Governing Body Spotlight

Co-Chair of the Global CIO Community

Manoj Kumbhat

Chief Digital Officer and Global CIO

Kimberly-Clark Corporation

A seasoned executive with over 26 years of business transformation and technology expertise, Manoj has an extensive track record in driving digital business transformations on a global scale across multiple industries. In his current role as Chief Information Officer of Kimberly-Clark, he has direct responsibility for driving the company’s global digital growth agenda across Supply Chain, Marketing, Sales, Finance and Human Resources.

Before joining Kimberly-Clark, Manoj was the Chief Information Officer for HCL Technologies, where he executed an integrated digital business and IT strategy to boost business performance and service delivery. Prior to this role, he was the Chief Information Officer for South Asia at PepsiCo, Inc. 

Manoj serves on the Global Customer Advisory boards for Cisco and Avaya. He has also received several accolades throughout his career, including three “CIO 100” awards by IDC, three Global CIO awards at PepsiCo and four Global CIO awards from Frost & Sullivan.

Manoj received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Jodhpur, India, and a Master of Science in Computer Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from West Virginia University. In addition, he has been certified by the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS). He currently lives with his wife and two daughters in Dallas, Texas.

Briefly describe your organization’s and your team’s global footprint.

Kimberly-Clark is a global CPG with $20+ billion in revenue, producing mainly paper-based consumer products. Our products are available in 175 countries. We also have a $3.5 billion B2B business. The Technology function at KC - Digital Technology Solutions (DTS) is an organization of 1,100+ employees located in 50+ countries with 6 Global Digital Technology Centers located across major global technology talent hubs (United States, Buenos Aires, Krakow, Israel, Bangalore, Kuala Lumpur). We also have ~3,500 consultants/contractors working with us. 

What do you enjoy most and what is the biggest challenge about leading global teams, operations and strategy?

I love the opportunity to digitally transform our business, while impacting the lives of one billion consumers with our products. We have a tremendous opportunity to grow our business, and our executive team is well aligned on the company strategy around Digital. We have the necessary investments, the winning mindset, and the culture, which is also transforming focused on performance and growth.

The biggest opportunities are growing and scaling our rapidly changing organization to support the digital transformation. We need to evolve our processes, develop our talent, and mature our technology partner strategy to cater to the growing needs of our business transformation. DTS is leading the way in product transformation and agile ways of working across Kimberly-Clark. 

What is your advice to other global business leaders on driving global standardization while being regionally responsive?

It starts with the CEO and the Executive team, helping them visualize the value of standardization. Show them how this will result in agility and lower total cost of ownership. Then, let them be the champion and advocate of the change. Be flexible when it comes to serving the consumer and the customer better.  At K-C we strive to be 60% global, 20% regional/channel-specific variations, and the remaining 20% localization to accommodate the consumer/customer or to comply with statutory needs. Hire a team that has an enterprise mindset and is comfortable working in a global construct.

How would you describe your global culture? How is this translated or manifested in your worldwide locations?

Kimberly-Clark has a long-standing culture rooted on our core company values of being authentic, innovative, accountable, and caring. Our DTS organization launched a culture evolution initiative in 2019 that builds upon that strong foundation, pivoting the team to have a growth mindset, deliver with speed and agility, take smart risks, be innovative, and embrace failure as a learning opportunity. We utilized a crowd sourcing event to solicit input from the organization to create our DTS Culture Principles. 

We then established a network of global Culture Champions that spotlight new concepts each month to their teams through a robust change management plan consisting of training, email videos, culture conversations, storytelling, and Yammer posts. Our leaders are showing up differently, which is providing new experiences to our employees every day. The organization has been very receptive to the changes, providing positive feedback such as, “I appreciate the time K-C DTS is investing in giving us the tools and concepts to help change the culture.”   

Leaders in multinational companies have an enormous impact on the world. How should global business and technology leaders be driving change and creating a better world for everyone to live in?

In 2020, Kimberly-Clark announced a 2030 sustainability strategy and several goals aimed at addressing the social and environmental challenges of the next decade. We endeavor to improve the lives and well-being of one billion people in underserved communities around the world with the smallest environmental footprint. We aim to touch millions around the world who lack access to basic products and solutions that could dramatically improve their quality of life – either because they can’t access or afford them – or because of associated social stigmas. Meeting these unmet societal needs is the foundation for our new 10-year commitment – to advance the well-being of one billion people in vulnerable and underserved communities.

Inclusion and Diversity are critical to K-C's future and our foundational strategy. Our goal is to achieve gender parity globally and parity of people of color in the United States in managerial roles by creating a community that empowers individual authenticity. In DTS, this expands beyond gender and ethnicity to include leader awareness on multi-cultural and time zone sensitivities, with all of us respecting and embracing local differences.



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