Making acquisitions or divesting assets isn't easy. Melanie Kalmar's work in that area for Dow Chemical has won her the 2018 CIO Innovation Award from Forbes.
Kalmar is chief information officer for Midland, Mich.-based Dow. She was honored by Forbes for her leadership in developing a platform that supports Dow's acquisition and divestiture activities by providing services and technologies to joint ventures and divested entities and affiliates, including tenants, Dow officials said in an April 19 news release.
The annual award recognizes CIOs who are pushing the boundaries of their role and harnessing innovation to drive significant revenue growth, they added. The award was presented during the Forbes CIO Summit on April 16. Kalmar also serves as chief digital officer and as a corporate vice president for Dow.
The platform that Kalmar developed allows Dow to provide business services to companies that have been acquired or divested for as long as needed, helping them operate so they can focus on their business agenda and provide products to their customer base without interruption, they said.
The platform also has allowed the company to reduce the cost of separation activities and to shorten the duration of transactions. It proved instrumental during Dow's merger with DuPont last year, officials added, enabling a faster transaction.
Plastics and chemicals giants Dow and DuPont Co. merged in 2016 to form DowDuPont Inc. That firm plans to split into three separate public firms — including a new Dow and a new DuPont — in 2019.
Dow CEO-elect Jim Fitterling said in the release that the architecture and tenant capability developed by Kalmar and Dow's IT team "allows us to be proactive and extremely agile during business transitions."
"This is a team accomplishment that involved many talented people," Kalmar said in the release. "It also shows how information systems combines creativity with technology to deliver innovative ideas that support a business strategy."
Kalmar joined Dow in 1987 and has held a number of IT-based roles during her 31-year career.