Women in Business ’13: Stacey Tank

The SVP of Heineken USA

For Stacey Tank, success takes many different forms. Success, for example, is the turnaround of both company culture and growth strategy at a major alcoholic beverage brand with some 90,000 employees, an initiative Tank has been leading at Heineken USA for over a year now—which was recently recognized as a “Top Turnaround” by 914INC. 

Success is making the best out of a very bad situation. Before Heineken, Tank spent 10 years with GE working in communications and finance across business units like GE Capital, GE Healthcare, GE Energy, and NBC Universal, in places ranging from Paris to India. It was a tenure that included leading the crisis response for GE Nuclear after the March 2011 earthquake in Japan. In April 2012, just after joining Heineken, Tank led the charge when Heineken had to recall thousands of bottles of Dos Equis Amber and other varieties due to the potential presence of glass in the beer. Tank worked around the clock with her team to gather as much information as possible so they could post the recall within a few days. “Heineken values transparency,” Tank says. “We had to be very open with our consumers about what was going on, the fact that it was unacceptable, and that we were going to make it right.” Tank’s efforts resulted in the reacquisition of 96 percent of the affected bottles, after the YouTube video she helped create in response to the recall went semi-viral on social media.

For Tank, success is also the people around her. She’s quick to credit the successful campaigns at GE and Heineken to the teams she worked with. And when it comes to her own achievements, she points to her husband. “Without the support of the people around me,” says Tank, “I would never have felt comfortable making a lot of the sometimes very risky choices I was making—to change jobs, to move to different cities.”

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Finally, success is turning personal tragedy into a source of strength for others. In her mid-20s, Tank learned she was at an extremely high risk for breast and ovarian cancers. She took the brave step of enduring multiple prophylactic surgeries, and then used her experience to train with Bright Pink, a Chicago-based nonprofit that provides education and support to young women who have high-risk factors for cancer. Now she’s building up the New York/Connecticut chapters of the organization, and leaving a legacy of health and strength for other women like her.

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