Ann is responsible for Kyndryl’s digital marketing strategy, website, campaigns, events and experiences globally. Prior, she had a 25-year career at IBM where most recently she was VP of Performance Marketing for the Americas. Ann received a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University of Maryland and her MBA from Johns Hopkins University.
As a first-generation American of Cuban immigrant parents, Ann knew she was different. It was not always easy to embrace her heritage when being different was not necessarily celebrated. But today, Ann encourages new professionals to embrace their heritage as it’s what makes them unique and pushes innovation further.
What inspired you to get into a technology career?
My technology career actually found me. While studying for my MBA, my favorite courses were in services marketing. A professor hired me after graduation into PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, which was later bought by IBM. I loved working for the services part of IBM because I had the challenge of marketing something intangible. I was marketing the credibility of our people, the promise of an outcome and – when it came down to it – trust. I find the tech industry fascinating – from the constant change to the relationship building and inspiring players in the market.
What personal or professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
On the personal front, I’m most proud of my two children. I have a teenage son and daughter who are both very proud of my career, even though it has sometimes meant missing sports games and class functions. They remain my priority and understand the balance I strike. They are independent thinkers who have adopted a similar work ethic.
Professionally, it’s so gratifying to see our work come to life. We’re constantly creating, watching initiatives come to fruition and measuring success. Recently, we launched Kyndryl’s new website, a project which took months, but when it went live it was so exciting.
I also really enjoy mentoring young professionals and new executives, and ensuring our diversity hires, like I once was, have strong mentors. I believe I can make a difference and be an advocate for the incredible and emerging talent we have at Kyndryl.
What made you make the move to Kyndryl and what are you most looking forward to as the company becomes independent?
My love for the services business was at the core of my decision, as well as the inspirational leadership team. Kyndryl presents marketers with the once in a lifetime opportunity to build a brand from scratch. We have much work ahead to build the recognition we enjoyed at IBM, break through the competitive clutter, and resonate with key audiences, but this is exactly the kind of challenge on which I thrive.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
My parents immigrated to the US during the Castro regime. I grew up speaking Spanish and learned English when I entered Kindergarten. As a child, I recognized my heritage made me different, but not necessarily in the way I wanted. We spoke a different language, celebrated different holidays and had different customs. It was in college and when I started my professional career that I truly realized what a wonderful differentiator my background was. To me, Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate those differentiators and bring awareness to what we as Hispanics – students, parents and, for me, female executives – can bring to the workplace and society at large.