THE ASSERTIVE & COURAGEOUS LEADER
Everyone can accomplish so much, no matter what the limitations may be. You just gotta believe to achieve.
Ann-Marie Campbell is executive vice president of U.S. stores and international operations, leading more than 2,200 stores and more than 400,000 associates, as well as supply chain, merchandising, sourcing and strategy for The Home Depot Canada and The Home Depot Mexico.
Ann-Marie began her career with The Home Depot in 1985 as a cashier in South Florida, to help pay her way through college. One day in 1989, vice president Lynn Martineau came to the branch for a "store walk" with the employees, and when he asked a question, Ann-Marie volunteered the answer. Impressed by her assertiveness, Lynn became her mentor, encouraging her to pursue promotions in other store operations such as merchandising, sales and marketing.
Ann-Marie’s tenacity and resilience has led her to climb the ranks at Home Depot. Over the years, she has served in a variety of positions, including store manager, district manager and regional vice president. She has also served as vice president of operations, vice president of merchandising and special orders, vice president of retail marketing and sales for Home Depot Direct, vice president of vendor services and president of the Southern Division.
Ann-Marie’s strength is her willingness to experiment. She really knows how to drive change. She’s naturally iterative and understands how to fail fast and move on. She is known to be a great implementer of new processes and ideas. Whether its investments in omnichannel retailing, last-mile distribution, eCommerce, Ann-Marie is bold to drive initiatives that drive both sales and foot traffic. It's a skill she has honed with years of experience driving a fleet of hundreds of stores.
After Hurricane Andrew devastated southern Florida in 1992, destroying a Home Depot branch in south Miami, Campbell managed the store in the parking lot "with bricks, building materials and mobile cash registers. Her ability to rise to the occasion, provide clear direction and find ways to inspire people makes her unique and speaks of her courageous leadership.
Ann-Marie believes in empowering others to succeed. Employee surveys, town halls, and regular manager meetings all help her to be in tune with how "her workers" are doing, but it's walking the floor that gives her the most insight. Every time she performs a store walk-through, she is looking for opportunities to advance others. From one-on-one conversations to town hall meetings with associates, Ann-Marie is constantly coaching. She understands first-hand what it’s like to serve in their roles, and she also appreciates their potential. "Everyone can accomplish so much, no matter what the limitations may be. You just gotta believe to achieve.”
She learned her first lessons in retail from her grandmother in Jamaica, who owned a small furniture store and had a reputation for friendly, top-notch customer service. "I learnt the importance of serving others and having an entrepreneurial spirit. My grandma constantly reminded me to be 'always thinking ahead,' work hard and never give up," recalls Ann-Marie.
However, there was one instance where Ann-Marie wanted to give up. She had come back from maternity leave with her second son and wanted to quit the job. The news reached her then boss, Lynn Martineau who flew in and surprised Ann-Marie in the parking lot. "I had bad numbers, bad shrinks [returns], and every Monday on the company conference call, I was being pounded on everything. And I had two kids under 4," she explains. Lynn patiently heard and told her that she was being promoted to to district manager, with 13 stores under her leadership. "I was completely overwhelmed," she says. Lynn had observed Ann-Marie's assertive talent and recognized her good instincts and simply wanted to put her where she can grow. Back then the company was still young and growing fast and it was people like Ann-Marie who made the difference.
Living Home Depot’s values is a passion for Ann-Marie. She is an active Team Depot volunteer, working side by side with other associates to give back to local communities. She serves as the board chair of The Homer Fund, a charity that supports Home Depot associates facing unexpected financial hardship. She is also on the board of the Georgia Aquarium and Workday.
Ann-Marie is a graduate of Georgia State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in business administration. She is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, an international business honor society and the National Scholars Honor Society.
After more than 35 years with the company, Ann-Marie brings a deep understanding of The Home Depot’s operations, culture and customers. From championing change and diversity to showing confidence in others to empowering others to succeed, Ann-Marie embodies traits that make a bold leader.
Ann-Marie's advice for professionals aspiring to be future leaders
- There are three lessons that have served me well throughout my career: work hard, genuinely connect with people, and never stop learning.
- There is no substitute for hard work. But hard work alone is not enough – you can’t do it all alone.
- No matter where you are in your career, you need to genuinely connect with people.
- Other people can help you, teach you and push you to be more successful.
- Success takes a team of great people, diverse in thought and action, who foster an environment of inclusiveness and know how to unleash the power of a team.
- For me, I am constantly walking stores and asking for honest feedback from our associates that interact with customers in the aisles every day.
- And lastly, change is constant. You must adapt but challenge the status quo and push boundaries to drive innovation and growth. This takes continuous learning and growth.
EVP - U.S. Stores & International Operations, The Home Depot
THE ASSERTIVE & COURAGEOUS LEADER