Forum on World Class IT - 367 Interviews and Podcasts

Welcome to the Forum on World Class IT podcast series, a collection of exclusive interviews with Chief Information Officers and other IT industry thought leaders. Learn from the experts on how best to establish a truly World Class IT organization.

Podcast tags Archives: Board level CIOs

Helen Cousins, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Lincoln Trust Company

In this interview, Helen Cousins, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Lincoln Trust Company, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Helen’s unorthodox path to CIO and how it contributed to her understanding of IT as part of a business
  • The value of the broader perspective due to a business background in Helen’s success as a CIO
  • The challenges and strategies in mending the relationship between IT and business to garner support and trust
  • The importance of appropriately marketing accomplishments in IT both internally as well as across the organization
  • Helen’s rise to becoming a Board level CIO and the impact of an IT executive’s perspective to the rest of the board
  • Eye on the Trends: The growing importance of cloud and mobile technology and the need to understand how to analyze and leverage risks to gain support for related projects

Linda Jojo, EVP of Technology and Chief Digital Officer of United Airlines

In this interview, Linda Jojo discusses World Class IT Principle Three, Project and Portfolio Management, and World Class IT Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Linda’s expanded purview as Executive Vice President of Technology and Chief Digital Officer
  • United’s digital strategy, and how they use digital to enhance both the customer-facing experience as well as internal operations
  • Evolving customer expectations in the travel space
  • How Linda has seen the role of the CIO evolve during the past 10+ years
  • Linda’s view on the role of the Chief Digital Officer
  • Advice for CIOs who aspire to join corporate Boards
  • How United thinks about cyber risk, and how to have the conversation with the Board
  • The importance of machine learning for leveraging data across the company

Ralph Szygenda, Former Group Vice President and Chief Information Officer of General Motors

In this interview, Ralph Szygenda, former Group Vice President and Chief Information Officer of General Motors, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Ralph’s opportunities and the key factors that led to him being invited and accepting a variety of board positions.
  • The advantages of and value added from holding board positions while still being an active CIO.
  • The necessity of having the correct “mixture” of a business and a technology background to become a board level CIO.
  • The current state of the CIO role and how it has evolved over the past few decades.
  • The importance of guiding younger IT leaders and training them to succeed as C-level executives.
  • Eye on the Trends:1) Mobility – the ability to have 24/7 access to information from both the internal and customer side 2) Big data and analytics – how companies can use the vast amounts of data they have access to 3) Cloud – how to leverage the vast knowledge and resources accessible through the cloud while ensuring security and compliance 4) Computing Innovation – what does the future, in form, anatomy and capabilities of the computer.

Jody Davids, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of PepsiCo

In this interview, Jody Davids discusses World Class IT Principle Two, Infrastructure, and World Class IT Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Jody’s career path from administrative assistant to Global CIO
  • The contrast in leadership styles between Apple’s Steve Jobs and Nike’s Bill Knight, and the impact that had on her own development as a leader
  • The broad experience she gained at Cardinal Health, including overseeing the expansion of IT shared services
  • Her focus on standardizing data and using analytics to improve organizational decision making
  • How her organization provides services to an incredibly wide range of customers in over 200 countries
  • The value of CIOs serving on corporate boards, both to the board as well as to the CIO
  • Eye on the trends: Blockchain

Tom Nealon, Board Member at Southwest Airlines and Fossil Group

In this interview, Tom Nealon, Board member at Southwest Airlines and Fossil Group, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Tom’s journey from company to company and what led him to become a CIO and a member of the Board of Directors and his emphasis of being a “business guy specializing in technology.”
  • The uniqueness of Tom’s background always having technology being a part of his life but not necessarily having the requisite technology background and instead having a business background.
  • How Tom, as an IT executive, ended up taking on the responsibility of corporate strategy – a traditionally very “business” role.
  • The value from the perspective gained from being on a management team and a Board of Directors simultaneously.
  • Tom’s belief in being driven, motivated and curious about the work one does and not specifically being ambitious to achieve a specific title or board position.
  • Eye on the Trends: The growing importance of and requirement for CIOs gaining a business understanding and driving towards being business leaders with deep technology understanding rather than being technology specialists working with the business.

Randy Mott, Senior Vice President, Global Information Technology and Chief Information Officer of General Motors

In this interview, Peter High speaks with Randy Mott, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of General Motors. Among the topics they discuss include:

  • How GM has evolved over the years that Randy has spent as CIO including switching from an outsourced IT workforce to an entirely incourced one by hiring thousands of new IT employees, consolidating data center operations into two enterprise data centers, and expanding the footprint towards new talent by creating four innovation centers.
  • Randy’s perspective on how GM has been able to cut costs by providing automation for manual processes and the importance of taking advantages of new technologies.
  • How GM’s IT team has been able to innovate including delivering new products and services driven by technology by creating a mobile center for customers, and developing a private cloud to increase efficiency.
  • An overview of GM’s organizational structure, which is a centralized organization with both a vertical executives that have teams and report up the line and horizontal executives that support the vertical executives.
  • Randy’s take on GM’s recruiting successes and pitch which is made successful by having a large footprint and ability to reach a large audience of college graduates, giving graduates the ability to pick which innovation center to work for, and having a reputation of being a successful company that gives them a lot of choice and opportunity.
  • Randy’s perspective on driverless cars and how the company has been working on Cruise Automation.
  • Randy’s advice to boards of smaller companies including increasing the use of direct reports of global CIO’s due to their amount of talent and exposure to what is happening across a broad technology.
  • Randy’s advice to CIO’s looking to be on a board of an external company as well as his advice to CEO’s who are hesitant to allow CIO’s of that opportunity to be more progressive as it is a win-win situation.
  • Randy’s emphasis on the application of new technology and the importance of evaluating the advancements of technology annually in a period of time where failure to innovate will result in major losses.

Angela Yochem, Global Chief Information Officer for BDP International

In this interview, Angela Yochem, Global CIO at BDP International, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT and Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The unique learning experiences she gained at BDP by virtue of being a global company with close ties to the global economy and marketplace
  • Angela’s rise to becoming a Board-level CIO and the unique advantages that can be gained from serving as a member of a Board of Directors
  • The historical reasons behind why CIOs haven’t traditionally served on Boards and her advice for other CIOs who wish to become Board-ready
  • The current state of women in IT, it’s potential growth and her concerns for the future
  • The unique advantages she gained from her non-traditional background with an undergraduate degree in Music
  • Eye on the Trends: The increasing impact of technology in companies and how the recognition of that fact is causing Boards to seek out CIOs

Kim Stevenson, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Data Center Infrastructure at Lenovo

In this interview, Peter High speaks with Kim Stevenson, the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Data Center Infrastructure of Lenovo. Among the topics they discuss include:

  • Kim’s purview at Lenovo, which includes leading the data center infrastructure segment, the high-performance computing and artificial intelligence segment, the software-defined infrastructure segment, and the IoT segment
  • The three things boards and CEOs expect from their CIO, which are (1) to reimagine and define the customer experience, (2) extreme productivity, and (3) that they invent and deliver new products and services
  • The values of having worked in technology-centric organizations and the advantages of having been both a buyer and a seller of technology, including being able to work with more knowledgeable customers
  • The diversity of Lenovo, where the company’s top 25 executives represent 16 different nationalities, and a great many women hold executive leadership positions
  • The benefits of Fu Pan, Lenovo’s unique take on the post-mortem analysis, which focuses on what went right and how to replicate it rather than what went wrong and how to avoid it
  • Kim’s experience on corporate boards, and her belief that the end-to-end visibility and well-rounded set of experiences make technologists increasingly attractive for board membership
  • Kim’s thoughts on the state of women in technology, including her belief that there are more than enough qualified women, but the challenge is that people recruit from their own network, which is often limited
  • Eye on the Trends: private cloud, containers, micro-services, and 5G

Matt Carey, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of The Home Depot

In this interview, Matt Carey, EVP and CIO of The Home Depot, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Matt’s role at Home Depot and the steps Home Depot has taken to improve its technology preparedness since he joined
  • How Home Depot used technology to transform itself to a customer-centric retailer despite the global economic downturn of 2007 and 2008
  • How Home Depot integrate IT and Business functions to facilitate understanding across the enterprise and ultimately improve customer experience
  • Matt’s involvements in multiple Board of Directors and the unique advantages that can be gained from serving as a member of a Board of Directors
  • The historical reasons behind why CIOs haven’t traditionally served on Boards and Matt’s advice for other CIOs who wish to become Board-ready
  • The changing expectation, roles, and responsibilities in today’s corporate IT departments
  • Eye on the Trends: The increasing desire of boards to include CIOs as companies, regardless of industry, and their customers become more technology centric with regard to the services provided or desired

Cathie Kozik, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at PSAV

In this interview, Peter High speaks with Cathie Kozik, the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at PSAV. Among the topics they discuss include:

  • An overview of PSAV’s business as well as Kozik’s role as CIO to bring the company to a point where technology is an enabler instead of something in the way, which has been done with increased mobility among other things
  • Cathie’s view on the company’s digital transformation focused on the technician experience, business insight through data analytics, and looking to other industries for ideas
  • Ways Cathie finds opportunities for her staff to learn such as sending them to spend a day out in the field as a technician giving them the chance to see how the company makes money
  • An overview of Cathie’s experience on a board which includes her personal path to membership and the lessons she has learned in terms of leadership by watching managers deal with the challenge of growing immensely while not losing focus on the core vision of the business
  • Cathie’s advice to peers looking to join a board which is centered around the importance of showing your interest, exposing yourself to organizations beyond your own, and joining impactful clubs to build your profile
  • An overview of the work necessary with women’s involvement in IT including showing young women the benefits of IT, refuting the notion that women cannot be mothers and business leaders, and most importantly, giving women the crucial business experience to grow and develop
  • A glimpse into the future of technology trends which includes blockchain, AI, and user interfaces focusing on how to implement these technologies and what they can provide.
  • Cathie’s view on the benefits and downfalls of technology and her hope to plot a practical course through them 732229
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