As Dow’s chief digital and information officer, Melanie Kalmar drives the global strategy for information technology and digital capabilities to the chemical manufacturer’s growth and business strategies. She’s also a member of the executive leadership team, which sets the company’s strategic direction, defines priorities, and is accountable for delivering enterprise-level results.
Throughout her career at Dow, Melanie has been involved in driving key transformational efforts and working at the epicenter of the company’s merger & acquisition IT projects, including leading the largest and most complex SAP implementation in the world at Sadara, Dow’s joint venture with Saudi Aramco.
In short, she knows a thing or two about being bold and seizing the big opportunities. When I spoke with Melanie for the CIO Whisperers podcast, we kept coming back to this theme of courage. As she points out, willingness to take on the tough challenges can lead you to exciting new places. In her case, it took her to Saudi Arabia, where she had the opportunity to influence business strategy and drive real business value through IT.
After the show, Melanie shared some more thoughts on what’s needed to tackle the enormous changes ahead of us and how Dow is galvanizing the intellectual strength of its 36,000 employees to embrace digital, leverage technology in new ways, and keep a 125-year-old company innovative. What follows is that off-air conversation, lightly edited for length and clarity.
Dan Roberts: Do you think people understand the magnitude of change we need to embark upon?