UPS’ first female CEO, Carol B. Tomé, leading with vision and compassion

UPS CEO Carol B. Tomé
(Last Updated On: October 8, 2023)

Carol B. Tomé’s journey to becoming the CEO of United Parcel Service (UPS) is a story of dedication, leadership, and a relentless commitment to excellence. Her rise to the top of one of the world’s largest and most iconic logistics companies is nothing short of inspiring.

Early start

Born in 1957, Carol Tomé grew up with a strong work ethic instilled by her parents. She understood the value of hard work and determination from a young age, and these qualities would serve as the foundation for her remarkable career.

After earning a degree in communication from the University of Wyoming and an MBA from the University of Denver, Carol Tomé embarked on her professional journey. She initially joined the management team at Northwest Airlines, where she held various finance and planning positions. Her analytical skills and strategic thinking quickly caught the attention of her colleagues and superiors.

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In 2001, Carol took a significant step in her career when she joined The Home Depot, a leading home improvement retailer. Her role as the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) was pivotal in helping the company navigate through challenging times. Her leadership during the 2008 financial crisis was particularly noteworthy, as she played a key role in strengthening the company’s financial position.

Commitment to excellence

However, it was her unwavering commitment to operational excellence and customer satisfaction that truly set Carol Tomé apart. Her “whatever it takes” attitude and emphasis on customer-centric strategies became a hallmark of her leadership style. She led by example, rolling up her sleeves and working alongside employees at all levels of the organization.

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In June 2020, Carol Tomé assumed the role of CEO at UPS, becoming the first woman to lead the company in its 113-year history. Her arrival at UPS came at a critical time, as the COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges to the global logistics industry.

Embracing innovation and technology

As CEO, Carol Tomé’s leadership style continued to shine. She embraced innovation and technology, recognizing their potential to enhance UPS’s capabilities and meet the evolving needs of customers. Under her guidance, UPS expanded its healthcare logistics capabilities and bolstered its sustainability efforts, pledging to be carbon neutral by 2050.

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But it wasn’t just about corporate strategies and financial success. Carol Tomé prioritized the well-being of UPS employees, particularly during the pandemic. She implemented safety measures, provided financial assistance to frontline workers, and demonstrated empathy and care for the UPS family.

Carol’s journey from a young woman with a passion for communication to the CEO of a global logistics giant is a testament to her leadership style—a blend of strategic vision, operational excellence, and unwavering dedication to the people she serves.

Her story serves as an inspiration to aspiring leaders, demonstrating that with hard work, integrity, and a focus on both customers and employees, success knows no bounds. Carol B. Tomé continues to lead UPS with a pioneering spirit, leaving an indelible mark on the company and the logistics industry as a whole.