Ann M. Fudge
Ann Marie Fudge (born April 23, 1951) serves on a number of corporate boards, including those of General Electric, Novartis, Unilever and Infosys, as well as on several non-profit boards. She is former chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands, a global network of marketing communications companies. In 2010, Fudge served on President Barack Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
Early life and education
Fudge was born and raised in Washington, DC and attended the city's Catholic schools through 12th grade. "She cited the riots she lived through after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a 'hurtful' but formative experience. 'They made me incredibly determined,' she said. 'I wanted to do something that black people hadn't done before. When I hit roadblocks, that was what kept me going.' ... She grew up middle class in Washington, the first of two children born to a mother who was a manager at the National Security Agency and a father who was an administrator at the Postal Service. They stressed education ... and [Fudge also] credits the nuns for pushing her to do her best."
Fudge is a graduate of Simmons College and Harvard Business School, earning respectively BA (honors) in retail management, 1973; and MBA, 1977. In 1998, HBS Prof. Stephen A. Greyser recalled Fudge as "a solid citizen, a solid student."
Discussing her educational choices with Business Week in 2004, she said "When I was at Simmons College, I had this great professor -- Margaret Hennig. She was the one who encouraged me to think about business and apply to Harvard Business School. She and Ann Jardim wrote the first book on women in business, called The Managerial Woman, and founded the Simmons Graduate School of Business. I applied to Harvard Business School my senior year."
One job Fudge had while still in high school was with the Teen Board at Hecht's department store. The job included advising on teen-age fashions and a trip to fashion magazines in New York. After college, Fudge worked in the human resources department of the General Electric Company before pursuing her MBA.
After Harvard, Fudge spent nine years at General Mills. "Her biggest accomplishment there, she said, was her part as a marketing assistant on the team that developed Honey Nut Cheerios. Today, it's one of the nation's biggest cereal brands." Fudge then served, ultimately, as president of the beverages, desserts and Post division, a $5 billion unit of Kraft Foods. At Kraft, she served on the management committee and managed many businesses including Maxwell House coffee, Gevalia kaffe, Kool Aid, Crystal Light, Post Cereals, Jell-O desserts, and Altoids.
In 1998, Fudge was named by Fortune magazine as 30th on the 50 Most Influential Women in American Business list (Carly Fiorina #1 Oprah Winfrey #2), while she was executive vice president at Kraft. At the time, coffee and cereals for which Fudge was responsible accounted for $2.7 billion (16%) of Kraft's $16.8 billion in sales. She also at the time sat on the boards of AlliedSignal, Liz Claiborne, (both as of 1993) and Catalyst, Inc.
In 2001, after a year as president of the beverages et al. division at Kraft, "Fudge decided to retire. She related to Business Week that her choice to leave Kraft was based on a number of reasons. She had had a goal of retiring before age 50; she had dealt with the recent illness and death of her parents, some close friends and relatives. 'To be honest, I still haven't figured it out. ... It was definitely not dissatisfaction. It was stepping back and saying, "What are you really here for? What do you really want to accomplish?"' She spent two years reconnecting with friends and family and delving into community work. Her charitable work included work with a number of organizations, including the Executive Leadership Council, a non-profit group of high-level African-American leaders in business, the Boys and Girls Club of America, Partnership for a Drug-Free America, and the United Way, among others. From her time away, Fudge became inspired by the power individuals have to make a difference in the world."
Following the sabbatical, Fudge served as chair and chief executive officer of Young & Rubicam Brands from 2003 to 2007. In 2004, Business Week summed up some of the challenges facing her, saying Y&R "has suffered through poor management and a messy merger in recent years. The various units tend to work in isolation. The ad agency has lost some big clients. And employees are disgruntled ... [including] reports of animosity between Fudge and creative head Michael Patti."
As of 2011, Fudge served on the boards of directors of General Electric, Novartis, and Unilever. She also served as chair of the U.S. Programs Advisory Board of The Gates Foundation; and she was a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, Brookings Institution, the Council on Foreign Relations and Morehouse College. She has been a Morehouse trustee since April 2006. She has also served on the board of Buzzient, Inc, and served as vice chair of the Harvard Board of Overseers.
In June 2011, it was announced that Fudge would join the board of Indian technology and outsourcing company Infosys on October 1, 2011, as an Additional Director. Fudge was at the time the sole woman on the board, and was recruited by retiring founder NR Narayana Murthy and nominations committee chair Jeffrey S. Lehman. Murthy had served also on the Unilever board and knew Fudge from there.
Political involvement and public service
In early 2010, Fudge, an independent voter, was named by President Obama to the 18-member National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, a bipartisan panel chaired by former Senator Alan K. Simpson, (R-WY), and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles (D). The balance of the panel was three more members appointed by the President, six members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and six members of the U.S. Senate. The commission first met on April 27, 2010 and had a December report deadline. Though specific actions based on the report were limited, commission members who were also members of Congress reappeared in the so-called Gang of Six in spring and summer, 2011, in the debt-ceiling-increase debate.
In September, 2010, Fudge was listed as one of several possible candidates to replace Larry Summers as director of the National Economic Council. Some reports signalled that the White House could be looking for a female executive with business experience to fill the post.
In September, 2011, Fudge joined in the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) "Go Big" forum. CRFB, along with the New America Foundation, the Concord Coalition, and the Bipartisan Policy Center "discuss[ed] the path ahead for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (Super Committee) and the reasons it should exceed its mandate".
As a sophomore at Simmons, Ann married Rich Fudge. Before she graduated, they had a baby, Rich Jr. She had to balance personal and academic/professional demands from that early stage on. "Her fondest memory from General Mills ... involved her younger son, Kevin, then 9. Ms. Fudge had just been made a marketing director, the first woman and the first black at that level. 'I came home all excited, and was telling my family, and he said: "What's the big deal, mom? So now instead of one brand, you have four. You can do that." He was right. My sons have helped keep things in perspective.'"
Fudge is also noted for having pursued her career despite the glass ceiling which has been seen to thwart promotion to the top ranks, facing women and minorities in the corporate workforce particularly. And, in regards Fudge's relatively early moves out of jobs, the 2004 Business Week article also included a sidebar on four "other women [who] left high-powered positions in the corporate world to find a place where they could work on their own terms."
- "Ann Fudge Biography", jrank.org. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- "Way Beyond the Glass Ceiling", by Judith H. Dobrzyski, The New York Times, May 11, 1995. Retrieved 2010-06-15 via jrank.org bio.
- "President Obama Appoints Morehouse Trustee Ann Fudge to Fiscal Commission", Morehouse press release by Add Seymour Jr., March 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- "Ann Fudge on Making Choices: The Young & Rubicam CEO talks about the benefits of stepping away from work and how her priorities changed because of it." Interview with Diane Brady; also "Act Two" cover image of Ann Fudge; "A Family Portrait", an assessment of six Young & Rubicam operations; and "Ann Fudge's Self-Help Program", "how Ann Fudge wants to change" Y&R; all from Bloomberg BusinessWeek, March 29, 2004. A source for the jrank.org bio. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- "All Mississippi stores had a prominent teen board ...."; for another example of the term. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- Board of Directors biography, Council on Foreign Relations website. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- "Fortune's First annual look at the Women who most influence Corporate America", by Julie Creswell, Reporter, Associate, Dina Bass, Fortune, October 12, 1998. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- Catalyst, Inc. Board list; Ann Fudge is listed as Honorary Director a/o 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-15 via jrank.org bio.
- "Leadership Lessons with Ann Fudge", Commonwealth Institute webpage. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
- Ann M. Fudge, Economic Club of Minnesota webpage. Retrieved 2011-05-25. The new biography for this and the Commonwealth Institute engagements in 2011 (nearly or completely identical) did not mention Fudge's service on the NCFRR.
- Trustees, Brookings webpage. Retrieved 2012-08-24.
- "Infosys announces appointment of new members to the Board", Infosys press release, June 11, 2011.
- Mishra, Pankaj, "NR Narayana Murthy wants a woman leader on Infosys board", The Economic Times, June 6, 2011 06.27am IST. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
- "NACD Announces the 2011 Directorship 100 ...", PR Newswire press release via MarketWatch, September 19, 2011, 9:30 a.m. EDT. Retrieved 2011-10-17.
- "Congratulations to the NACD Directorship 100 Hall of Fame, The Class of 2011 and People to Watch!", NACD webpage. Retrieved 2011-10-17.
- Wingfield, Brian, "Political Favorites on Obama’s Deficit Panel", Forbes Business in The Beltway blog, Feb. 26 2010 1:57 pm. Retrieved 2011-07-22.
- White House: Getting to the Root Causes of Our Fiscal Challenges
- Simpson, Alan and Erskine Bowles, "The Gang of Six is our best shot", Washington Post opinion column, June 2, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-22.
- Henderson, Stephen, "Time runs short, but Gang of Six plan is worth pursuing", Detroit Free Press, July 21, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-22.
- "Factbox: Potential candidates to replace Summers", Reuters, Sep. 21, 2010 11:37pm EDT. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
- Thrush, Glenn and Kendra Marr, "Woman CEO sought for Summers job", Politico, Sep. 21, 2010 9:20 PM EDT. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
- Alden, William, "Who Will Replace Larry Summers? The Possible Candidates To Head White House Economic Team (PHOTOS)", The Huffington Post, Sep. 22, 2010 09:57 AM updated Sep. 22, 2010 11:16 AM. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
- "CRFB Go Big Event Recap", CRFB webpage. Retrieved 2011-10-17.
- "An Office of their Own", Bloomberg BusinessWeek, March 29, 2004. Briefly profiled in the sidebar: Brenda Barnes of Pepsi-Cola; Geraldine Laybourne of Nickelodeon/Disney; Ellen Marram, Tropicana (and as of 2011 a director of Ford Motor Company); and Mary Lou Quinlan of N.W. Ayer. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- "On Leadership: Ann Fudge on coming in as an outsider", interview by Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post, March 1, 2011, video.
- "Ann Fudge on Being Your Authentic Self", YouTube video, Feb 15, 2011, The Commonwealth Institute.