Nestlé USA chooses Arlington, Virginia as new US Headquarters
Arlington County will soon become the home of Nestlé USA, according to a recent announcement by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. Nestlé USA will occupy 206,000 square feet in Rosslyn's 1812 N. Moore address beginning in September 2017.
"We have waited a long time to make this announcement," said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. "We wanted to find the ideal company to move into 1812 N. Moore, which we consider to be one of the most prominent office buildings in Arlington. With today's exciting announcement, we have found that perfect company and are thrilled to welcome Nestlé USA to our community."
The Rosslyn high-rise office building has been vacant since construction on the building was completed in 2013. The building, which offers top-notch technology and some of the most stunning views of the D.C. skyline, was chosen for its centrality in the D.C. region, available workforce and accessibility to major transportation venues for collaboration with Nestlé USA's headquarters around the world.
"Nestlé USA carefully considered a number of locations and Arlington hit all the marks. The area offers appealing benefits for our current employees as well as a great talent pool for the future. This location allows us to be closer to our business operations, our customers and other important stakeholders," said Paul Grimwood, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA. "Nestlé's growth over the past 150 years has enabled us to improve millions of lives through the products and services we provide, employment opportunities, our supplier networks and the economic contributions we make here in the U.S."
Nestlé USA's decision to locate the company in Arlington also signifies a major step forward in Arlington's effort to diversify its economy. Once known as a government suburb, Arlington has taken a concentrated effort in recent years to attract new and different companies to Arlington, specifically those associated with the innovation economy and with a global scope.
"Nestlé USA is the latest company to choose Arlington as its corporate home, and it represents a significant shift in that more and more companies are looking at Arlington as providing the workforce, technology and access needed for success and expansion in this new economy," said Victor Hoskins, Director of Arlington Economic Development. "Nestlé will be a key partner in our business community, and I look forward to working with the company as it continues to be a leader on the global stage."
As part of the deal, Nestlé USA will receive a total of $6 million from the Commonwealth of Virginia in a Commonwealth Opportunity Fund grant, which will be matched by Arlington County in the form of $4 million in Industrial Development Authority Performance Incentives grants and $2 million in Arlington County infrastructure mainly focused on Metro, transportation and the area surrounding the new headquarters. Arlington County is also providing extensive relocation assistance to the company to help ensure a seamless transition and maintain a high level of employee retention, including workforce assistance, familiarization tours, a staffed onsite resource center and technology tools to help transferring employees learn more about relocating to Arlington and the entire D.C. region.
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Marketing matters: from IBM to 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.