Dr. Cara Antoine

Chief Marketing and Operations Officer | Microsoft Corporation, The Netherlands
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Kurzbeschreibung des Unternehmens

Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Microsoft is dedicated to advancing human and organizational achievement and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Microsoft (MSFT; http://www.microsoft.com) was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA with 120 country subsidiary locations worldwide. Microsoft employs 140.000 people globally representing the Engineering (Cloud & AI Group, Experiences + Devices, Artificial Intelligence and Research, and Core Services Engineering & Operations), Global Sales, Marketing & Operations, Worldwide Commercial Business, LinkedIn, Business Functions, Finance, HR, and Legal business units. At Microsoft, we believe our continued success depends on the different experiences and ideas all our employees bring to the table. To help foster diversity and inclusion, Microsoft supports a rich community of 8 Global Employee Resource Groups (ERG) and more than 40 Employee Networks. These unique groups can provide career development and networking opportunities, as well as activities that promote community engagement and cultural awareness.

Welche Bedeutung hat die Digitalisierung für Deine/ihre Karriere?

The world is becoming a computer and computing is becoming embedded in the world – every part of our daily life and work, every aspect of our society and our economy is being transformed by digital technology. And this is creating incredible opportunity. Understanding those connections of billions of entities can help individuals and organizations create and build relevant solutions. Success today is not just about having an abundance of technology, it is how we build tech intensity. This means, both how to leverage and consume the technologies that exist (Cloud, AI, Machine Learning) AND how to innovate, create and build relevant technology solutions on top of that. Together with my team, our partners and customers, I want to use my passion and energy to positively impact transformative issues in society and the economy where we can help digitally transform businesses through innovations in the Cloud and AI and enable people and organizations to achieve more. Through my background in International Business and Technology, I developed a passion for business transformation and operational excellence. As the daughter of parent educators, I learned to be curious, explore the unknown, be inclusive, have empathy, and admire problems. During my Doctoral studies and in past roles, I pondered: How can I translate the needs of the business through the lens of technology? And how can we continuously improve processes by innovating collaboratively? For digital transformation and the application of advanced technologies including Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Quantum Computing, I am learning that while systems of intelligence are essential, the need to evolve the mindset of individuals and influence cultural change is perhaps, even more important. Therefore, my second passion, people. Living in many diverse countries, I developed a deep interest in human skills and the individual behaviors that stimulate collaborative relationships. I want to help people and teams grow and improve and maximize the unique talents of every being. I am passionate about digital inclusion and the development of people and make it a personal priority to lead by being a learn-it-all. When coaching and mentoring diverse talent, I lean in to inspire, empower and invest, encouraging every individual to perform at their best.

This amplifies my third passion, accessibility. Due to the loss of one eye while travelling abroad on business in 2012, I developed deep personal resilience and the savviness to become a champion for ‘persons with impairments’, working tirelessly to shape policies and processes, and developing human-centric technology services designed to maximize and foster an individuals’ genuine strengths. My efforts have resulted in enabling inclusive workplace environments where all people may achieve their highest potential in work and life. These experiences led me to join the Board of the Corneal Patients Association (Hoornvlies Patienten Vereniging) and become Chairwoman of the Jury for Awards in the Netherlands, where I remain excited about extending digital capabilities into the hands of individuals whose lives can be positively changed for the better by learning to leverage and apply these transformative technologies in their daily routines.

Though my purpose and experiences, I can combine all my passions to lead transformative change that is vital to our societal progression in this digital era. Collectively, we have the reach and ability to positively impact and contribute to our local economy, society and the environment, and I am proud to be part of fulfilling a mission where I can support organizations and people to achieve more.

Warum bist Du/ist sie ein Digital Female Leader?

As a Digital Female Leader, I am responsible to lead our organisation to digitally transform businesses and drive impact for our society and economy through innovations in the Cloud and AI that enable people and organisations to achieve more. I democratize DIGITAL by 1) equipping everyone with modern and human skills; 2) Putting Cloud & AI to work while balancing ethical, empathetic, inclusive, non-biased considerations; 3) Connectedness, connecting frontlines with the boardroom, and 4) Enabling the professional developer to empower the citizen developer through the ‘normalisation’ and adaptability of digital technologies.

A seasoned global executive with 26 years’ experience in business and cultural transformation and operational excellence, I joined Microsoft from Royal Dutch Shell. At Shell, I led the business transformation, digitization and operational excellence of offshore assets and enabled asset teams to become an online community across the global technology organization through the development of onshore Remote Operating Control Centers (ROCCs). Throughout my career, I have led organizations in the close integration of innovative technology and value-added commercial solutions in business operations, to deliver tactical growth, improve performance and drive profitable outcomes. My career began with Polaroid Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA) where I led the operational transformation of digitally replicated masterpieces by evolving a well-regarded local ‘research project’ into a globally commercial business success. Following that, I joined Compaq Computer in Munich, Germany where I held several senior leadership positions from Channel & Supply Chain Operations, to Small & Medium Business Management, eCommerce, and Public Sites & User Experience – all focused on digitally transforming Compaq, her partners and customers from a paper-based entity to that of an online platform world. During the merger between Compaq and Hewlett-Packard, I moved with the new HP to Grenoble, France and held positions in London, UK and Palo Alto, California where I became Global Editor-in-Chief for HP.com and Head of World-Wide Internet & Marketing Services.

My current role is Chief Marketing & Operations Officer at Microsoft Corporation in The Netherlands, a multi-billion-dollar country for Microsoft globally, which has grown 20% year-on-year during my tenure as CMO/COO. We live in an increasingly artificial world; however, people want to feel REAL human connections and they don’t want to engage with technology; they want to engage with us, through technology. They want us to have conversations with them and show that we know them and can help and care about delivering meaningful outcomes to them, solving for peoples’ needs at the moments it matters most. I lead the overall orchestration of customer-centric go-to-market sales, marketing, operations and services, creating unique and innovative strategies to continually generate new business and increase our customers’ own success while accelerating our own business growth, bringing high impact, value and meaning to all audiences.

Key achievements in this role include:
• Contribution to the transformation and growth of The Netherlands society and economy in cooperation with Western Europe strategic development and business attainment goals, through long-term cloud-first growth planning, new business development, the execution of core operational processes – fiscal and marketing planning, revenue forecasting, organizational blueprinting, marketing budget management – market intelligence and insights, competitive analytics, Cloud & Artificial Intelligence (AI), integrated marketing communications (employee comms and external PR), philanthropies, accessibility, and sustainability.
• Led Microsoft Netherlands to become externally ranked #1 among 15 EMEA country peers in content reach, social listening, impact and engagement across all 3 audience categories (Business Decision Makers (BDMs), IT Decision Makers (ITDMs), C-Suite Leaders) on influential media channels, generating the #1 share of voice market position for Microsoft in the Netherlands against 5 major global competitors.
• Personally, recognized this year with an “Inspiring 50” nomination (Top 50 Women in Business in The Netherlands), ranked #15 in the Top 100 Marketers BeNeLux Awards, and am regarded as a “Digital Rockstar” and inspirational Spokeswoman and influencer in the market due to international Keynote speaker and panel roles on topics including Women in Technology, STEM, Cultural & Digital Transformation, Cloud & AI, Coding, Accessibility and Digital Inclusion.
• For example, European Women in Technology: Business & Cultural Transformation in a Digital World: https://vimeo.com/242968259
• Room for Discussion on the Power of Women in Business, University of Amsterdam: https://roomfordiscussion.com/interview/the-power-of-women-in-business-celebrating-womens-achievements-on-international-womens-day/
• Dutch Search Awards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz2NX_ZV0BE&feature=youtu.be&
fbclid=IwAR00GjUL8znW2Son7yRmTM_DRU_erf8VlQ70va7jhWu2XbpdIgbz3R8WfPo • Member of the Board of the Corneal Patients Association (Hoornvlies Patienten Vereniging) and Chairwoman for the Awards Jury Committee in the Netherlands. The World Health Organization estimates that 1 billion people on the planet, or 20% of the world today, live with a disability. And 70% of these disabilities are invisible. The real power of AI and machine learning in the cloud is beyond the machine to the people it can empower, and AI is a powerful capability in helping remove barriers for individuals with disabilities. I thoroughly enjoy demonstrating new digital solutions including SeeingAI, Be My Eyes and Soundscape to visually impaired community members so they may leverage these and other technologies to help them achieve more at work and in their lives. I am proud to be of service in bringing digital inclusion to help make every-day experiences more accessible for all individuals and enable an even more connected world.

The age of digital transformation is behind us and our new reality is transformation in the digital age. This means putting people at the center, and using AI powered technologies to connect with them in meaningful ways. I thrive on building relationships as we journey through the digital age – to learn together, enable innovation, and co-create value that endures across the changing landscape of our collective – and CONNECTED – experiences that are more personalized, satisfying, relevant and meaningful and will drive deeper loyalty along the way. In 2015, I earned my Doctor Business Administration (DBA) degree from Bradford University, Graduate School of Management & Law, UK and the Tias-Nimbas Graduate School of Business, The Netherlands. My research thesis explored individual behaviours that explain a manifestation in relationships that influence collaborative innovation in technology at scale, and it thrills me to be able to put my theory to practice in daily engagements that drive transformative impact in the digital age.

Was Führung für mich/sie bedeutet

"Leadership is about encouraging people; it's about stimulating them through human skills in the way most relevant to them; it's about enabling all people to achieve what they can achieve - and to do that with a learn-it-all growth mindset fueled by intent, passion, empathy and purpose where people can collectively contribute to a transformative mission and unconditionally push the boundaries of culture and human achievement through the power of inclusion and the lens of innovative technologies.”

After all, leaders lead human beings. I am proud that my organization was ranked in the most top percentile across Western Europe in an employee satisfaction evaluation at Microsoft this year.

Contact me on:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caraantoine/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/carainholland
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carainholland/


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