Rachel Morford, President of the Society of Women Engineers, speaks with Annette Clayton, who is the chief executive officer and president of North America Operations for Schneider Electric. They discuss her strategies for leading the largest business region for the most sustainable company in the world and the real-world impacts of sustainable choices. They also discuss her career in the male-dominated manufacturing sector.
Chief Executive Officer & President
North America Operations for Schneider Electric
Annette Clayton serves as the chief executive officer & president of North America Operations for Schneider Electric.
Clayton is responsible for driving business strategy and execution of the Group’s largest operating region comprised of 30,000 employees that generated sales of more than $8.8 billion in 2020. She is a member of the company’s Executive Committee and is based in Boston, Massachusetts.
Through December 2019, she also held the title of Chief Supply Chain Officer and led the $13.4 billion Global Supply Chain (GSC) operation. GSC is comprised of about 86,000 employees and encompasses 207 manufacturing factories and 98 distribution centers in 44 countries that Gartner ranked as No. 4 globally in their annual Top 25 list. Clayton’s scope also included overseeing the company’s Customer Satisfaction & Quality, and Safety, Environment and Real Estate organizations.
Prior to joining Schneider Electric in 2011, Clayton served as the vice president, Global Operations, Dell, and led the transformation of its global supply chain and fulfillment model aimed at providing the lowest cost and best value of products for the company’s wide array of customers. She previously served as the vice president, Dell Americas Operations, and oversaw the manufacturing and fulfillment operations in the Americas region. Clayton was also responsible for the commercial order management and customer care operations for the region’s 20 sites in 16 countries.
From 1983 to 2006 Clayton worked at General Motors Corporation in senior management roles, including the president of Saturn Corporation. In this capacity she oversaw its strategic direction, financial accountability, and profit and loss responsibility. She was also a member of the company’s North American Strategy Board and served as the vice president of Quality, among other production, engineering and management positions.
Clayton chairs the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and is a board of director for the National Association of Manufacturers. She represents Schneider Electric’s innovation at the edge investments by serving on the AlphaStruxure board, a joint venture with The Carlyle Group aimed at delivering energy-as-a-service in a renewable manner including the use of microgrids. She also holds board positions with Uplight, a Schneider Electric financially backed technology partner for energy providers and the clean energy ecosystem, and with Qmerit, a green energy leader that simplifies the adoption of electrification products for residential and small business markets. She is also a board of director for two publicly held companies, Duke Energy, where she serves on their Audit and Operations & Nuclear Oversight committees, and NXP Semiconductors, where she serves as a non-executive director and compensation committee member.
Clayton graduated from Wright State University with a bachelor’s degree in general engineering and obtained a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Dayton. She has also completed the London Business School executive development program.
Clayton brings to Schneider Electric years of experience in manufacturing, engineering operations, quality and productivity improvements, business process and strategic development, operational planning, budgeting and cost controls, labor relations and strategic partnerships, M&A, business development, and governance.
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