Born in Ibadan, Nigeria, coming of age in the U.K., and succeeding in a career that has spanned the entire world, Fumbi Chima (pictured) is a living embodiment of the modern American dream.
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The last of six children raised by a widowed mother, Chima grew up understanding the value of hard work and had great expectations for herself. However, she did not anticipate becoming one of the most-influential women of color in technology.
Chima is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Walmart Asia, one of the world’s largest corporations. As CIO, she provides vision and leadership for developing and implementing information technology initiatives that align with Walmart’s objectives and leads IT strategic and operational planning to achieve the company’s goals by fostering innovation, prioritizing IT initiatives, and coordinating the evaluation, deployment, and management of current and future IT systems across the organization.
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The first step in Chima’s journey to her “destiny,” as she describes it, began at Price Waterhouse, where she took a post as a Management Consultant. This early opportunity provided Chima with the foundation to strive to be the best she could be at all times and in all situations.
After Price Waterhouse, Chima moved to New York to take up a position at JP Morgan Chase and then at American Express. On the advice of her husband, Chima then took a position at Walmart, where her focus (imbued in her by her family since childhood) and her versatility (acquired over the course of her brilliant career) became invaluable assets.
At Walmart, Chima rose through the ranks easily, executing effectively and delivering efficiently on every opportunity and responsibility. In early 2014, Chima was bestowed the most important responsibility yet in her career: moving to Hong Kong to become the Chief Information Office for Walmart’s Asian operations. Her charge was simple, to “go out and make a difference”.
Since her appointment, Chima has been working to increase the opportunities available to women and minorities within Walmart and in the larger corporate and technology worlds. She has worked tireless to impart the knowledge necessary to create future women leaders like herself, and has fought to be a mentor, role model, champion, and advocate for women in STEM programs around the world.
Now, Chima wants to bring her passion for women empowerment to Africa, contributing to the building of the next generation of African leaders in order to tap the latent potential on the continent.
Her advice to young African professionals is simple: “Find your passion, do what you are good at, and be great at what you like.”
She believes that, if a person is passionate about what it is they’re doing, that passion will exude from every pore in their body and it will be obvious to all those around them.
“Fumbi Chima’s astonishing success as a woman of African descent in a very challenging industry and position serves as a testament to the fact that talent and determination can break through the thickest of glass ceilings.
“By rising to the upper echelons of corporate America — and specifically at an iconic company such as Walmart as the Chief Information Officer — her life and her journey has become an inspiration and a touchstone to the next generation of young African professionals.
“We are proud to honor Fumbi this year,” says Face2Face Africa CEO Isaac O. Babu-Boateng.
Chima will be honored at the 2015 FACE List Awards Dinner on Saturday, July 11, at ESPACE Ballroom in New York. Click Here for Tickets or contact email@example.com for more information.
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Face2Face Africa 2015 HONOREES:
Ashish J. Thakkar — Founder & CEO, Mara Group — Entrepreneur Award
Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker — Founders, Sophie’s Voice Foundation — Humanitarian Award
Fumbi Chima — Chief Information Officer, Wal-Mart Asia — Trailblazer Award
Amadou G. Fall — NBA VP and Managing Director, Africa — Leadership Award
Mimi Plange — Fashion Designer — Fashion Award
Donna Katzin — Founder, Shared Interest — Ubuntu Award for Service
Donald C. Notice — Executive Director, WHGA — Community Development Award