DIY home improvement projects, gardening, farming and the arts for UPS’s first female CEO

Published: Monday, June 14, 2021

Talk about Home Depot and immediately, Carol B. Tomé’s name comes to mind. She’s the woman behind this home improvement retailer’s huge success, growing it from 400 stores to more than 2,200 globally with revenues of nearly $100 billion.

The Atlanta-born financial expert first joined Home Depot, the largest home improvement retailer in the United States, supplying tools, construction products and services, as vice president/treasurer in 1995 when the company sought for expansion in Mexico.

In 2001, Tomé was promoted as Home Depot’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and is widely credited for helping the company emerge from the 2008-2009 financial and housing crisis. She was among the highest paid CFOs in the country commanding a six-figure salary plus stock awards.

While still with Home Depot, Tomé was tapped to serve the Board of Directors of UPS from 2003 onwards. Last year, while relishing her free time after retiring from Home Depot, she was offered the job to lead UPS, one of the world’s largest parcel delivery companies and a global leader in logistics with presence in more than 220 countries.

Tomé gladly accepted the offer, thus, becoming the first female and 12th CEO in UPS’s 113-year history.

“UPS is a company with a proud past and an even brighter future. Our values define us. Our culture differentiates us. Our strategy drives us. At UPS we are customer first, people led and innovation driven,” said the 64-year-old Tomé.

Under Tomé’s leadership, UPS sailed through the pandemic seamlessly and achieved record high earnings. During the fourth quarter of 2020, UPS revenues jumped 21% to $24.9 billion from $20.6 billion during the same quarter in 2019.

Its first-quarter 2021 consolidated revenue reached $22.9 billion, a 27% increase over the first quarter of 2020. Consolidated average daily volume increased 14.3% year over year. Consolidated operating profit was $2.8 billion, up 158% compared to the first quarter of 2020, and up 164% on an adjusted basis.

The number speaks volumes about Tomé’s successful formula in making things better and bigger for UPS despite being an outsider CEO.

A native of Jackson, Wyoming, Tome holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from the University of Wyoming and a Master’s Degree in Finance from the University of Denver.

She began her career as a commercial lender with United Bank of Denver (now Wells Fargo) and then spent several years as Director of Banking for Johns-Mansville Corporation. Prior to joining The Home Depot, she was Vice President and Treasurer of Riverwood International Corporation.

She serves as a trustee or board member for a number of organizations including Grady Hospital Foundation, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Sovos Brands, Catalyst, and GIA Partners. She is also a member of The Committee of 200, The Buckhead Coalition, The Business Roundtable and The Business Council.

She’s a busy bee, needless, to say. And in her spare time, she finds joy doing DIY restoration projects, gardening, farming and supporting the arts.

In a LinkedIn podcast interview, Tomé shares this career advice: “Go for your passion. What makes your heart sing? Go into it, lean into it. Every day should be a joyful day and just go where your passions are. Don’t be too planful because if you’re too planful, you’ll miss out on opportunities that will present themselves to you. And my very favorite quote, in terms of just how to think about your career comes from Maya Angelou. She said, ‘Don’t make money your goal, instead do what you love and do it so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.’ I just love that.”