Kirsten Davies

  • Global Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Unilever

Kirsten Davies

Ms. Davies is the newly appointed Global CISO for Unilever. As a hands-on, vibrant leader of enterprise risk, cybersecurity transformation, technology innovation, and cultural uplift, she brings multi-industry and multi-continent experience across five Global and Fortune 250 companies, representing over $250Bn in annual revenue and/or assets. With over 15 years’ experience, she is an accomplished and recognized thought leader in designing and leading holistic Digital Trust programs which balance enterprise risk reduction with business empowerment, revenue generation, and cost optimization.

Previous to her role with Unilever, Ms. Davies served as SVP and CISO for The Estee Lauder Companies, where she led a foundational uplift for core cybersecurity capabilities, designed and deployed a best in class Training and Engagement program, deployed a Crown Jewel Program, Overhauled the digital identity management platform, built cross-functional and cross-channel collaborations, overhauled the Information Security Policy suite, took the reins to oversee the ELC-wide cosmetovigilance and Data Integrity Program, and more than doubled the size of the Program whilst embedding diversity, inclusion and equity across genders, ethnicities, generations, and nationalities, besting cybersecurity and IT industry averages.

Prior to ELC, Ms. Davies led as Managing Director and Group Chief Security Officer (CSO) for Barclays Africa/ ABSA, where she was tapped to build and run the continent’s first end-to-end security function localizing all cybersecurity and information security capabilities and stitching them together with fraud defense, physical security, and operational resiliency across the continent. She partnered with Barclays PLC as they together split the Africa continent operations from the global Bank. In the midst of the financial and regulatory deconsolidation, she also led a passion project of establishing of the first-ever Africa Converged Security Academy, an immersion-based, 14-week program designed to create a pipeline of entry-level, cybersecurity talent aimed to re-skill and upskill those facing displacement due to automation.

Before her time in South Africa, Ms. Davies served in two capacities at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE): as Vice President and Deputy CISO, and as VP for Enterprise Security Strategy, heading up one of four worldwide, strategic, customer-facing areas for HPE. In her tenure with HPE, she negotiated the first-ever Cyber Security Master Agreement with the German Workers Council, now replicated across HPE’s 20+ Works Councils in Europe. She also led the strategic overhaul and reorganization of the Cyber Security Program, and broadened the capability of “Next Generation Security”, including Insider Risk and securing the IT/OT convergence.

Prior to HPE, she served as the CISO for Global InfoSec Strategy and Governance for Siemens. There she managed the three-year, global InfoSec Transformation Program to refine the policies, processes and technical portfolio of the global Information Security capability. Previous roles found her at key leadership positions in Booz Allen Hamilton and Deloitte Australia. Ms. Davies holds a bachelor’s degree in International Politics & Government from University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. She has studied International Law and Business at Johns Hopkins University, International Law and Human Rights at the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, and has an advanced certificate in Change Management from the PROSCI Institute.

Currently serving on the Board of Governors for the New York Academy of Sciences, she is also an Advocate and Mentor for several non-profits and women’s initiatives, including the A21 Campaign, NURU, the NOMI Network, Women in Technology, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She speaks near-fluent German and has a long history of rescuing adorable dogs.