Paul’s Bio

Paul Earle headshot

Paul W. Earle, Jr. is a brand and innovation professional, entrepreneur, intrapreneur, and lecturer with significant experience in design, the development of new products and services, new venture formation, IP licensing, marketing communications of all kinds, and traditional brand management and strategy.

At present, Paul is an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, where he co-teaches the popular “Corporate Innovation & New Ventures” class, an intensive lab immersion that pairs student teams with top corporate partners. Past lead partners have included McDonald’s, Visa, Procter & Gamble, United Airlines, and Hyatt. Paul also created and hosts a podcast interview series on innovation leadership, and has published numerous written works.

Professionally, Paul most recently was Executive Director of Farmhouse, the innovation and new venture center of the global creative agency Leo Burnett. Founded by Paul in partnership with Leo Burnett management in 2011 and operating successfully through 2016, Farmhouse developed new brands, new product and service concepts, and other new kinds of designed experiences for premier clients such as Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, Allstate, E&J Gallo, Tribune Publishing, and others. While at Burnett, Paul also co-authored the strategy that led to “Publicis90,” an open innovation platform—the first of its kind in the big agency world— that to date has been the repository for over 3,000 innovation ideas throughout the global network of parent company Publicis Groupe, as well as external startups and academic research centers.

Under his own Paul Earle & Co. banner in 2010, prior to joining Burnett, Paul was part of the founding team that created ANGEL’S ENVY, a whiskey that achieved rapid growth and was acquired by Bacardi in 2015, and helped a prominent family office acquire and successfully relaunch the CHUCK WAGON dog food brand.

Between 2001 and 2010, Paul served as founder and President of River West Brands LLC, a dormant brand acquisition and redevelopment company that was partially acquired by Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC). River West acquired and relaunched well known but distressed brand properties such as COLECO toys, BRIM coffee, EAGLE snacks, NUPRIN analgesics, SALON SELECTIVES hair care, and a number of other icons. Paul and his work earned feature-length profiles in the New York Times, NBC’s Today Show, NPR, BBC, and other prominent media.

Earlier, Paul worked in brand management at Kraft Foods, Inc., and at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, for mainly the General Mills and Johnson & Johnson cilents.

Paul holds a BA from Hamilton College and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where he remains a delegate to the Kellogg Innovation Network. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two sons.