5 Questions With Michael Willliamson of Danone North America

Michael Williamson is the Director of Digital Experience at Danone-Nutricia North America, and previously held positions at MedImmune and Bristol-Myers Squibb.   He attended our recent dinner event in March in Washington D.C.

How do you define ‘digital strategy’?

The plan to enhance and disrupt our current business model, in order to actually listen to, reach, engage, and possibly even sell products and services to our customers through aligned digital channels. Once this plan is properly laid out, the insights gained will help us make smarter business decisions which will reduce the capital risk.

What kind of mobile device(s) do you have, and what are your three favorite apps?

Different platforms is my thing, so I actually have an iPad 6s, iPad Pro, HP Elite x2 Win 10 Tablet, and a Samsung Galaxy. This way, I can stay up to date with the latest, greatest apps per platform, in order to meet the needs of my multi-platform customer base. My favorite daily apps are OneNote (I am a serious note taker), Bloomberg TV+ (Video is just easier!), CNet (for everything tech news & reviews), Google Maps (for travel, routing, and contact information), Vivino (I love wine!), Yahoo! Sports (fantasy sports) and Pandora (sorry that I broke the rule of three apps!).

What do you think of the emergence of the Chief Digital Officer role?

I am excited that the role has hit the ground running, and with the emergence of ‘Digital First’ initiatives within key functions across industries such as sales, marketing and procurement, I expect the role to stay relevant for a very long time. My hope is that all CDO roles earn the right to report directly to the CEO in the future. I am also impressed with the diverse backgrounds CDOs bring to the role, as you don’t just have to be an IT professional to receive the keys to the Digital Kingdom.

What advice do you have for aspiring digital professionals?

Obtain your college degree vs digital certifications only; similar to the Y2K and the IT Technician era, certain digital channels may become over-saturated with digital professionals, which may decrease both demand and pay for digital channel experts. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you still have a solid business and/or technical foundation, versus only securing a digital certification. To be fair, I had several certifications many years ago as an IT consultant (in order to stay up to date), but I also had a computer science degree as my foundation.

What three publications – in any format – do you read regularly? ​​

Harvard Business Review, Fortune CEO Daily, and TechCrunch.


Connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

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