Francesco Tinto is the Vice President, Integrated Business Services and CIO at Kraft Foods Group. He leads the company’s business services, technology, and shared services operations, including enterprise services, business process execution, and information systems.
Francesco has 22 years of extensive experience within the Consumer Goods and Packaging industry. His 13 years at Kraft include roles spanning across the globe. Notably, his role in successfully leading the Information Systems – Americas organization during Kraft Foods Group separation from Mondelēz International in 2012.
Francesco joined Kraft Foods in 2002 as the Information Systems Director for Kraft Foods Italy and advanced through positions of increasing responsibility for global sales and supply chain systems. Through his years at Kraft, Francesco’s responsibilities have spanned a worldwide footprint, including leading the North American and Latin American Information Systems organizations, Sales and Marketing systems, Global Centers of Expertise, Customer Service and Logistics, Research & Development and Business to Business systems.
Prior to Kraft, Francesco held several leadership positions at Procter & Gamble’s Italy location within their Information Systems function, responsible for local, regional and global efforts.
He is a member of the Information Systems Steering Committee for the Grocery Manufacturers Association and holds an Electronic Engineering Degree from Politecnico di Bari Italy.
Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: KRFT) is one of North America’s largest consumer packaged food and beverage companies, with annual revenues of more than $18 billion. The company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Capri Sun, JELL-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters and Velveeta. Kraft’s 22,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada have a passion for making the foods and beverages people love. Kraft is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the NASDAQ-100 indices.
Information technology (IT) continues to advance at a phenomenal pace. The constant increase in raw computing power allows us to process almost inconceivable volumes of digital data and the continually shrinking footprint has resulted in computers being everywhere: in our homes, in our workplaces and traveling with us.
The role of IT in enabling business change is more pronounced than ever before. In the Consumer Packaged Goods industry, how we go to market, how we market to consumers, how we collaborate with channel partners – all of these and more are being transformed by IT.
It is clear that in order to win, as an IT team, as a company, as a nation, we have to excel in how we apply IT to drive change in most everything we do. And if we intend to excel, then we need to have an organization with the right technical, business and leadership skills. As a result, I see organization development being critical to my success as CIO.
There are three key challenges that I believe we need to address: developing a workforce that is gender, race and generation diverse, maintaining employee skill currency, and adapting to changes in how employees learn and operate. I would like to explore each of these in a little more detail.
As a company, we firmly believe that the composition of our workforce should reflect the communities in which we operate. And, frankly, it is just good business sense to draw on the broadest talent pool available, to encourage diversity of thought and to harness the market and consumer understanding of a diverse workforce.
I believe that Kraft does an outstanding job of supporting women, ethnic minorities and millennials in the workplace through our employee resource groups (ERG’s) which include Women@Kraft, KAAN (Kraft African American Network), OLA! (Organization of Latin Americans at Kraft) and YPK (Young Professionals at Kraft) and I encourage our IT employees to fully participate and to play a prominent role in leading these ERG’s.
However, the challenge remains that women in particular are underrepresented (and declining) in computer science programs in tertiary educational institutions as well as in IT in the workplace.
IT in 2015 is very different from when I first entered the workforce and equally appealing as a career choice for both men and women. I believe that the IT Industry must partner with Education to paint a more contemporary and compelling picture of IT in order to address the challenge of diversity.
All of us who work in the IT industry recognize that the half-life of technology skills is short and getting shorter. Software and hardware vendors are continuously enhancing and evolving their solutions. The ‘New IT’ forces of cloud, social, mobile and big data are changing how we deploy and operate technology while causing us to rethink much of what we thought we knew.
We understand too that one of the best ways to motivate and retain talent is to ensure that employee skills remain current and marketable. Our approach at Kraft to employee skill renewal is two-pronged: strategic workforce planning enables us to identify future capability gaps as well as competencies where we anticipate reduced emphasis so as to construct high-level development plans to prepare our organization for the future; employee career and development planning focuses employees on taking accountability for personal growth and development while ensuring that their skills remain current.
Whereas we may need to seed new capabilities (e.g. user experience, big data analytics with external hires or business partners), renewing the skills of our existing employees is a cost-effective way of developing the skills we need with the attendant benefit of strengthening employee engagement.
We embrace an industry 70-20-10 model for development which recognizes that most of our development occurs on the job, that coaching and feedback from the manager and others is the bulk of what remains and that formal learning (e.g. classroom training, online learning etc.) represents only a small part of development. In addition, formal learning has undergone, and continues to undergo, a major transformation enabled by IT.
When I need to learn something new, I am far more likely to turn first to Youtube or Google for help, than to traditional resources. And my attention span is short – I need instant gratification. Who can afford to spend three days off-site in a classroom anymore? Incremental learning is more effective – teach me what I need to get started and fill in the gaps over time.
In fact, I see my kids and recently hired millennials learning the same way and I start to realize that the way we have approached formal learning in the past is no longer competitive – it is time for us and our learning partners to recognize the changes and to bring something new to the table.
IT has become increasingly important in enabling business transformation. The CIO and the IT organization are presented with both an opportunity and a challenge to more strongly influence business strategy and drive business outcomes.
The ability to seize that opportunity and to meet that challenge depends on creating a diverse corporation and developing that organization with the technical, business and leadership skills required today and into the future. This is why I see organization development being critical to my success as CIO.