Who are the most powerful IT leaders across North and South America? Our ranking profiles the CIOs at the continents’ largest companies.
Recent years have seen a period of flux for the CIOs leading IT at the most powerful companies in the Americas — at least for the technology leaders of US companies, which occupy all the slots in our table of the region’s top 20 CIOs. The 2019 ranking shows nine new faces and one new company entrant compared to the 2017 line-up.
At the very top of the table, Clay Johnson of and Mike Brown remain at the helm of Walmart and ExxonMobil (respectively), while there are new tech supremos at Ford, Cardinal Health, Verizon, GE, JPMorgan Chase and at the newly merged Cigna/Express Scripts and CVS Health/Aetna.
In terms of sectors, CIOs from retail stand out, taking five of the top 20 places, while healthcare and pharmaceuticals CIOs are close behind with four entries and tech/telecoms three. CIOs from automobile and oil companies — which showed a greater presence in previous years’ tables — each occupy just two places each. There was also a sole newcomer, Google’s parent company Alphabet, reflecting the ascendancy of tech companies to the business super league, in terms of revenues as well as stratospheric stock prices.
The table shows a continued decline in the number of female IT leaders in the top 20. In mid-2015, 35% (or seven) of the region’s top IT leaders were women. By mid-2017, this figure stood at four. But this has now fallen further to only three — albeit after the promotion of Marcy Klevorn to EVP and president of Mobility at Ford and the retirement of Cardinal Health’s long-serving CIO, Patty Morrison.
|TOP ENTERPRISE CIOS IN THE AMERICAS REGION*|
|Company (HQ)||Revs ($bn)||Head of IT|
|1. Walmart (US)||510.3||Clay Johnson|
|2. ExxonMobil (US)||290.2||Mike Brown|
|3. CVS Health (US)||256.0||Roshan Navagamuwa|
|4. McKesson (US)||208.4||Kathy McElligott|
|5. AT&T (US) (US)||170.8||Pam Parisian|
|6. AmerisourceBergen (US)||167.9||Dale Danilewitz|
|7. Chevron (US)||166.3||Bill Braun|
|8. Ford Motor Company (US)||160.4||Jeff Lemmer|
|9. Cigna (US)||150.0||Mark Boxer|
|10. General Motors Co (US)||147.0||Randy Mott|
|11. Costco Wholesale (US)||138.4||Paul Moulton|
|12. Alphabet (US)||136.8||Ben Fried|
|13. Cardinal Health (US)||136.8||Brian Rice |
|14. Walgreens Boots Alliance (US)||131.5||Anthony Roberts|
|15. Verizon Communications (US)||130.9||Shankar Arumugavelu|
|16. Kroger(US)||122.7||Chris Hjelm|
|17. General Electric (US)||121.6||Chris Drumgoole|
|18. Cargill (US)||114.7||Justin Kershaw|
|19. Koch Industries (US)||110.0||Gary Matula|
|20. JPMorgan Chase (US)||109.0||Lori Beer|
EVP and enterprise CIO
Clay Johnson leads Global Business Services at Walmart and is responsible for enterprise technology, cybersecurity and integrated solutions across finance, human resources, internal contact centers and indirect procurement — as well as driving the organization’s digital transformation strategy. Since joining Walmart in January 2017, Johnson has increased technology delivery speeds by a factor of two to three. A key focus for Johnson is improving infrastructure and in-store tech, supported through a co-innovation program with Microsoft. Before joining Walmart, Johnson spent three years as CIO at GE Power where he was a key participant in driving GE’s digital strategy. Earlier in his career, he held IT leadership positions at Boeing and Dell. Mike BrownVP, global ITExxonMobil
|Image: TBM Council|
Having joined the world’s largest oil company 39 years ago as a process engineer at Mobil’s refineries, Mike Brown has been in the top IT leadership position for the past eight years, during which IT has become integral to innovation within ExxonMobil. Brown talks passionately about ensuring digitalization is unswervingly directed at creating business value. And to drive a more innovative culture, he has also championed a new ideation process called Spark, which has been introduced across the company.Roshan NavagamuwaEVP and CIOCVS Health
Roshan Navagamuwa’s promotion within CVS Health from SVP of Client Services to CIO was announced in early March 2019, shortly after the retail pharmacy and healthcare giant’s $70 billion acquisition of health insurance company Aetna. Navagamuwa, who spent 12 years in a range of senior IT roles at the US arm of the UK-headquartered insurance company Aon, had already served as interim CIO at CVS for over a year. He is responsible for technology operations and innovation, and is overseeing the IT and data integration of CVS and Aetna. “The combined organization will play a critical role driving technology innovation as CVS Health delivers on its strategy to transform health care,” according to CVS.
EVP, CIO and CTO
After IT leadership roles at Emerson Electric Co and GE Aircraft Engines, Kathy McElligott joined McKesson in 2015. As CIO, she is responsible for technology initiatives across the company while, as CTO, she guides the direction of the company’s healthcare products. Under McElligott, the IT senior leadership team across McKesson consider technology decisions as a group, with a view to leveraging the economies of scale and of the company and the shared challenges of different units.
President — Technology Development
Prior to joining AT&T, Pam Parisian held various senior IT roles at BellSouth Telecommunications and Cingular Wireless where, as VP of IT, she oversaw the organization’s merger with AT&T Wireless. During her time with AT&T, Parisian has held a variety of leading technology positions and been instrumental in the successful integration of many of the company’s other acquisitions, including the incorporation of video company DirecTV, which bought together more than 3,300 IT experts. Parisian took up the role of President – Technology Development in August 2017, having previously been responsible for internal technology systems for the company’s Mobility, Business, and Home Solutions units. Her current role spans the development and operation of software platforms that support customer experience, the corporate systems for HR and finance and the development and delivery of software to support digital and physical sales.
EVP and CIO
Dale Danilewitz was promoted to CIO of AmerisourceBergen in 2012. He joined the firm in 1999 after occupying management positions with American Airlines and Sabre, serving first as VP of IT, then CIO at the AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group, where he led the company-wide implementation of ERP. He is also credited with playing a vital role in the company’s turbo-charged growth from $600 million to $16 billion by identifying opportunities and service offerings enabled by new and emerging technologies. That focus on new technology continues today, with one example being the potential uses of blockchain to ensure the provenance of drugs.
CIO, Chevron Corp and president of Chevron IT Company
Bill Braun joined Chevron as a programmer in 1991 and has held a variety of technical and management positions across the organization in the years since. In 2015, Braun was promoted from divisional CIO for Global Upstream to global CIO and president of Chevron IT Company, the oil and gas firm’s IT services subsidiary. As well as acknowledging that the role of the CIO role is changing, he has argued that IT organizations need to be increasingly responsive to business needs and to be fast-acting in fulfilling them. One of the ways that he has helped Chevron to move faster is by helping the company embrace predictive maintenance in its oil fields and refineries through the introduction of IoT.
VP and CIO
Ford Motor Company
Jeff Lemmer assumed the role of CIO at Ford in June 2018, reporting to EVP, president of Mobility and former CIO Marcy Klevorn. Lemmer, who joined the carmaker as a graduate in 1987, has spent his entire career with the organization, in positions that have included director of IT global service delivery and COO of IT. In that role, he led the transformation of the technology group into a product-driven organization. He argues that IT needs to move away from being ‘order takers’ to being an integral part of creating business projects.
EVP and CIO
Mark Boxer has been Cigna’s CIO since 2011, having previously served as group president Government Healthcare at Xerox and deputy global CIO at Xerox Corp. Earlier, he held various leadership roles, including CIO at WellPoint and Healthsource and senior VP of IT and eCommerce at Cigna Healthcare. Boxer holds two doctorates: in health administration and in global public health. Top of his agenda, following Cigna’s December 2018 acquisition of pharmacy benefits management giant Express Scripts, is a smooth integration of the two companies’ systems.
SVP, global IT and CIO
Randy Mott, who became CIO of GM in 2012, spent 22 years at Walmart, rising to CIO, before taking up the same position at Dell and then HP. Mott is responsible for the organization’s global IT strategy, as well as all IT assets. He has overseen an enormous technology insourcing transformation at GM, bringing 10,000 IT staff back in-house and hiring 3,000 new graduates. Mott has also led the establishing of innovation centers at company headquarters in Detroit, Austin, Atlanta and Phoenix. He is a member of the executive leadership team, reporting directly to CEO Mary Barra.
|Image: © General Motors|
EVP and CIO
Paul Moulton is a career employee at Costco. He joined the organization in 1985 and has held a variety of management positions including VP of finance and corporate treasurer and COO for Costco in Europe and then Asia. He has also been responsible for marketing, e-commerce and member services, as well as real-estate development. Moulton became EVP and CIO of Costco Wholesale in 2010. In this role, he oversees Costco’s global IT operations and is responsible for the direction of all technology at the membership-based retail company.
CIO of Google
Ben Fried joined Google in 2008 from Morgan Stanley, where over a 14-year period he had risen through the ranks to become managing director of the bank’s application infrastructure group. Before that, Fried is credited as a co-designer of the Decision-Theoretic Scheduler, used by NASA to schedule missions, while at Heuristicrats Research. At Google, Fried has championed the company’s cloud strategy arguing that it should move as fast in that direction as possible. Fried is an advocate of frequent organizational changes, arguing that technology teams thrive on change.
EVP, Customer Support Services & CIO
Brian Rice has spent much of his working life leading IT teams. He led Mars’ Asia Pacific Information Services in Singapore before becoming global process information officer and global services information officer at General Motors. Rice moved to Kellogg as a regional CIO before moving up to group CIO and head of global business services. Rice joined Cardinal Health in February 2019 to lead the global enterprise-wide IT strategy and the Customer Support Services teams. He reports to Cardinal Health’s CEO, Mike Kaufmann.
SVP and global CIO
Walgreens Boots Alliance
Anthony Roberts held IT leadership roles at Agriflow.com, UPS and PepsiCo before spending a dozen years rising to the top of IT at UK pharmacy giant Boots. He then co-led the integration of Boots with the US pharmacy giant Walgreens. After just four months as international CIO of the newly formed Walgreen Boots Alliance in 2015, Roberts was promoted to the role of global CIO.
SVP and global CIO
Shanka Arumugavelu moved to Verizon in 2002 and has held several high-level technology positions spanning Verizon Telecom, Wireless and Data Services. He has served as Senior VP and global CIO since 2017, with responsibility for IT strategy, systems portfolio development and operation of all supporting infrastructure. Arumugavelu has argued that digital transformation — and indeed business transformation — within the telecoms industry is essential if companies are to meet customers’ ‘mobile-first’ expectations.
EVP and CIO
Chris Hjelm joined retailer Kroger in 2005. As CIO he determines the internal facing technology strategy, and manages the company’s nationwide network of IT systems used in retail stores, distribution centers and manufacturing plants. Prior to Kroger, Hjelm was CIO of Cendant’s Travel Distribution Services, having continued in that position after Cendant acquired travel company Orbitz. He was previously SVP for technology at eBay and spent 14 years with FedEx as a divisional CIO. Hjelm is due to retire in May 2019, when Kroger’s chief digital Yael Cosset will step into the CIO’s role..
VP & CIO
Chris Drumgoole became CIO at GE in July 2018 after three years as CTO and corporate VP and another as COO for GE Information Technology, during which time he accelerated GE’s cloud adoption. He moved to GE in 2014 from Verizon, where he was CEO of its Terremark data center subsidiary. As CIO, Drumgoole leads GE’s global IT, services and operations, as well as developing its digital strategy. He is also responsible for GE’s technology applications and its customers.
CVP and CIO
Justin Kershaw joined food and agriculture giant Cargill in 2012 as a food ingredient systems platform IT leader and business partner. In 2013 he began managing the service operations and was then promoted to VP of global IT services, before being made CIO in June 2015. In his current role at the privately held firm he leads the IT function globally, with responsibility for processes, data and technology. Prior to Cargill Kershaw spent six years at power management company Eaton Corp as SVP/CIO for its industrial sector group. From 1996 to 2006 he served in a number of roles at materials science company W.L. Gore, including as CIO. Earlier, Kershaw was director of IT at interior design product company F. Schumacher, having begun his career at GE.
EVP and CIO
Gary Matula has been EVP and CIO at Koch Industries since 2012. His responsibilities include overseeing business systems across the diversified company’s numerous subsidiaries, which span beef production, fertilizer, clothing, building materials, packaging and other lines. A constant feature on Matula’s agenda is integrating and streamlining the ERP and 7,000-plus applications used by the more than 50 diverse companies that Koch has acquired en route to becoming one of the world’s biggest privately owned companies. He spent 34 years at Molex, the electronics unit of privately held Koch. He joined the company in 1984 and was asked to lead its Americas region business systems group in 1993. Matula took over as head of global information systems in 1999 and was promoted to VP for information systems in 2000.
As global CIO of JP Morgan Chase since 2017, Lori Beer manages an IT budget of $11.5 billion and a team of 50,000 technologists who support the bank’s retail, wholesale and asset and wealth management businesses. She also serves on the firm’s Operating Committee. Before joining JPMorgan Chase in 2014 as CIO for its Corporate & Investment Bank, Beer was EVP of Specialty Businesses and Information Technology at WellPoint (now Anthem), where she was responsible for a $10 billion business. On arrival at JPMorgan Chase, Beer was CIO for the Corporate & Investment Bank.