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MEET LUCIA - ECOMMERCE DIRECTOR EUROPE

“Continuous learning is a must, as tools, technology etc get rapidly obsolete and are replaced by new, improved, higher power versions”

Lucia Ronchi

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

What is your current role

I have the privilege to be the Senior Director eCommerce for Europe, based in our EU Head Office in Zurich, Switzerland. My job is to lead the growth and development of our brands through the digital sales channel across Europe. This includes our Omnichannel Customers, Pure Play to D2C, eB2B and Last Milers.

I lead an agile team of four people dedicated to different branches of digital commerce: Marketing, Sales, International Customers and Growth Platforms. We work with eCommerce teams in 25 countries across the region. Our ambition is to support all countries, from the most advanced to the emerging ones; to grow effectively and build knowledge, skills and capabilities. My team and I are driven by a Growth Mindset; agility, continuous learning and a spirit of collaboration are key elements of our collective work.

How has your career developed at MDLZ

I joined MDLZ in the '90s - at that time it was Kraft General Foods - in Milan, Italy, where I was born and raised. My career developed in the commercial area: marketing first, with growing responsibilities on different brands, from local jewels to our global powerhouses. After this I moved to Sales, leading teams in Trade Marketing and Category Planning & Activation; starting in my own country and progressively expanding scope to Southern Europe - Iberia, Greece, EAM, Bulgaria, Romania. Finally I joined front-line sales, as Sales Director for the Meals division, before moving to Zurich in 2019 to start this new great adventure in eCommerce.

Lucia IG image

What makes e-commerce at MDLZ so exciting

Working in eCommerce is an amazing experience. I was lucky to enter the role before the pandemic impacted us, and we were already recording high double-digit growth! It was so exciting to see the digital environment rapidly evolving, which asked us to meet the challenge with speed and agility. Restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic boosted the online business even further and everything changed at an even faster speed!

Continuous learning is a must. The tools and technology that we rely on rapidly becomes obsolete and are replaced by new, improved, higher power versions. Channel penetration has boomed, which has provided new shoppers with the opportunity to interact with our famous brands. Evolving consumer needs have attracted new players and encouraged new service providers, so it is impossible to be bored in this job! Here you can experience the future becoming reality, and all commercial knowledge is reviewed through the lens of digitalization.

How do you see the future of e-commerce develop at MDLZ

The digital transformation is self-evident and ongoing, and the leap forward made in 2021 is the new base for future steps. MDLZ is successfully operating in all markets and all retail environments for digital sales. We are in a position to maintain our leading role, as category captain, also in the digital context.

The power of our brands is being well exploited online, and this will make the bond with our consumers and shoppers even stronger. We have solid programs and, most of all, strong commitment at all levels in our organization that will ensure that we grasp the digital opportunity. The eCommerce business will grow and MDLZ will have a key role in leading that change.

What is your view on working from home, a hybrid model and the way MDLZ handles this?

MDLZ has always promoted the flexible working model, and in many countries in Europe, smart working and remote working were already in place pre-pandemic. When working in a global company which is highly connected around regions, this is a need and an opportunity at the same time.

At MDLZ the safety of our people is always the priority, so over the last two years we all have been mostly working from home. However, we do believe in the value of meeting in person and have used working in our offices as an occasion to connect and collaborate. As soon as safety measures will allow, the eCommerce team will adopt the hybrid model of both office-based and remote working.

How can e-commerce help MDLZ to become even more sustainable?

eCommerce encourages us to think about products that not only meet new shopper occasions, but also challenges us to consider how we use packaging to ensure they reach the consumer in the right way. Our Cadbury Heroes 2kg e-Pack in the UK, which can be shipped in its own container without additional packaging from the retailer, is an excellent example of this. Partnership with innovative global retailers such as Amazon will encourage us to find further opportunities to make our operations even more sustainable. We also want to utilize digital media platforms within the eCommerce channel to share the great stories about our global commitments to the planet, for example through the Cocoa Life and Harmony programs