Karen Quintos, Dell and the Ultimate Differentiator

Specialization in the C-suite is becoming increasingly common, and a role that is starting to gain more visibility is the . Still, only a small percentage of enterprises currently employ CCOs, and few, if any, business schools offer formal course tracks for the position.

By their nature, successful business and business organizations must be customer-centric. So why would an organization need a senior executive and team that focuses solely on customers and customer relationships?

To develop a better understanding of the CCO role, how it shapes business strategy and how it enhances an organization’s relationship with its customers and partners, I recently spoke with Karen Quintos, who became ’s EVP and CCO in 2016, and is also the company’s highest ranking woman executive.

Quintos believes that customer relationships are the ultimate differentiator for companies in all industries. With this in mind, she took a unique approach to defining her CCO responsibilities. In addition to leading Dell’s customer advocacy and experience programs, she also has responsibility for Dell’s strategy and programs for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Diversity & Inclusion, and Entrepreneurship – business imperatives that she found really matter to customers.

Quintos joined Dell in 2000 and held a number of VP positions before becoming the company’s SVP and CMO in 2010. Prior to Dell, Quintos was Citigroup’s VP of Global Operations and Technology. She also spent 12 years with Merck in marketing, operations and supply chain leadership positions.

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NOTE: This column was originally published in the .

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