Fortune 500 | episode 379

Estee Lauder CIO Michael Smith

Michael Smith is the CIO of Estee Lauder, an $11.8 billion manufacturer of fragrance, skincare, and makeup products. As CIO, Michael leads the technology function for the company and is focused on innovation and growth. Since joining in 2017, Michael has increased the company’s agility by transitioning the functional strategy from being technology- focused, to being focused on the business units, consumers, and the markets that they serve. Michael joined Estee Lauder after a one-year sabbatical. Previously, he was the CIO of Mylan. Before that, he was an IT executive at Nike for over two decades. February 04, 2019

379: Estee Lauder CIO Michael Smith stresses the importance of talent and culture. On the talent side, Michael has brought in business leadership from several Fortune 500 companies, and he has helped open a new technology hub in Long Island City, New York, which is part of a two-campus model in New York that has formed after consolidating down from nine location. Michael notes that culture is Estee Lauder’s number one asset. We discuss how consumer expectations will change as technology evolves, the benefits Michael gets from being a consumer of his own products, among other topics.


"We have transitioned from being focused on technology to being focused on the business units, consumers, and the markets that we serve so that we are more responsive. Because this has allowed us to be closer to our business, and it has been one of the most significant strategic decisions that we have made."

The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview

  • 01 1- People
  • 02 2- Infrastructure
  • 03 3- Project and Portfolio Management
  • 04 4- IT & Business Partnership
  • 05 5- External Partnerships

From strategy to implementation

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