmental challenges. He has a particular interest in gender equity and founded the Men’s Working Group for Gender Equality at the company.