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Unformatted text preview: Knock knock it’s the ceo April 12, 2009 CORNER OFFICE Knock-Knock: It’s the C.E.O. This interview with Terry J. Lundgren , chief executive of Macy’s , was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant. Q. How do you stay in touch with people throughout the company? A. I just go and pop into a store. I have the cellphone number of every store manager, and I call them and 95 percent of the time they’re there. And they have a little small heart attack at first and I pick ’em up off the floor. And sometimes they say, “This isn’t Terry Lundgren, come on, who is this?” And I say, “No, it really is. Just come on down to the floor, and I’ll say hello.” But people now know that I do this a lot. I literally do it every week somewhere. And so we walk through the floor, and they have had no time to prepare for my questions, they’ve had no time to prepare the store. Ultimately, they view it as a good experience. I always make it a good experience. If I have my issues or concerns or my complaints, I generally don’t take it out on that store manager. I would take it back to management, you know, about what we’re doing to the store to not make it as good a shopping experience as it needs to be. But most of the time, it’s just a good experience. I learn as much by going through a store as anything I do, much more than sitting in my office at my computer or holding a big meeting here, because I’m learning and seeing exactly what our customer is seeing. Over time, while people get a little nervous the first moment they hear I’m in the store, it’s become a real positive for our store’s organization to know that I’m out there, to know that I’m listening and to know that I want to see it like our customer sees it. Q. And you’ll do that once a week? A. I’m on the road two or three days a week normally. Q. What else do you do, besides store visits, to stay in touch with people throughout the company? A. Every month I do a webcast for 55,000 people, and it’s a great tool, great communication vehicle. People feel like they know me in this gigantic company of 170,000 people. And I walk through stores and they know me, you know, even if I haven’t been in the store in five years in Tulsa, Okla., or wherever, and they know me because of these webcasts and because of other communications that we do, like TV videos that we blast out to them. And so, I think it’s very important just to get out there....
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- Fall '08