Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for
Managing Organizational Change
“Keep learning and asking questions – hold onto that powerful curiosity that has brought you this far… Recognize that success is not a solo act; never forget those important people behind the scenes of your success – family, co-workers, friends and mentors… Be passionate about what you do. It is that passion that positively channels your energy, drive and ambition… There is no substitute for fueling the human spirit and no greater reward than celebrating the triumphs of the team.” – Christina Gold June 11, 2009, during her commencement address to the Carleton Class of 2009.(I)
Christina Gold was born September 12, 1947 in the Netherlands. Her family moved to Montreal, Canada when she was five years old. She is the middle child of three. She has a sister named Patty and a brother named Jan. Her father was a Dutch military officer and former champion gymnast. She has described him as a quiet man who was a great influence on her life by teaching her the importance of fairness and always pushing her to learn. Her mother was Canadian but was raised in England, and was a nurse and a painter. Christina has described her as outgoing having a love of nature, and teaching Christina the importance of putting people first and building relationships. She met her husband, Peter Gold, while attending Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. They were engaged on their mutual graduation day in 1969.
Christina gold graduated from Beaconsfield High School in 1965. She attended Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography in 1969. Carleton University awarded her the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa in June 2009. She also received the Award of Distinction - Faculty of Commerce & Administration from Concordia University in Montreal. She received the "Batisseur," an honorary degree from the Professional Business School of Montreal, in recognition of her distinguished service to the business community.
Christina Gold worked for Avon for over twenty years. Her first position was inventory control clerk, and she took the job because it paid $20 more a week than where she was currently working, and she wanted to help buy a desk for her husband’s new law office. While her initial motivation for joining Avon was not heavily calculated, she eventually held more than two dozen different positions from inventory control, customer service, credit, and collection to marketing, sales, human resources, and manufacturing. She became very focused on her career growth and at one point decided to take a demotion to move to a supervisory role so that she would get experience managing people. Eventually, she was promoted to President of Avon Canada from 1989 to 1993. From 1993 to 1997, she was President of Avon North America and Executive Vice President of Avon Products. From 1997 to 1998, she was Executive Vice President of Global Development and Executive Vice President of Global Direct Selling at Avon Products, Inc. Under Christina’s leadership, Avon’s revenue grew $140 million in 1993 to $765 million in 1995. In 1996, she was named one of Business Week's Top 25 Managers, and she received the Woman of Distinction award from Birmingham Southern University. However, when she and two other women were passed over for CEO in 1997 in favor of Charles Perrin, Christina resigned from Avon in 1998. In 1999, Avon promoted Andrea Jung, who was one of the contenders in 1997, to CEO, and she remains the CEO today.(II)
Christina moved on to be president and CEO of telecommunications and e-commerce services provider Excel Communications in 1998. After she navigated the sale of Excel Communications in 2002, she joined First Data, who was the parent...