Burton has announced the promotion of Ali Kenney, formerly SVP of Strategy & Insights, to Chief Strategy Officer.
As the US snowboard and outdoor brand’s first Chief Strategy Officer, Kenney will lead key work around brand purpose, company strategy, consumer-centricity, sustainability, justice/equity/diversity/inclusion (JEDI) and the prioritization of key growth opportunities.
“I remember when Ali first started at Burton more than 14 years ago – she was on a mission to make positive change happen,” says John Lacy, CEO of Burton.
John Lacy, CEO, Burton
Kenney received a BA in International Relations (Political Economy of Development) from Brown University and an MBA from the University of Vermont, in addition to executive education at Harvard and Stanford.
She has worked in Board of Director roles across a variety of organizations, in addition to appointed roles in city government.
Ali Kenney’s pivotal early career moment was in 2011 when she proposed the company’s sustainability platform to Burton owner, Donna Carpenter. In 2016, Ali took over the global supply chain org (supply chain management, supply planning and purchasing, quality, product service, warranty and Asia operations), focusing on driving process improvement, supply chain efficiencies, margin improvement and quality assurance gains.
Since the formation of Burton’s sustainability efforts, Burton has taken several steps: In 2019, Burton became the first snowboard company to earn B Corporation certification, followed by Fair Labor Association accreditation in 2020.
Burton also claims that it has shifted from all conventional cotton to 99% sustainable cotton (all apparel, fleece and tees made with 100% organic cotton), ensured that 80% of total fabrics are Bluesign approved and achieved a 20+% reduction in the carbon footprint of snowboards.
Today, Kenney and her team’s goals for the future include to shift Burton towards consumer-centricity via insights and research, achieve climate positive status by 2025, deepen Burton’s commitment to fair labor and fully integrate justice, equity, diversity and inclusion efforts into all facets of Burton’s business.
As she reflected on her new role, Ali said, “I’ve never had a career plan. I’ve always just tried to identify what the world and Burton needs the most, overlay that with what I’m most passionate about, and then propose solutions accordingly. I’m so grateful to have built a role in which we can create clear company strategy that is rooted in a deep understanding of our customer, while making the world better through our impact on people and the planet.”
Privately held and owned by Donna Carpenter, Burton’s headquarters are in Burlington, Vermont with offices in Austria, Japan, Australia, Canada and China.