"Be inquisitive, everything is changing so quickly that we all need to keep learning and be open to disrupting the status quo."
Carole White, Global MDS Social Media & Consumer Care Lead
Friday, November 03, 2023
Tell us about your career journey at MDLZ
I joined MDLZ 25 years ago in 1998, initially on a 12 month contract, as Senior Brand Manager on Bird’s Custard, at Kraft Foods in Cheltenham, UK. At that time the company was run at a local level so my responsibilities were UK focused, launching new products and preparing advertising communication.
As MDLZ became more regionally focused, I moved into the European Marketing Services Team as Senior Manager Communications. At that time we had developed a communication strategy framework with an external partner and in my role I worked with brand teams across Europe helping them develop their brand and communication strategies. I was privileged to work with many iconic brands such as Marabou in Sweden, Green & Blacks’ in the UK, Cote D’Or in France and many others.
I then took on a global role in Marketing procurement, bringing in a tool for our creative agencies to detail the deliverables and help negotiate the costs to create advertising activity for our global brands such as OREO, Cadbury, and Halls. This role helped me further build my commercial skills.
What is your current role, and what is exciting about it?
In my current role I am responsible for our global Consumer Care team and governance of our Social Media Channels.
I have a team of around 40 people working for me, in local countries around the world, and we have a global contact centre partner, whose agents respond to our consumers through various channels.
The great thing about my role is that we are the only team in the company who talk to our consumers daily. We not only support consumers if they have a problem with our products but we also answer questions about nutrition, how to enter promotions and take suggestions from consumers for example on new flavour suggestions. All this information is forwarded to the relevant teams within our business.
What do you like about working at MDLZ?
Everyday is different, we have amazing brands that consumers love and lots of opportunities to build a career. I always say the only constant in our business is change!
What is the most exciting project that you have worked on?
Probably in my European Communications role. It was exciting to help the brand teams and marketing agencies develop the brand and communication strategies that would lead to new products and advertising activity. Seeing those strategies come to life on the TV screen or in new products in store was always very rewarding.
Can you give us an example of how you stepped outside your comfort-zone in this role?
Every workshop that I ran with the team took me out of my comfort zone. You start with a blank sheet of paper and using consumer research results you identify the barriers to overcome and then as a team you build the strategy, as the facilitator it is your role to brainstorm with the team and then pull all the thoughts and ideas into words on a page.
What is your biggest learning experience since working with us?
Probably how to manage such a large team in my current role. I need to trust my team to deliver against our priorities but be there for them if they need me. I also try to ensure that we organise meetings with the full team so that everyone is informed and aware of progress and have the opportunity to ask questions.
How would you describe the work culture at Mondelēz International and within your function?
I would say the work culture is collaborative and supportive. I have been extremely lucky throughout my career to work for manager’s who have trusted my judgement and supported my decisions. But they have been there when I needed them to remove obstacles or support escalations.
What is your favourite MDLZ brand?
I am a choc-a-holic so it has to be Cadbury!
How do you flex-work?
Being in a global role I mainly work from home as my team cover all time zones. However, I am in our Bournville office once a week to connect with cross functional partners who do work in Bournville as well, so we can catch up over lunch and in ad hoc meetings.
What advice would you give someone that wants to join MDLZ in your function?
Be inquisitive, everything is changing so quickly that we all need to keep learning and be open to disrupting the status quo.