By Francesca Fontana
Annie Young-Scrivner didn't speak any English when she moved
with her family to Seattle from Taiwan at age 7, so she spent much
of her time watching and listening to others.
"When you can't speak a language, you're much more observant,
watching people's emotions and behaviors," Ms. Young-Scrivner
That experience helped spark a lifelong interest in consumer
behavior for Ms. Young-Scrivner, 51, now chief executive of
As a child, she sold ice on the sidewalk, and got a job in
retail as soon as she could get a work permit as a teenager.
After college, she spent 20 years at PepsiCo Inc. that included
stints as president of the company's China business and as chief
marketing officer and head of sales for the Quaker Oats brand.
"I still keep in very close contact with that team, and it
taught me to make sure that you dream big, you take calculated
risks, and you nurture talent," Ms. Young-Scrivner says.
She returned to her hometown of Seattle in 2009, becoming chief
marketing officer for Starbucks. She says advice she got at
Starbucks from board director Craig Weatherup continues to guide
the way she leads.
"It sounds so simple, but he said, 'Don't assume you understand
-- walk in their shoes and really listen,'" Ms. Young-Scrivner
The mantra stuck with her, and she began doing "listening
tours," meeting with small groups of employees at different levels
of the organization and asking for their insight and advice. Now
based in New York, she has continued that practice at Godiva.
When you're a great leader, it's like you're an orchestra
conductor," she says. "Some instruments are louder than others,
some are going at a different tempo, but they're all playing from
the same sheet of music. That's like building a team----you want
that diversity, but you want everybody to be aligned."
Among Ms. Young-Scrivner's trusted advisers:
Former chief executive, PepsiCo Inc.
When she left PepsiCo in 2009, Ms. Young-Scrivner says the
hardest person to leave was then-chief executive Ms. Nooyi.
"She challenges me, she nurtures me, and she expects great
things," Ms. Young-Scrivner says. "She really helps me be my best
Ms. Young-Scrivner knew Ms. Nooyi throughout her PepsiCo career,
and began to spend more time with her around 2006, while Ms.
Young-Scrivner was the president of the company's business in
China. Ms. Nooyi traveled to China several times a year and invited
Ms. Young-Scrivner to meetings that served as valuable learning
The two have kept in touch since Ms. Young-Scrivner's departure,
including spending time at get-togethers that Ms. Nooyi organizes
for former female PepsiCo executives.
"There are very few Asian female executives, and she is someone
that you see her and you say, 'Wow, maybe that's a possibility for
me,'" Ms. Young-Scrivner says.
Former chief executive, Home Depot
Ms. Young-Scrivner met Mr. Blake in 2015 when he joined her on
the Macy's Inc. board of directors after he had retired as head of
Home Depot. She had been inspired by his turnaround of the
home-improvement chain during his tenure.
"It's a great roadmap on really understanding the consumer,
making sure that you treat employees and the customers right, and
getting back to the basics," she says.
When Ms. Young-Scrivner was looking for feedback on Godiva's new
cafe concept last year, she thought of Mr. Blake. He spent several
hours walking with her through the company's New York cafe as a
consumer, giving his ideas.
Ms. Young-Scrivner is a big fan of Mr. Blake's podcast, "Crazy
Good Turns," which he created with former Home Depot vice president
Brad Shaw. The project focuses on sharing inspiring stories and
gives $50 to people who are nominated for doing good deeds.
"He's one of the most humble, dynamic leaders," Ms.
Rose Marie Bravo
Former chief executive, Burberry Group PLC
Ms. Bravo had been on the Godiva board of directors before Ms.
Young-Scrivner took over the chief executive role in 2017. When Ms.
Young-Scrivner took the helm, another director advised her to meet
"I had a conference call with her via FaceTime and we connected
right away," she says. Ms. Bravo invited Ms. Young-Scrivner to
interview for the Tiffany & Co. board of directors, where Ms.
Bravo had served since 1997; Ms. Young-Scrivner joined the
Ms. Bravo has given Ms. Young-Scrivner guidance around Godiva's
brand extension. Her advice: "Make sure it's all authentic and
expand carefully, and don't forget who your core customers
Since the pandemic started earlier this year, Ms. Bravo has
reached out to Ms. Young-Scrivner to check in and offer her
"She's just such a thoughtful person," Ms. Young-Scrivner says,
and she has welcomed their conversations. "It gets lonely when
you're the CEO sometimes."
Chief executive, Target Corp.
Ms. Young-Scrivner has admired Mr. Cornell since his time at
PepsiCo, where he led the global foods division. Now CEO of Target,
he is also chairman of the board at Yum! Brands Inc., a board Ms.
Young-Scrivner joined earlier this year.
"He has always been such a courageous leader with incredible
agility and heart," she says.
Ms. Young-Scrivner praised the big moves that Mr. Cornell has
made at Target, citing the decision to shut down the store's
Canadian presence in 2015 and the recent announcement that Target
would raise its starting wage to $15 an hour for its U.S.
"He is not a follower," she says. "He sees what needs to be
done, and he makes some moves."
Write to Francesca Fontana at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 25, 2020 00:15 ET (04:15 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Gráfica de Acción Histórica
De Ago 2020 a Sep 2020
Gráfica de Acción Histórica
De Sep 2019 a Sep 2020