May 19, 2020

This week: Nutella, oil prices spike, Chewy's $1.02bn IPO

Oil & Gas
3 min
This week: Nutella, oil prices spike, Chewy's $1.02bn IPO

This week in the US, Trump’s trade war faces pressure from domestic businesses and is reportedly costing the country’s tourism industry billions in lost revenue, the nation’s manufacturing sector continues a slow but steady resurgence - posting its first monthly growth of 2019 - and in Colorado, state revenue from the sale of marijuana surpassed $1bn.

From rising tensions in the Middle East to delivery doggy dinners, Business Chief takes a look at some of the biggest stories to affect the US economy this week.

But first - breakfast.

Globally popular breakfast foodstuff - yes, it’s chocolate, hazelnuts and palm oil, but it’s delicious and 100% a breakfast food - Nutella has a new face. According to a report from AdAge, this week Ferrer USA selected independent, New York-based creative agency Terri & Sandy to be the face of its Nutella brand.

The account, which was previously held by Omnicom’s Merkley Partners was beaten out by Terri & Sandy, who will reportedly be reporting on the brand’s breakfast heritage (see?).

“Of all of our wins, this is the only one that has impressed my teenage daughter,” Terri & Sandy Co-CEO Sandy Greenberg said. “She is a huge fan of Nutella and our goal is to create many more devotees in America.”


Oil Markets Jump

In less sugary news, this week saw two oil tankers sailing the strait of Hormuz allegedly attacked and set ablaze. While no government or organization has claimed responsibility, a US official has cast aspersions at Iran, which has protested its innocence as it squares off against local US allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

In the wake of the attacks, the price of US crude oil jumped by 4% to $62.64 a barrel on Thursday, reversing a precipitous trend of plummeting prices that have defined 2019 so far.

According to a Guardian report, “the strait of Hormuz, which provides passage from the Gulf of Oman to the open sea, is the most important gateway for oil exports in the world. In 2016, 18.5m barrels of crude oil were transported each day through the strait of Hormuz compared with 16m through the strait of Malacca and 5m through the next largest, the Suez canal.”

Increased instability in the region could herald higher oil prices in the US, and increased business for Western oil and gas producers.

$1bn dog's dinners 

Based in Dania Beach, Florida, Chewy, Inc provides online shopping and door to door delivery of pet food. On June 3, the PetSmart-owned company announced the launch of its initial public offering of its Class A common stock. Chewy offered 5.6mn shares of its Class A common stock. A subsidiary of PetSmart, Inc., is offering 36mn shares of Chewy's Class A common stock, plus up to an additional 6.24mn shares that the underwriters have the option to purchase.

The initial public offering price was expected to be between $17.00 and $19.00 per share. However, according to Bloomberg, the final price landed at $22 per share, meaning Chewy closed its IPO on Thursday having raised in excess of $1bn. The company is now valued at approximately $8.8bn.

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

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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