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After Five Years Of Transformation, GM CIO Randy Mott Has The Company Primed For Innovation

6/18/2018

By Peter High. Published on Forbes

Randy Mott is used to big challenges. Prior to joining General Motors as Senior Vice President of Global Information Technology and Chief Information Officer of General Motors in 2012, he served as CIO of Walmart, Dell, and HP. One might argue that the current transformation is the largest of his career, however. When he joined GM, 90 percent of the IT staff were outsourced. He elected to bring those jobs back into GM, insourcing 10,000 new roles in the company and hiring 3,000 recent college graduates.

You might think that hiring into a Fortune 10 company in an industry that has been replete with bankruptcies across the decades would be a challenge. Mott makes the point that great IT staff want big challenges, and the scale of the opportunities he looks to seize are remarkable.

He set up innovation centers at the company’s headquarters, in downtown Detroit, in Austin, outside of Atlanta, and just outside of Phoenix. As Mott notes, this means that these centers are “within hiring distance of about 75 percent of the talent in the United States from an IT standpoint based on the locations of those centers and the geographic radiuses that they represent.”

Now, that team is focused on everything from helping facilitate self-driving car technology to better data analytics for and from the vehicles, to identifying ways to better tapping partners as sources of inspiration and innovation.

Not so surprisingly, Mott has joined the ranks of board-level CIOs, as he has been on the board of Dun & Bradstreet since 2015. He reflects on his career, his current post, and advice for others who would wish to follow in his footstep in this far reaching interview.

(To read an unabridged audio version of this interview, please click this link.

Peter High: You have been the Senior Vice President of Global Information Technology and Chief Information Officer of General Motors since 2012. This comes after you held the CIO role at several other major organizations, including Walmart, Dell, and HP. In the five years since you joined GM, you have led a radical transformation. The scale of this transformation has been enormous, including insourcing 10,000 new roles in the company and hiring 3,000 recent college graduates. Could you talk about those early days? What did you find at GM when you joined?
Randy Mott: I am responsible for the global IT strategy and all the IT assets, and I report to our CEO Mary Barra. Since joining GM in February 2012, I had the great fortune to lead a talented team that has been able to transform the company’s approach to IT. We went to a fully insourced model from what was previously a 90 percent outsourced IT workforce. We were on the far end of the spectrum in terms of outsourcing, and we have swung to the other side of the pendulum.
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