Episode 087

Jason Yates

Podcast Length: | Date Published: 27th April 2021

There are many things to love about this industry, but one of the things that I really love is the potential that it has to take you on a journey and enable you to go off in all sorts of different directions, whether it’s as an educator, a salon or school owner, an editorial hairdresser or to work in the product sales or corporate side of the industry.

My guest today is Jason Yates who started out as an apprentice hairdresser in a salon in Stoke on Trent – which is a city in the North of England – and he now lives in California and is at 46 years of age is the Global President of John Paul Mitchell Systems.

To put it simply ‘that is one heck of a journey!’ And I don’t know of anyone else who is now president of a global company that turns over in excess of a billion dollars that started out sweeping the floor and shampooing hair.

In today’s podcast, we talk about Jason’s journey to the top as well as…

  • The importance of saying yes to every opportunity.
  • Having mentors in your life.
  • The future of product distribution in the professional salon business.
  • Leadership.

And lots more!

In This Episode:

[01:57] Welcome to the show, Jason!

[03:40] Jason shares his background and his journey to John Paul Mitchell Systems.

[05:07] Why did you decide at fifteen to become a hairdresser?

[08:16] Jason talks about what came after his apprenticeship.

[11:05] By his early 20s, he had a lot of responsibility and learned how to manage people.

[11:27] Jason discusses a competition he entered that changed the path of his career.

[14:38] He left Schwarzkopf and took one of the biggest opportunities of his life and never looked back.

[16:29] Jason speaks about being involved with the marketing of the Farouk Systems brand.

[19:22] Jason shares what pushed him to decide to come to the US and work with Farouk.

[22:08] He thought he made a mistake the first few weeks he was in America, but in the end, it worked out.

[23:31] What is the biggest difference between working in the UK versus the US?

[24:37] After three years of doing non-stop hair shows, how was the transition to a corporate position?

[26:52] Jason discusses talking to Farouk about selling products to distributors, and after a few years, he became VP of Sales for Farouk Systems.

[29:14] Jason believes relationships have pushed his career to where it is today.

[32:03] Listen as Jason talks about his transition to John Paul Mitchell Systems from Farouk.

[35:22] Jason shares getting interviewed by the heads at JPMS to see if he was a good fit for their company.

[37:44] In just over five years, JPMS made Jason the COO and in line for the CEO position.

[39:57] Do you ever feel out of your depth while running this multi-billion dollar company?

[41:57] Relationships are what Jason believes are his greatest strength.

[42:40] What drives you?

[43:44] Jason wishes he was better at updos.

[44:20] Jason believes that it’s vital for corporate leaders at JPMS to have a background in hairdressing because they know the culture.

[45:41] How important is it to have mentors in your career?

[47:00] Jason shares what he learned from John English at the beginning of his career.

[48:30] Jason talks about what he learned from working with Farouk.

[51:29] Trust but verify is something he has learned from Luke.

[53:07] How has John Paul mentored or moulded you?

[55:24] Jason shares what the JPMS is focusing on in the future to make the world a better place.

[58:58] Antony talks about some movies that John Paul is involved with or producing.

[1:00:13] Jason says that JPMS is the best-kept secret in the industry.

[1:01:27] What do you think about the change in new business models, and how will that affect product brands?

[1:04:27] Jason believes some salons will still have shelves of retail products, but more will offer virtual retail products in their online stores.

[1:07:33] Antony discusses the Amazon professional hair product model.

[1:08:58] What type of hair products do you see in the future?


10:30] Thank you so much for being on the show!


Links and Resources

Club House @antonywhitaker

Kiss the ground movie



Find Jason:

Jason Yates


John Paul Mitchell Systems

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to Jason Yates for sharing his story with me for this week’s episode. Until next time!