Forum on World Class IT - 295 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

Yvonne Wassenaar, CIO of New Relic

In this interview, Yvonne Wassenaar, CIO of New Relic, discusses World Class IT Principle Two, Infrastructure, and Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Being a CIO in a cloud based company
  • The importance of CIOs having both a horizontal viewpoint and a technological mindset
  • Taking intelligent risks
  • IT departments as integrators and collaborators
  • The role of CIOs on corporate boards
  • The internal and external functions of a modern CIO
  • Diversity in STEM fields

Rob Carter, Co-CEO and Chief Information Officer of FedEx Corporate Services

In this interview, Rob Carter, Co-CEO and Chief Information Officer of FedEx Corporate Services, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • What technology trends Rob is keen to leverage in the next 3-4 years
  • The evolution of Rob’s responsibilities as a CIO within FedEx, and the benefits of having a position dedicated solely to the pursuits of IT advancement and development
  • The significance of board level access for CIOs within organizations
  • Rob’s personal ideology of engagement over complacency in a leadership position within IT
  • Eye on the Trends: The increasing importance of the connection between physical and digital networks, and the resulting innovations derived from the intersection of these two networks

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

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.

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.

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

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

Christopher Hjelm, Senior VP, CIO for The Kroger Co.

In this interview, Christopher Hjelm, Senior VP, CIO for The Kroger Co., discusses World Class IT principle two, infrastructure, and principle four, IT & business partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His role at Kroger
  • How his team manages to interact with customers and vendors within this industry
  • Innovation in self-service and customers’ adoption of and interaction with developments in technology
  • His experience as a board member on Kindred Healthcare, Inc. and Rehabcare Group, Inc., among others
  • Eye on the Trends: open sourcing of technology to increase productivity and increasing data analytics

Marina Levinson, Partner at Benhamou Global Ventures

In this interview, Marina Levinson, Partner at Benhamou Global Ventures, discusses World Class IT principle 1, People, principle 2, Infrastructure, and principle 5, External Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Her career path from CIO to Venture Capital
  • Advice on utilizing the VC community and building relationships within Silicon Valley
  • Her recent board positions and how she turned her CIO position into board level participation
  • Advice on how to become more board-ready as a CIO
  • Eye on the Trends: Cloud, Virtualization, Security, Big Data and Mobile Analytics
  • Andi Karaboutis, Vice President of Technology and Business Solutions of Biogen

    In this interview, Andi Karaboutis, Vice President of Technology and Business Solutions of Biogen, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle four, and IT & Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • Her new role as the Vice President of Technology and Business Solutions at Biogen
    • How she has gone from a CIO to a Beyond-CIO role in a new industry, and how others could follow
    • The role of traditional education in her history, at Biogen, and within the industry
    • Her innovation mandate and how she plans resources to develop innovative ideas
    • Her recent appointment to the board of Advance Auto Parts, and how she became board-ready as an IT leader
    • Her working relationship with Biogen’s new CIO (Matt Griffiths) and how he she works with the CIO