May 19, 2020

Employees and Consumers Ask US Retailers to Save Thanksgiving

Walmart
target
Black Friday
US retail
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Employees and Consumers Ask US Retailers to Save Thanksgiving

 

Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, and Sears are among the long list of retailers facing a consumer backlash on Change.org over “Black Friday creep” following Walmart’s announcement that it would open its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening.

In response to this news, more than 20 new petitions have been created on Change.org calling on retailers to allow families to spend Thanksgiving together and stick to Black Friday opening times.

Casey St. Clair of Corona, California, is a Target employee who created a Change.org petition asking the company to “take the high road and save Thanksgiving.” In her petition, Casey writes:

“I am a recent transplant to California with my boyfriend. I don't have any family out here and having to work on Black Friday prevents me from going home to the east coast to see my family. My boyfriend does have some family out here so Thanksgiving is the one day we get to spend with people we know. I currently work two jobs, substitute teach and work Target at nights and weekends, so having Thanksgiving off really does give me that one day to relax and visit family I otherwise have no time to see.”

Jennifer Ann of Vernon Hills, Illinois, has been looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with her entire family, but fears that it won’t be the same if her brother, a Target employee, will be called to work on Thanksgiving. Jennifer writes in her petition on Change.org:

“Family has always been important to me and Thanksgiving is all about family. I love seeing family that we haven't seen in years and spending time with each other on the only day when we can all get together. Last year, it became clear to me that for some large retailers, this holiday isn't about family or being grateful at all.”

Last November, more than 200,000 people joined Target employee Anthony Hardwick’s Change.org petition calling on Target to save Thanksgiving for its employees, their families and consumers by opening on Black Friday instead of on Thanksgiving itself. In addition to receiving national media coverage, Hardwick’s petition inspired more than 150 other Change.org petitions asking major retailers to save Thanksgiving and put employees and families first.

“Building off of the incredible energy we saw around Black Friday opening times on Change.org last year, it’s remarkable to see so many employees and consumers calling on retailers once again to ‘Save Thanksgiving,’” said Charlotte Hill, communications manager at Change.org. “It’s clear that the concerns reflected in Casey and Jennifer’s petitions are resonating with people.”

 

Edited by: Kristin Craik

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

CMO
Kyndryl
IBM
Leadership
Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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