Who: Ken Hawk
Company: 1-800-Batteries Inc.
Has held title for: 5 years
Previous title: Founder and CEO
Degrees: BS in electrical engineering, University of Michigan; MBA, Stanford Business School
Ken Hawk runs a company that provides road warriors with all the power they need to keep their gear charged up. (1-800-Batteries, based in Reno, Nevada, offers more than 8,000 products and services.) But the company, which Hawk founded in 1993, is on a high-energy trip of its own. As Chief Energizing Officer, he works to make the company a fun, creative place to work — a place that buzzes with energy.
Why focus on energizing your staff?
Our customers are demanding. They're always traveling, staying at hotels, dealing with airlines. So, when they call our company, they're often not in the best of moods. That's why I provide our people with fun snacks every morning. We also have monthly barbecues where our managers cook for the team, and we've gone bowling, snow-tubing, and clay-painting together.
What's your energy level like?
Our offices are next to an open-space preserve, and in front of our building, there's a spot that we call Death Hill. I'm one of three people who have come down that hill on a mountain bike.
Are you worried about becoming a lightning rod?
I think it's good to stand out. When I tell people my title, they think it's great.
A version of this article appeared in the JulyAugust 1999 issue of Fast Company magazine.