The Day the CEO of Chanel came to Microsoft

One of the fantastic things Microsoft employees AND alumni get as a benefit is the ability to see and hear amazing speakers.


This week the former Global CEO of Chanel, Maureen Chiquet, visited and gave an incredible talk where she covered The Imposter Syndrome, Active Listening, and Deconstructionism. And, a whole lot more … including Creating Desire.

Think about what the customer CRAVES. … Not what they want. Create Desire!  (click2tweet)

Microsoft Alumni Network - puck (jpg)Outside in --- The Semi-Secret Hidden Benefit

  • If you are a Microsoft employee … you should know this
  • If you are a Microsoft Alumni … you should also know this
  • Yes, this is a heads up that being a Microsoft Alumni has Benefits

Back to Maureen. First off, she is an amazing speaker with an equally amazing career. I didn’t know her history with The Gap, with launching Old Navy … or that she was the President of Banana Republic. All this before she took on the role of first ever Global CEO at the luxury brand Chanel.


Through it all she took an approach that anyone can emulate. I think that’s what resonated most with me. She has a very approachable style, she’s a listener, and she touched upon the idea of asking great questions too.

Asking great questions is an art (and it takes time to learn)

Then she spoke about the follow on Art of Listening. Which is equally challenging and probably twice as hard (given the ratio of Ears to Mouth).

She had a great story about being a Horse Whisperer too. You’ll have to read the book. But, the gist is …

horses don't lie and they are not political

Kudos to MS Social Maven Dona Sarkar for a great interview. The interviewer can make all the difference. And, Dona being at the center of Fashion and Technology made this a fun, interactive and engaging interview.

"Fashion is Engineering"
~ Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar (click2tweet)

imageMaureen is on a book tour now for “Beyond the Label: Women, Leadership & Success” and I highly recommend you pick up a copy.

I think you’ll be surprised at her candor and how she went from launching the Old Navy brand to being the President of Banana Republic to leading the luxury brand Chanel.

Where for almost 10 years she lead the company as the first ever Global CEO.

I also posted this about Maureen’s visit on Facebook. It truly was one of the best Outside in events I’ve seen. Kudos to the Outside in team for keeping up the great work and bringing in diverse speakers.

Fantastic Outside in today with the former Global CEO of CHANELMaureen Chiquet. Perhaps the best one I've ever attended. She has a great perspective and has had an incredible career. Perhaps her next step will be a role at Microsoft.

She spoke about her book "Beyond the Label: Women, Leadership & Success" and was interviewed by Microsoftie Dona Sarkar. Dona had a great point about the parallels between Fashion and Tech.

Attending these is another benefit of being a Microsoft Alumni Network - Official member. Watch this space for a follow on blog post. #msftalum



What Did You Learn when the CEO of Chanel visited Microsoft? (click2tweet)

Thank you to Maureen for sharing your story. to Dona for helping Maureen share her story in such an engaging manner, and to the Microsoft Outside in team for making it possible.

How can you attend these Outside in events as a Microsoft Alumni?

It’s never been easier. Visit here to become a MSA member today. We post these events to the Microsoft Alumni Network events page.

Come Visit Us - If you are in the Seattle area … consider joining us on campus for a Discover the Microsoft Alumni Network event. The next one is on May 23rd at 10:30am in building 111. Details and info — pre-register* here.

Your next chapter begins with the best-connected alumni network on the planet. We’re united by our common belief that we can make a big, positive difference in the world. The power to do this is in our connection to each other. We look forward to meeting you!


clip_image001Jeff is business advisor, mentor and community engagement expert. He has spent most of his career in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2.

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I am a a contributing author to Entrepreneur Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog with over 250 articles published.