Mei Xu

Founder & CEO @ Chesapeake Bay Candle®, a Newell Brands Company

MEI XU is a global marketer, innovator and leader with a proven track record of growing brands, driving change and delivering superior financial performance. As the Founder & CEO of three global manufacturing companies – Pacific Trade International, BlissLivingHome and Chesapeake Bay Candle – Mei has managed an international workforce of 1,400 employees, established four design, development and manufacturing facilities in the US and Asia, and held full P&L management responsibilities for these multimillion dollar global consumer products companies.

In September 2017, Mei successfully negotiated the sale of Chesapeake Bay Candle to Newell Brands, a leading global consumer goods company with a $14 billion portfolio of well-known brands, for an impressive valuation of 12X EBITDA. Mei continues to serve as CEO, growing the business by 40% by expanding existing retail partnerships with Target, TJX, Amazon and Wayfair, and opening new doors with specialty retailers and grocery chains.

Mei takes a vision and makes it reality through innovative design, global consumer insight, and sound brand strategy. During her nearly 25 years at the helm of Chesapeake Bay Candle, Mei personally directed all creative design and oversaw supply chain management and manufacturing.

Mei earns a seat at the table wherever she serves and is a respected, credible voice, adviser and decision-maker. As an Independent Director of Sandy Spring BanCorp Inc. from 2012-2015, Mei was a driving force helping the institution navigate Dodd-Frank compliance, execute its M&A strategy and review executive compensation. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Foundation of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, the state’s only public health, law, and human services university, and serves as a member of its Financial and Investment Committee. Mei is also on the Board of Directors of the Halcyon Fund, a Washington, DC-based early stage fund investing in socially impactful ventures around the world.

Mei is an inspirational leader who is committed to talent development and mentoring with her employees and the non-profits she’s affiliated with, including C200, WEConnect International, Fortune/US State Dept. Global Mentoring Partnership, and Fortune’s Most Powerful Women.

Xu’s entrepreneurial success story is frequently reported by major news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, Financial Times and CNBC. Xu’s business achievements have repeatedly been recognized by prominent organizations, including Smart CEO; the World Trade Center Institute; Asian American Chamber of Commerce; Asian Women in Business; the Washington Business Journal; Maryland Daily Record; and the University of Maryland with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Enterprising Women inducted Xu into its Hall of Fame.

Mei is bilingual in Mandarin and English, holds a BA from Beijing Foreign Studies University and an MA from the University of Maryland. She resides in Bethesda, Maryland.