Fortune 500 | episode 326

Steve Phillpott, Chief Information Officer of Western Digital

January 29, 2018

Among other topics, Steve discussed the following issues with Metis Strategy:

  • How Steve used the multibillion-dollar acquisitions of HGST and SanDisk as an opportunity to transform Western Digital’s systems, processes, and technologies and lay the foundation for the company to scale
  • The journey of integrating 3000+ applications, and specifically the importance of focusing first on putting communications and collaboration tools in place to enhance the speed and efficiency with which the organization can move forward
  • How the focus on good governance has allowed them to build out program work streams and application roadmaps around ERP, Human Capital Management, PLM, among others
  • How Steve set up change management programs within each workstream to ensure that the users can adapt to the new technology at the same rate it is implemented
  • The criteria Steve uses to prioritize the integration effort
  • Western Digital’s Predictive Analytics as a Service offering and how Steve created a big data platform that is flexible enough to support users at all maturity levels across the business
  • How Western Digital leverages on-premise and cloud-based CPU and GPU high-performance computing clusters to run massive engineering simulations that greatly improve speed to market as well as reduce the cost of development
  • Eye on the trends: artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the industrial IoT

Steve is the SVP and CIO of Western Digital Corporation, which, with $19 billion in revenue, is one of the largest computer data storage companies in the world. As CIO, Steve has overseen the integration of three multi-billion-dollar Fortune 500 companies into a single Fortune 100 company, following Western Digital’s acquisitions of HGST and SanDisk.

Steve came to Western Digital through its acquisition of HGST were he was CIO at the time. Prior to that, Steve spent five years as CIO of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, where he implemented a three-year IT strategic plan and reduced IT spend by 50%. Before Amylin, Steve was the CIO of Provide Commerce. Prior to his ascension to the CIO role, Steve was the VP of IT at Invitogren, and at Anvent/Memec before that. Steve was the Director of IT at a number of companies, including Gateway, Qualcomm, ADC Wireless, NextWave, and Applied Digital Access.

Steve received a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA (Technology Management) from the University of Phoenix.


The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview

  • 01 1- People
  • 02 2- Infrastructure
  • 03 3- Project and Portfolio Management
  • 04 4- IT & Business Partnership
  • 05 5- External Partnerships

From strategy to implementation

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