Hispanic Career World
» Featured Articles
» Subscription Information
» Reader Survey
» Companies Actively Recruiting
Gouverneur Pursues NM’s Digital Transformation
Karl Gouverneur merged his knack for business and technology into a career that led him to become vice president, digital innovation, digital workplace and corporate solutions at Northwestern Mutual (NM).
“I’ve been at Northwestern Mutual for 11 years. I started as chief architect and have risen to my current position,” he elaborates.
“I’ve held this role for six months, leading a department of nearly 500 people across the U.S. I lead several teams - one that researches and experiments with emerging technologies, another that focuses on our workplace technologies, and, finally, a team that supports the systems that keeps our business running and promotes continuous learning so we stay ahead of industry trends.”
The foundation for the career Gouverneur has built was his college education. “I was born in New York City, but grew up in up in Caracas, Venezuela. I came back to the U.S. to attend the University of Florida, where I earned my degree in business and computer science,” he says.
Leading up to his current role at NM, he worked at companies of all sizes, from one of the largest global accounting firms to his own start-up.
Prior to joining NM in 2006, Gouverneur was the vice president and chief technology officer at Safeco Insurance. Before that he was the chief architect at CNA Financial, where he focused on business alignment, IT strategy and IT standards, and strategic and innovative IT solutions. He began his career at EY, progressing to senior manager.
“This experience prepared me well for my current role with Northwestern Mutual, a long-established financial services company that’s working with start-ups and taking itself through a digital transformation,” notes Gouverneur, an advisor to NM’s Hispanic employee resource group.
He also serves on the Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures board, Marquette University’s global sourcing advisory board, and is a member of the CIO research board, ALPFA national corporate advisory board and Discovery World board.
The biggest lesson Gouverneur’s experience has taught him is what he calls “ABL, or always be learning. This field is, by definition, constantly changing. To succeed I must keep learning new skills and new ways of working. The strengths that got you here likely won’t get you there. This also means learning - and growing - from mistakes.”
In addition, since stepping into his current role, “I’ve learned more in the past year about eliminating waste and allowing teams to be autonomous. These are all consistent with our company’s digital transformation,” he says.
Gouverneur is a leader in that transformation, which is advancing NM’s digital innovation capability. As it advances, he knows to increase employee engagement while building productivity since people are happiest when they know they’re doing great work.
This is all while he and his teams support “our company-wide initiatives around diversity and inclusion, which we know is one key to continued success.”
His advice for young Hispanic professionals is two-fold. First, he says, “if Spanish is your first language, then my advice is simple: master the English language like someone who grew up with it… be direct - whether speaking or writing…focus on getting to the point [and] work on becoming an articulate speaker.”
Second: “Don't be afraid to speak your mind. If you have a point of view, then speak up.”
View NM opportunities at northwesternmutual.com/careers. Connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
» Feedback for the Editor
» Request Article Copy