Women in Tech | Lori Cunningham, Head of Digital and Business Development at Vodafone

This International Women’s Day, we wanted to celebrate by sharing some of the inspiring stories behind the women who work here at Vodafone. Meet Lori Cunningham, VP of Digital and Business Development. She’s got an exciting CV and joined our team during the COVID19 pandemic. Once she virtually settled in, her goal became reaching as far and wide with life-changing smart tech. In the world of digital innovation, customer-driven innovation excites her. Lori also reveals what ‘think big’ and ‘deliver big’ means to her as a part of the Vodafone team. Let’s dive in.

Compared with your previous roles at AOL and Net-A-Porter, what have your first couple of months at Vodafone been like so far?

I suppose the key difference has been the fact that I have joined Vodafone during a period of remote working!  It has been somewhat surreal to onboard virtually, and now have colleagues who I feel like I know well, but have never in fact met in person!  Beyond that, from a work point of view, it has been very similar to my previous roles.  At both AOL and Net a Porter, we were scaling a market.  In the case of AOL, it was internet connectivity, first narrowband, and then broadband.  At Net a Porter, we were building eCommerce in the high-end, luxury space.  Here at Vodafone Smart Tech, we are creating market-leading, best in class products to connect people with the things, places, and people they treasure most.  In doing so, we are driving and scaling the Smart Tech category from both connectivity and product perspective.  So, in some ways, it’s like a combination of both my previous roles, with the same ambition of growth!

Tech, like fashion, is constantly evolving; what are some ways you and your team are innovating and transforming Vodafone digitally?

The technology landscape is constantly evolving, with new products and platforms entering the market.  I think one of the facts that often gets forgotten is that evolution is driven by the customer, not the technology, and the solutions and products that last are the ones that make life easier and better for their customers.  Therefore, the way we innovate digitally is to constantly reassess how we can best meet our customers’ needs and make their experiences with us as best as possible.  We test, learn and innovate daily.

What do you ultimately hope to achieve in your role here at Vodafone?

My ambition is to transform as many customer’s lives as possible through the magic of Smart Tech.  That means, as I said above, creating a best-in-class eCommerce platform to educate and deliver our products across all our European Vodafone markets.  It also means reaching customers outside our core markets.  We have created world-leading products, and therefore I aim to bring those products to customers around the world.

Are there any unique challenges of satisfying both the commercial and the digital side of the business?

I don’t see challenges working across both Digital and Business Development, but I do opportunities.  We have a unique Digital platform within Vodafone that we control end to end.  It means that we can move quickly to use that platform to create while creating custom eCommerce experiences for some of our significant B2B2C partners which will help us scale our business quickly and efficiently.  It also means we already have a scalable, D2C eCommerce solution that we can launch in any market where we see potential and opportunity.

How has working for a tech leader like Vodafone changed the way you think and work?

I have worked in technology for a few decades now, so the sector is not new to me.  That said, Vodafone has brought a unique global perspective.  While I have worked in multinational corporates before, I have never been in an organization with such scale and reach.  So, while I have always embraced the mantra of ‘think big’, Vodafone gives us all an opportunity to ‘deliver big’ in the Smart Tech category, which is truly exciting.

Want to learn more about women in tech at Vodafone? 

Discover our Women in Tech interview series:

Becki Lake, Global Product Lead for Curve 

Pamela Brown, CMO, Smart Tech

Jessica Kyte, Head of Product, Including Neo

If you would like to learn more about roles in roles at Vodafone please don’t hesitate to have a look at our careers page or get in touch. You can also look at our career advice for women looking to start out, progress or lead in tech.

About the Author

Curated by the in-house team.

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In-House Editor

In-House Editor

Curated by the in-house team.

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