When introducing the inaugural guest speaker for the new Brave Leader Series, Dean Sally Blount noted that she could not think of a better choice than Mondelēz International CEO Irene Rosenfeld. And after an hour of passionate, bold comments, I certainly could not agree more.
Brought back to Kraft in 2006, Irene¹s focus became how to split the Fortune 100 company into two defined, focused organizations in order to better compete globally. Walking the packed auditorium through her strategic process, it became quickly evident that her work was just as much about pure grit as it was immense intelligence. Even though the decision may have been the right one all along, it was Irene¹s brave leadership that made this divestiture a success.
What struck me throughout the question and answer session was how Irene related all of her strategic decisions, whether it was an acquisition, a marketing program or an organizational reshuffle, back to the company¹s values. She also crafted her career with a clear sense of her passions and motivational drivers, which when locked in with her sheer brain power and positive energy, has helped to literally shape a massive global organization.
The Brave Leader Series is definitely a welcome addition to the regular lineup of innovative thought leaders that come to Kellogg each year, and I thank Irene for exemplifying how to “Think Bravely” in the real world!
Mitch Colgan is a 2nd year student blogger who is majoring in international business, marketing and marketing management.