Matt Walsh interview with John Lilly - Managing Partner Lateral Capital Advisors, Former P&G executive / CEO Pillsbury
John Lilly has an extensive background in business management, for both large and small companies. He built more than 50 branded businesses in 25 countries over 27 years as an executive at Procter & Gamble and then as CEO of The Pillsbury Company. John began his career at P&G in 1976 and was responsible at one time or another for almost all of Procter’s laundry, paper, food and beverage brands. This culminated in a six-year assignment as Regional Vice President in Frankfurt, Germany, where John had managerial scope for the paper and beverage businesses in P&G’s Europe, Middle East and Africa Division. His P&G experience base includes responsibility for Pampers, Pringles, Always, Folgers, Gain, Duncan Hines, Sunny Delight, Dawn and Attends.
In 1997, Mr. Lilly left P&G to join The Pillsbury Company in Minneapolis, first as President of Pillsbury North America and then as CEO for The Pillsbury Company worldwide. Pillsbury was a $6.8B manufacturer of such brands as Pillsbury, Green Giant, Haagen-Dazs, Totino’s, Old El Paso and Progresso. Pillsbury had leading retail and foodservice businesses in 25 countries including China and India. The company was sold to General Mills in 2002 for $10.5B (12.2X EBITDA), in what is broadly seen as a highly successful transaction.
After Pillsbury became part of General Mills, Mr. Lilly changed careers to work full time as an investor/advisor. Between 2003 and 2016, John Lilly Strategic Insights, LLC (JLSI), provided investment sourcing, due diligence and operating counsel on more than 200 Private Equity and Venture Capital projects in the U.S., Europe and Israel. He has advised Calera Capital, TPG Capital, TPG Growth, Goldman Sachs PIA, Centerbridge Partners and EGI, the fund of Sam Zell. As a FINRA registered representative, he has advised Compass Advisers, Lehman Brothers, Duff & Phelps and Morgan Joseph TriArtisan on dozens of transactions.
Today, John works exclusively as a full-time investor in Early Stage Companies. Through Lateral Capital Management LLC (LCM) and its associated Limited Partnerships, he is one of the country’s most active Micro Venture Capital investors. Lateral Capital has invested in more than 100 companies in six Funds in a wide range of industries; across 24 states. Lateral Capital investments are identified through Angel/Accelerator groups across the U.S., where John makes frequent presentations on Sustainably Profitable Early Stage Investing (SPESITM). Invested companies range from tire pressure management for trucks and concussion assessment software to drone freight airplanes and a treatment for Alzheimer’s.
Beginning with Fund IV, Lateral Capital has been open to accredited Limited Partners. Lateral Capital IV made its final investment in 24 companies in Summer 2018. Lateral Capital V, launched in early-2019, completed investments in 30 companies. Lateral Capital VI completed investments in 30 companies in May 2022. Lateral Capital VII launched in September 2022.
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