Tracey T. Travis's career proves that a winding path through the inner workings of numerous industries can lead to success as a CFO at a major global company.
Diversification has always been her strength. Travis began her career at General Motors, where she started as an engineer and progressed through various financial roles, including operating on the controller’s staff, where she worked on international product programs, joint ventures, and divestitures. After that, Travis ran plants, distribution centers, and sales teams for Pepsi, before starting a 7 year stint at Ralph Lauren, where she led the finance team. Her next post was at L Brands Inc., parent of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, where she rose to senior vice president of finance. Along the way, Travis acquired expertise in a wide range of areas: IT, compliance, investor relations, brand strategy, and how to turn around struggling divisions.
For this body of work, Travis has been recognized multiple times over the years. In 2008, she was granted the “Best CFO” award by Institutional Investor. The following year, she was named one of the “Top 100 African Americans in Corporate America” by Black Enterprise magazine. That same year, Travis also received a distinguished alumni award from her alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh. In 2011, Travis was asked to serve as an inaugural member of the Wall Street Journal’s CFO Forum.
In 2012, Travis's career continued its upward trajectory when she was offered the position of Executive Vice President and CFO of The Estée Lauder Companies, the New York-based multinational cosmetics giant. It was an easy decision for Travis, who jumped at the challenge to work for such a prestigious company. “One of the things that attracted me to Estée Lauder is the people who are quite special here," she said. Since 2012, she's been responsible for global finance, accounting, investor relations, IT, and strategy and new business development at Estée Lauder. Furthermore, she co-leads the Global Value Council and is a member of the Investment Development Committee.
Passionate about "paying it forward," in 2017 Travis co-founded the Women’s Leadership Network, which supports women as they build their careers at the company. In 2019, she was honored yet again with an “Achiever Award” by Cosmetic Executive Women. In addition to her industrial engineering degree from the University of Pittsburgh, she also holds an MBA from Columbia University.