Rhonda Vetere is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC), providing global leadership across 162 countries. As ELC’s CTO, Rhonda is spearheading transformation of the Global Information Services (GIS) capabilities foundation into a digital environment at a record industry pace, without business disruption, around the world – while saving tens of millions of dollars per year.
ELC, founded in 1946 by Mrs. Estée Lauder, a visionary businesswoman, is the Global House of Prestige Beauty, offering more than 30 prestige beauty brands in over 150 countries and territories. ELC is a values-driven, high-performing organization, rooted in the Lauder Family values of respect for the individual, uncompromising ethics and integrity, generosity of spirit and fearless persistence, and focusing on long-term, sustainable growth, which engenders loyalty and commitment.
ELC’s mission is “Bringing the best to everyone we touch.” Our High-Touch core values that Mrs. Lauder established in 1946 – creativity, entrepreneurship, integrity – remain at the heart of ELC. Our High-Touch technology products and services reflect these values and allow us to connect to our consumer in a personal way.
Rhonda is transforming ELC’S global IT vision and team – delivering a diverse range of global information services – into a sophisticated, highly efficient, and strategic business foundation. Transformation is improving technology-driven performance and reducing costs significantly, in part by embracing a business outcome orientation and metrics-based decision-making.
Rhonda is driving global IT transformation to create substantial business benefits through building innovative business partnerships, creating stronger consumer experiences and engagement, fostering improved service levels, developing greater flexibility and faster time-to-market for new services, enhancing productivity, and promoting transparent and reduced costs, while delivering a significantly more dependable and secure ecosystem.
As a principal feature of transformation, Rhonda introduced a global Service Catalogue supporting ELC’s IT strategy and roadmap, which, in turn, are aligned with the firm’s business strategy. The Service Catalogue defines the technology products and services portfolio offered to business partners, supports operations, and helps structure IT activities. Offering IT consumers standard tiered products and services enables simplification of the technology ecosystem while driving down costs.
Rhonda also led the search, assessment, and selection of a new IT services vendor, which is partnering with ELC in transformation, innovation, and continuous improvement. The immediate goal was to reduce risk of service disruption while bringing new resources up to speed. Moving ahead, critical success factors include strong leadership of the transformation, expert project management of the risks and boost internal confidence, and cultural and team immersion to ensure joint accountability and shared recognition of successes.
Rhonda is advancing adoption of Service Integration and Management (SIAM), which is founded on GIS’ newly introduced suite of standard IT products, services, processes, and tools. SIAM is a core component that enables centralized governance and oversight of the complex ecosystem of IT vendors and service providers. SIAM and related disciplines enable more effective vendor performance management through on-going monitoring of service delivery metrics and ensure all vendors perform in ways that support long-term success.
“I swear by the belief that a successful tech operation should know no geographic boundaries – instead, a true leader in today’s IT climate must possess an in-depth understanding of each culture and the individuals who ultimately comprise it. I am willing to go to the ends of the earth (literally) to get things done correctly and efficiently alongside my team – and I have the passport stamps to prove it.
“Running IT as a business, I try to consider the key factors of measurement, true transparency, and trust. Metrics are king – you can’t manage an environment if you don’t know your numbers. For any company in any industry, I ask the same questions: ‘How do you make the technology work? What makes the business work?’
“I believe true innovation comes through strategy, learning, technology, and quality. I approach situations from a global perspective, evaluating both the audience and long-term goals individually, as solutions are not one size fits all.”
In sum, Rhonda’s approach is to transform IT to stimulate agility, innovation, and effectiveness, to unlock value, reduce costs, and improve service, while preserving the organization’s foundational High Touch values. “Ultimately, we are truly a global company that serves consumers around the world with products and services that are tailored to the needs of local markets. We have some of the most creative and innovative people and we continuously aspire to preserve our values. To foster our success, we must balance providing robust, scalable, and efficient traditional IT services with the ever-increasing demand for emerging technologies.”
“My mission is to use my experience and leadership to drive change in the world. I want to positively impact IT, businesses, and institutions – and the people they serve.”