How Dow’s CIO balances mega-M&A and digital transformation

Melanie Kalmar became CIO at a time of massive change for the chemical giant. Now she’s calling on past experience to guide the company into its next chapter.

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Before becoming CIO of $48 billion Dow Chemical in August 2016, Melanie Kalmar completed some of the biggest IT initiatives the company had ever undertaken.

Earlier in her career, she led a group that built the company’s global reporting structure. Later, she ran delivery of manufacturing and business information systems for Dow’s joint venture with Saudi Arabia Oil Company (Saudi Aramco). More recently, Kalmar oversaw a massive global ERP transformation, as well as new initiatives in enhancing Dow’s data analytics and mobility capabilities.

Melanie Kalmar, Dow Chemical Dow Chemical

Melanie Kalmar, CIO of Dow Chemical

“I’ve been fortunate to lead a lot of major projects at the company,” Kalmar said. “The breadth of experience gave me a solid foundational understanding of Dow’s business. As a CIO, that gives me an advantage to understand how to apply capabilities—how to apply technology to the real business priorities.”

All the while, an even bigger transformation was in motion. In December 2015, Midland, Mich.-based Dow announced two major transactions: The purchase of Dow Corning, and a mega-merger with DuPont, creating a new company, DowDuPont, that will eventually break up into three publicly-traded companies.

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