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After five years as Home Depot’s chief communications officer, Stacey Tank returned to Heineken in early 2020 as chief corporate affairs and transformation officer. As a direct report to the CEO and member of the executive committee, Tank shepherds the company's new growth strategy, "EverGreen," including originating a new global transformation function. In addition, Tank is responsible for the company's sustainability and ESG vision including its Sustainability & Responsibility Supervisory Board committee.
She oversees global communications and public affairs as well, all reflecting the experience she has accumulated across culture and innovation. Although the pandemic brought unprecedented challenges, she says of that time: ‘The Heineken team has written our next chapter in a co-creative way that unleashes the true potential of our 80,000 people while we bring a smile to consumers.’
At Home Depot Tank led the exit of four unprofitable lines of business and quickly returned the remaining businesses to double-digit growth while instilling a strong values-based culture and robust innovation pipeline. She has overseen major movements at her previous roles too, most notably during the decade she spent at GE, where her roles spanned finance, audit and marketing communications.
Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?
As the war in the Ukraine began in February 2022, executives whose companies had a presence in Russia stood at a crossroads. How do you weigh taking care of your Russian employees with funding a war on a sovereign nation? Many companies, including ours, decided to exit. These are incredibly difficult decisions that require calm, thoughtful discussion and a lot of trust ideally build over time beforehand.
What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
The level of volatility we're facing feels like it's at an all-time high. Recessions looming, supply chain disruptions, input cost inflation soaring and a war that continues in Europe. For organizations that invested to build stronger ties with employees during the pandemic, they'll benefit from doubling down and continuing close lines of communication as adaptation and flexibility remain the name of the game.
What have you most admired about this industry over the past year?
Strong communicators shone during Covid and were in incredibly high demand.
What has most disappointed you about this industry over the past year?
I hope going forward, business can continue to unite to bring people together in this increasingly polarized world.
How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness over the past year?
Who knew my treadmill desk would be my most cherished work tool during Covid?!
Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through the past year or provided inspiration?
Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon fueled my morning workouts and allowed a little mommy “me” time binge-watching everything from Bridgerton to Emily in Paris to the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
Supporting our global strategic transformation, EverGreen – my other hat!
Sum up 2022 in one word.
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