28 minutes | Feb 8, 2022

Imagining Furniture (and the Future) With AI: IKEA Retail’s Barbara Martin Coppola

Drawing on previous experience working in nine countries for organizations like Google and Samsung, Barbara Martin Coppola joined IKEA Retail as its chief digital officer to oversee the furniture retailer’s digital transformation, improve its customer experience, and foster the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability.

In this episode, hosts Sam and Shervin speak with Barbara about how she empowers cross-functional collaboration and “testing, and iterating, and trying, failing, and starting again” to realize successful technology projects. She also shares the context behind some recent customer-facing AI tools the company has launched to assist customers through the buying process and free up front-line workers to focus on customer engagement instead of operational tasks.

Read the episode transcript here.

Me, Myself, and AI is a collaborative podcast from MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group and is hosted by Sam Ransbotham and Shervin Khodabandeh. Our engineer is David Lishansky, and the coordinating producers are Allison Ryder and Sophie Rüdinger.

Stay in touch with us by joining our LinkedIn group, AI for Leaders at mitsmr.com/AIforLeaders.

Guest bio:

Barbara Martin Coppola is the chief digital officer for Ingka Group (IKEA), the world’s largest home furnishings retailer.

Martin Coppola started her career with IKEA in 2018 and has overall responsibility for leading the company’s digital technology capabilities and transformation. She has over 20 years of experience in the technology sector and has lived and worked in more than nine countries. Before joining IKEA, she held leading positions in several global businesses, including Google, YouTube, Samsung, and Texas Instruments.

Martin Coppola holds a master of science degree in telecommunications engineering from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, a master of science in mobile communications from Télécom Paris, and an MBA in business administration and management from INSEAD. She is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

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