Owens Corning: Small IT shop with a ‘big jobs’ approach

Fresh out of college, Liana Grecco followed in her dad’s footsteps and took a job at Owens Corning, as an entry-level customer service representative. Fast forward 34 years and Grecco has long since parlayed that customer service stint into myriad roles in the IT organization, developing core competencies in SAP, supply chain and the manufacturing industry along the way.

Grecco, with no formal technology background other than deep on-the-job training, was recently promoted to global SAP manufacturing platform leader, culminating a career odyssey rich with international travel and constant growth and learning. “The opportunities are endless — I learn something new every day,” Grecco says. “Every time I wanted to try something different, if leadership thought I was ready, it was a no-brainer. The leaders care about where you see yourself and where you want to go, and they take action to help you get there.”

The $7 billion manufacturer of insulation, roofing and fiberglass composite products (and the No. 1 large company on Computerworld’s 2019 list of the Best Places to Work in IT) employs nearly 20,000 people across the globe, but its IT organization remains under 200 employees — a factor that fits with the company’s brand of being global in scope, but human in scale, explains Steve Zerby, Owens Corning vice president and CIO. Unlike some Fortune 500 companies, Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning is all about team collaboration and giving its IT employees lots of responsibility and a big job footprint, oftentimes right out of the gate.

“We take a ‘big jobs’ approach — within the first year, you could be leading something no one else is doing,” he says. “We have operations all over the world, but the company still feels very small. The flatness of the organization creates not just familiarity, but speed and agility that is unlike a lot of other big companies.”

Owens Corning

Owens Corning’s headquarters in Toledo, Ohio

Collaboration is another big focus of Owens Corning’s IT culture. “Here, it’s all about the teamwork,” Zerby says. “If you can’t see yourself as a low-ego or no-ego person or feel great about your colleague succeeding, you can’t work for us.”

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