Founded | 2008
Headquarters | Scottsdale, AZ
Top Executive | Gene Tipps, CEO
Product Category | Health and Wellness
GLOBAL 100 | 25
The last few years have fundamentally changed all of us, stirring up more challenges than any of us were prepared for. As we pull ourselves out of uncertainty and into a new season of possibility, the leadership at Plexus believes that the direct sales industry offers just what people need for what’s next: hope.
The Power of Hope
“We used to be the health and happiness company,” Plexus Founder and President Alec Clark explained.
But in 2021, after seeing how the direct sales industry could do so much more than adapt and evolve in the face of a global pandemic, the leadership team decided to make a change.
“We believe this is the best industry in the whole world,” he said. “It allows people to stop and take a breath; to see that life’s going to be okay; and that there are opportunities out there for them— whether that’s financially, physically or emotionally. People can move forward. We offer hope, health and happiness for all who want it. The world is good, and there are opportunities out there. So—at Plexus—we deal in hope.”
And there is much to be hopeful about at Plexus these days, as the company has started a fresh chapter led by newly appointed CEO Gene Tipps. After leading the company’s operations as Chief Operating Officer and President of Global Operations, Tipps was named CEO in October of last year. He’s eager to pursue the company’s new mission, supported by the foundation that Founders Tarl Robinson and Alec Clark laid nearly 15 years ago.
“It’s an amazing foundation that the company’s been built on,” Gene shared. “We’re unique in the marketplace with a strong footing in the U.S. and very little presence internationally, so the vision couldn’t be bigger for us going forward.”
Gut Health Pioneers
Plexus was focused on gut health well before the “microbiome” was common knowledge in the wellness space. Today, gut health continues to be an area of focus for the company with a growing line of microbiome-centered products.
“We were in the forefront of this gut health revolution that is happening right now,” Alec shared. “We were doing gut health 10 years ago, and we intend to stay true to that.”
In addition to its gut-focused line, Plexus has grown to offer a full suite of weight management, nutrition and skincare products as well—with many of the product combinations including gut-health boosting ingredients. And there are more innovations to come.
“We’re going to continue to innovate and also renovate,” Gene said. “Sometimes you have to go back and look at what that product offering looks like and improve upon it. There is always new science and technologies that come out, different ingredients, delivery forms, things that make your product better. Not only from a delivery standpoint, but an application standpoint, a usability standpoint, all the way across the board. And we’re in the middle of looking at all of that.”
One Plexus, Always
As Gene settles into his new role as CEO, he’s excited about all the possibilities this new chapter at Plexus holds. And while he’s eager to share upcoming pipeline innovations and product announcements, he’s most excited about the heart, transparency and relationships that hold the company together.
“It’s all about relationships,” he said. “Whether they’re with our field, our team members or vendors. That was honestly something that really drove our success through the pandemic—being able to keep up with demand, being able to pivot, being able to leverage the vendor relationships. Our mantra has always been that we do network marketing the way it could be done, should be done, but rarely ever is. And people can see that the minute they join our community. It’s very different.”
Gene believes the difference lies in the company culture, a way of working that honors every team member, prioritizes transparency and values connection. This strong, supportive culture was remarkably different than anything Gene had experienced prior to joining the company.
“I’m extremely proud and always eager to talk about our culture and who we are,” Gene shared. “What came through during my initial interviews with our founders was the perspective that ‘if it’s not good for our employees and it’s not good for our Brand Ambassadors, then we probably need to start over. And they stick true to that.”
I continually heard about work/life balance, too. For the first six weeks, I felt like something wasn’t working. I didn’t get phone calls. I didn’t get text messages constantly. My inbox wasn’t blowing up. And it wasn’t because there was nothing to do. Trust me, there was plenty to do when I walked through the door. And there will always be plenty to do, but we hold true to a work-life balance at every level of the company.”
Plexus’ culture is consistent across the corporate and field teams, attracting new team members and Brand Ambassadors to this growing global family. Today, Plexus is home to nearly 400 corporate employees and 380,000 Brand Ambassadors across the United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand.
“We have this mantra, ‘One Plexus,’” Alec explained. “We believe that whether you’re a corporate team member or in the field, everyone’s here to support each other and work together. As long as we continue to do that, as long as we continue to stay humble and work together, we’re going to make an impact.”
Camaraderie between employees and the field isn’t always the norm in this industry. But for Plexus, it’s a tangible example of the company’s One Plexus mindset. For example, employees celebrate five years with the company by joining Brand Ambassadors on leadership trips and cruises, allowing them to build relationships with each other. By connecting both sides of the Plexus team together, the company has created a stability that’s evident in their steady growth and long-tenured employees. The relationship employees and Brand Ambassadors have with leadership is strong as well, and it’s based on transparency and trust.
“If we make a mistake or cause friction in the field, we’ll own that,” Gene said. “We’ll always make it right. So, it’s interesting to watch every so often when we do have a little stub-our-toe moment, and you see some of the new people chime in on social media. You have every one of our Brand Ambassadors jump in and say, ‘I’m not worried about this whatsoever. Plexus will make it right. They always make it right.’”
As Founders Alec Clark and Tarl Robinson step into new roles as Chair and Co-Chair of Plexus’ Strategic Council, and Gene leads this exciting new chapter for the company, they all agree that the company is strong; the vision is aligned; and they are hopeful for what’s to come.
“Our vision has never been more laser focused than it is right now,” Alec said. “We believe the future is bright. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re on our way to becoming a legacy company. As Tarl and I are stepping up into this strategic council we have created, Gene is ready to take the reins and move our company forward. We want Plexus to be a generational company that our kids and our grandkids can either work for at corporate or out in the field. And we feel like that is possible with the vision that we have.”
From the March 2023 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.