Most corporations succeed or fail based on their ability to evolve. I am extremely fortunate to work for Corning Incorporated, where each generation of leadership has always taken the long view, capturing unique opportunities to create life-changing innovations and continuing to evolve.

Once distinguished for its consumer bakeware and glassware, Corning is now acclaimed in numerous markets for products such as cover glass for mobile phones, display glass for televisions, and optical fiber and cable for telecommunications. In 2020, Corning took the next step in its evolution.

In order to prepare for a new era of growth and for the next generation of senior management to lead the company, we needed to restructure our operating model; our previous model brought us to where we were, but now we needed one to take us to where we are going.

A new corporate operating model
Based on extensive analysis, we reorganized Corning’s operating structure to align our management and business teams around our five Market-Access Platforms: Mobile Consumer Electronics, Optical Communications, Automotive, Life Sciences, and Display. Under this new structure, the company is positioned to capture more customer insights, further leverage distribution channels, and create more chances to innovate with industry leaders.

For example, rather than separate leaders overseeing Automotive Glass Solutions and Environmental Technologies, one leader is responsible for both divisions under the new structure. This enables both businesses to leverage customer relationships and unlock new opportunities for valuable synergies.

This reorganization also established two new positions: a Chief Operating Officer to drive operational performance excellence and guide strategic decisions across commercial and manufacturing functions; and my position: Chief Legal & Administrative Officer.

As with my previous role as Executive Vice President and General Counsel, I continue to manage all legal issues for Corning; I advise the CEO and Board of Directors on corporate governance and legal matters; and I manage our global Law Department.

In my expanded role, I now also manage the Office of the CEO; several administrative functions; and the Corporate Functions Review, which provides critical review and alignment of all our functions. Under our previous model, there was no mechanism to drive functional alignment and performance. As the size and scale of the company has grown, we realized we needed a more rigorous approach to hold our functions accountable to their commitments.

Commitment to improving diversity
Corning has been championing Diversity and Inclusion for decades. However, as we restructured our operating model, we enhanced these efforts in several ways, including by increasing diversity on our senior leadership team. As a result, we now have two leaders from Asia on our team, along with two women and two Black men. Furthermore, we have a detailed succession plan for grooming and preparing diverse leaders for eventual top management roles. At Corning, we strive to put the best people in the most strategic jobs. The fact that those people are also diverse speaks volumes about our talent management processes.

In addition to the roles I described, I also manage our Office of Racial Equality and Social Unity (ORESU), which enacts and influences change within Corning, the communities in which we operate, and nationally. Specifically, ORESU aims to develop and execute actions that break down racial and social barriers, improve access to resources for under-represented groups, increase diversity, and champion marginalized voices.

In summary, Corning has an incredible portfolio of products in production and in our pipeline. We have excellent relationships with our customers in the markets we serve, and we are poised for the outstanding growth that will come when we execute. That execution will require the diversity we are striving for, on every level. It will also require us to continue evolving, as we have done for 170 years, and to continue evaluating our corporate structure to deliver us into the future.

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