Old Navy

December 6, 2019

With 2020 around the corner, the end of the year is the perfect time to pause and reflect. As Old Navy continues to grow and evolve, each new year brings change. We asked three incredible #greatbosses for their advice on how to successfully navigate ambiguity and change, so that each of us are set up to rock the new year + beyond!

Read on to hear from Jennifer Ferrando, Aaron Cowperthwaite and Lisa Williamson about managing change #likeaboss and what makes them #oldnavyproud!

Jennifer Ferrando, Senior Director, Buying

CHANGE YOU’VE EXPERIENCED: In 2011, I shifted from running a U.S. business to an international business. From digesting the change in scope (from small, low-level detail to a broader span of control), to understanding the customer shopping patterns needs, and working cross-functionally with others in different time zones. Having both experiences has given me a well-rounded perspective on running businesses.

YOUR ADVICE FOR NAVIGATING CHANGE: Do your best to understand why things are changing. If you can get on board with the “why,” the process of change becomes easier to digest.

WHAT MAKES YOU #OLDNAVYPROUD: The cohesiveness of our values – family first, focused goals and a winning spirit.​

Aaron Cowperthwaite, VP of HQ Visual Merchandising and Brand Styling

CHANGE YOU’VE EXPERIENCED: Prior to working at Old Navy, I’d spent my entire career at smaller niche brands, serving a very limited customer base. My first year with ON was eye opening – this business is huge and serves everyone through the democracy of style. Every decision we make has the potential for a massive impact, and there’s a great sense of responsibility that comes with that. I’ve learned and grown more in the last seven years at Old Navy than in all my time at other brands.

YOUR ADVICE FOR NAVIGATING CHANGE: Instead of dwelling on the discomfort that can bring, embrace any ambiguity and capitalize on the opportunity to innovate. 

WHAT MAKES YOU #OLDNAVYPROUD: Our ability to reach so many customers, and truly make an impact on people’s lives.

Lisa Williamson, Senior Director, Omni Buying

CHANGE YOU’VE EXPERIENCED: I’ve experienced organizational changes, changes in leadership, and the evolution of my own leadership journey (going from individual contributor, to leading through influence, becoming a leader of others, and then a leader of leaders). I’ve also had two jobs eliminated throughout my career. Everything seems big in the moment, and in that moment it is. But through reflection you learn that change, big and small, ultimately leads to something positive whether it be an opportunity to learn a new skill, build new relationships, expand your scope, or pivot into something entirely different. The positive outcome of change is limitless if you think beyond the here and now.

YOUR ADVICE FOR NAVIGATING CHANGE: Change is inevitable, but everyone handles change differently. Some may find it exciting, while others may find it stressful. My advice is to be honest, ask questions, and be open to the possibilities that come from change. Most importantly, don’t let the change become a distraction. Focus on the things that are in your control and strive to do your best job every day.

WHAT MAKES YOU #OLDNAVYPROUD: The people, the culture, the values, and the energy that we are fortunate to be a part of. We’re not just a family brand, we’re actually a family. We celebrate everything that makes us unique and diverse, and that’s pretty special.


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