5 Questions with Craig Johnson
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Posted by: Barbara Francella
2011, Craig Johnson has served as president and CEO of Altria Group
Distribution Company, a service organization that provides centralized sales,
distribution and consumer engagement services to Altria's tobacco operating
companies, Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company and John
Middleton. Under Johnson's leadership, AGDC provides programs and services to
Altria tobacco companies’ trade partners (wholesalers and retailers) and
executes consumer engagement programs for adult tobacco consumers. Johnson has held
a variety of senior leadership positions at Philip Morris USA, Frito-Lay Inc. and Procter & Gamble.
has Altria fostered a culture of diversity and inclusion?
diverse and inclusive culture requires a commitment by all of us — at all
levels and within all parts of our organization. Developing diverse and
talented leaders has long been one of the key drivers of our success. We
have made several enhancements to our diversity and inclusion program,
including creating an Executive Diversity Council led by our chairman and CEO, which
provides strategic direction and oversight for our efforts. We have also begun
a partnership with NEW and launched various employee resource groups, such as
the Women in Sales Network, to foster professional and leadership development
and to promote an inclusive culture among all of our companies. Last, but not
least, we are piloting an enterprise-wide mentoring program to help our employees reach their highest desired potential.
Why has Altria made diversity and inclusion a priority?
believe diversity and inclusion are critical components to success in today’s
rapidly evolving and competitive landscape. Businesses require innovative
solutions, made possible by creating and sustaining teams comprised of diverse
people. At Altria, we are firmly committed to creating a work environment of
talented, diverse leaders dedicated to maximizing the performance of this
company, who at every level feel fulfilled in their careers and supported for
their unique perspectives and ideas.
What D&I accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am especially proud of our people here at Altria. I can’t think of another group of leaders with this much passion, dedication and ideas, striving every day to make our vision a reality. It is because of our people that this year, DiversityInc recognized Altria as one of its "25 Noteworthy Companies" and ranked us as one of its "Top 10 Companies for Blacks." I am confident we will continue to break barriers and achieve new standards.
How does Altria encourage work/life balance?
strive for a culture of innovation and flexibility, where employees are
empowered to accomplish their work and be in control of their time to have whole
life balance.We redesigned our career model to allow for more customized
career paths and advancement opportunities to better meet professional goals,
geographical preferences, and personal and family needs. We also
implemented a summer hours program allowing employees to take every other
Friday afternoon off, in addition to their vacation days, to spend more time
with family or on personal pursuits. We will continue to look for ways to
help our employees in this area.
you share an example of women leaders making a business impact?
the inception of the Women in Sales Network at Altria, I am amazed at the
amount of work the steering committee has been able to deliver in a short time.
This dedicated group has raised awareness about their organization, partnered
with NEW on workshops and programs that enhance the diversity and inclusion
awareness of the men and women who attend, and has proven time and again the
business case for promoting the development of women within the company. These
dedicated individuals create a true vision of how resource groups and peer
support programs can positively impact business results and careers from the
executive suite to our front-line sales staff. I am proud of the women and men
that are committed to the cause and the impact it will have on our culture.
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