Pepperidge Farm president: I failed grad school, and bounced back

April 9, 2014, 10:36 PM UTC

From entrepreneur to corporate all-star, Irene Chang Britt talks to Fortune about her road to success.

Pepperidge Farms (CPB) President Irene Chang Britt launched her career running a bike shop with her brother. The sibling entrepreneurs’ business expanded to two stores and mail-orders; sales reached $1 million before they sold the company. Around the same time, Britt faced academic setbacks but managed to bounce back – and has since climbed the ranks at Fortune 500 companies like Kimberly-Clark (KMB), Kraft (KRFT), and now Pepperidge Farm. Through it all, the exec has kept on smiling—much like the golden-baked fish her brand serves consumers.