Each month, the Austin Business Journal hosts a Face 2 Face speaker series at Whole Foods, featuring leaders of all types of industries. This month’s speaker was Terry Lundgren, CEO and Chairman of Macy’s.
Macy’s is a $28 billion corporation with 176,000 full-time employees and 800 stores. Macy’s is also the 7th largest Internet company. Lundgren commented that while the company embraces technology as a powerful source of commerce, he believes “people first, technology second.”
Terry Lundgren has been high on the Macy’s ladder since 1997, with his roles including president and chief merchandising officer, among others. He started his career in retail in 1975, slowing climbing his way from trainee to management to buying to director of stores before becoming an executive. His advice to young adults entering the workforce: “Bloom where you are planted,” meaning not to focus so much on where you are going next, but to perform your current job better than anyone else to get noticed.
When moderator Colin Pope asked if it is lonely at the top, Lundgren responded that he has a great team of management and board members. “When we make decisions, we move forward together. Success has many fathers, but failure has none.”
Lundgren is notorious for showing up to his stores unannounced, to get a real feel for the atmosphere and customer service being provided. He says he enjoys watching and learning from his star performers.
He believes localization is the reason Macy’s has been able to grow while maintaining the same number of stores over the last year. He added that future plans for the corporation include building a stronger international presence.
Register to join us at next month’s Face 2 Face series, featuring Ingrid Vanderveldt, founder of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020. We will also have staff members on site to speak to you about our mission and our Women’s Leadership Council. Thanks to the ABJ and Whole Foods for selecting UWATX to be their Face 2 Face community partner for 2015!