06 Dec 2017

Puzzle Master

Alumna leads game-changing acquisition


Photo via Black Enterprise

When kitchen goods and home furnishings retailer Williams-Sonoma announced its acquisition of Outward, Inc.—a leading 3-D imaging and augmented reality platform—the $112 million deal demonstrated the growing movement in the retail industry towards digital experiences that enhance customer engagement. In an interview with Black Enterprise, Williams-Sonoma Vice President and Head of Strategy & Business Anddria Clack-Rogers Varnado (MBA 2014) said, “Technology has always been a part of our business strategy—we have a prominent eCommerce business relative to other omnichannel retailers, our data scientists and digital marketing experts optimize our content to deliver a superior and customized customer experience, and we often pilot new partnerships and integrations across industries.”

A leader in securing the deal, Clack-Rogers Varnado had this advice for those interested in mergers & acquisitions: “...the best thing you can do is to develop an expert-level knowledge or—if applicable—execute one of the many workstreams required for a successful transaction,” she said, citing the value of practicing valuation analysis, building cap tables, and developing an industry perspective by staying current on relevant news. “Every new business transaction is different; it’s like a puzzle,” she commented. “You know what you want the result to be, but there are many paths you can take to put it together, which makes the process both exciting and challenging.”


Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 2014, Section E

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