Testimonial – Carol Kruse

Carol Kruse

Independent Board Member, Valvoline, Inc., Oregon Venture Fund investor and advisor

Former CMO of ESPN and Cambia Health, Head of Global Digital for The Coca-Cola Company

I have had the pleasure of working with Tom Daly for 5 years and found him to be a strategic transformation leader. Part of Tom’s success is due to him being a good diplomat, listening to others and gathering data & insights before pitching his ideas. Transformation in a corporate global role within a regional business unit requires diplomacy plus a very healthy dose of tenacity to push things to completion.

Tom came to work in the Global Digital team at Coca-Cola while I was heading up the company’s North America Digital team.  He had the challenging task of being asked to help re-launch the Coca-Cola.com website by a certain date, and had to build the train as it was hurtling down the track. This project required Tom to coordinate with the various heads of regional Digital teams as an influencer, which is like herding cats, and Tom hadn’t even met most of his global partners.  Tom’s approach was to take the time to get to know people and listen first, then come back with ideas to share and receive feedback. Tom’s “listen-first and consider” collaborative style served him very well at the very matrixed Coca-Cola environment. As a result, Tom and his cross-functional team launched a website that won many awards and accolades at the time.

Tom’s intellectual curiosity on how to leverage emerging technologies to drive business value made him the perfect person to lead two important areas on the Global Digital team: Mobile and Search. When I moved over to lead the Global Digital team, I saw that Tom’s strengths would be best leveraged by asking him to drive the coordinated adoption and optimization of paid and organic Search marketing, to not only yield the best search results at a lower cost, but also to collect data and insights about what consumers were looking for. Tom had proven education and influencing skills working with colleagues around the world, necessary to obtain the commitment, budget and participation needed.

However, Tom’s biggest impact on the Company was in the area of Mobile. Tom was an early believer in how fast and important Mobile would be for all areas of the company: consumer marketing around the world, enabling mobile commerce, and enabling mobile payments on the African continent.

Tom’s vision, expertise and influence not only delivered business value to The Coca-Cola Company, but he also played leadership roles on both the North American and Global Mobile Marketing Association and Global Mobile Congress.

His work at the Mobile Marketing Association created the necessary pathway to adequately measure ROI. GSMA’s Mobile World Congress utilized Tom Daly as a thought leader to evangelize the value of standards and capabilities of mobile technology to connect with consumers on a global basis.

Though I haven’t worked with Tom over the last 8 years as I left Coca-Cola to go to ESPN and Cambia Health Solutions, we kept in touch as fellow digital/mobile transformative leaders, and as friends.  Last year, when I was asked to give a presentation at a big Healthcare Summit about how to improve Consumer Experience and Human Centered Design in the healthcare industry, I immediately thought that the presentation would be even better if Tom co-presented with me. That combination of our experience and areas of expertise would best help teach people how to transform a challenging industry.

Tom Daly continues to be a visionary thinker and transformative leader with the ability to get things done in a company; how to educate, get buy-in, and execute with cross-functional skills. And I look forward to seeing all the great work Tom continues to deliver!