Betsy McLaughlin (born 1960 in Orange County, California) is the former CEO of Hot Topic, Inc. (HOTT:NASDAQ). During McLaughlin's tenure as CEO, the corporation was included on the Forbes list of “200 Hot Companies”, Fortune’s “100 Fastest Growing Companies”, Business Week’s “Hot Growth Companies”, and Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work for”. Betsy was selected by Investors Business Daily as one of the “Top 5 Business Leaders of 2003” and "Top 10 CEOs with Vision", by Ad Age as one of the “Marketing 50”, and in 2005, was named by Institutional Investor as one of the “Best CEOs in America”. In 2010, Hot Topic was #1 on Forbes’ list of “Most Trustworthy Retailers” and named by Fast Company as one of the “Most Innovative Companies”. McLaughlin has received a number of awards for her unique "think outside the box" approach to management, specifically the recruiting and training of a primarily young work force to manage brick and mortar locations. She is also known for developing a growth culture built on exceeding expectations of both customers and team members.
McLaughlin succeeded Hot Topic founder Orv Madden as CEO in 2000. In 2001, McLaughlin founded the second Hot Topic division called "Torrid", a plus size chain for young women. In 2011, McLaughlin resigned from Hot Topic, Inc. Currently McLaughlin sits on the boards of high growth retail and restaurant organizations. She also consults on branding, marketing, leadership and organization development for firms in the consumer sector.
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