by C.G. Lynch, Katherine Walsh, Thomas Wailgum

The CIO Hall of Fame: 20 IT Leaders of Accomplishment

Sep 28, 200725 mins
IT Leadership

Meet the 20 CIOs whose influence and accomplishments have earned them a plaque in CIO's Hall of Fame.n

These are the CIOs who have won.


The Evolution of IT

Key IT Developments, 1987-2007

What’s Ahead in IT: 2007-2027

From CIO to CEO: One Executive’s Lessons

As a group, they have aligned IT with business goals, managed relationships in boardrooms and IT back rooms, hired well and kept up with technology trends—all while producing results. Read on to learn more about their accomplishments and why we chose them to enter CIO’s Hall of Fame—and be sure to check out the Class of 1997.

Technology and Process Transformer

Gregor Bailar

Former CIO, Capital One

“I’m a geek at heart. I love to play with new technology, test it, sometimes even break it! But what’s most important about being a CIO isn’t your technical prowess, it’s the ability to engage with the right people who will rally around the right ideas and help make them possible. To see them develop into tremendous leaders, that experience beats any system implementation or architectural overhaul I may have had a hand in.”

MORE ON Gregor Bailar


How Wireless Can Improve Productivity

How Nasdaq Bounced Back from 9/11

Completed consolidation of Citibank’s worldwide corporate banking systems in 1996…. Joined Nasdaq and became the youngest CIO for a major stock market in 1997…. Led replacement of the original IT system for the Nasdaq stock market, which was completed in 2001…. Spearheaded adoption of Agile software development at Capital One and led IT’s adoption of mobile collaboration tools and work spaces in 2004…. Completed the largest credit card systems conversion project in history at Capital One in 2006…. Mentored almost a dozen IT executives, including the CIOs of Kaiser, Red Hat, Nasdaq, T. Rowe Price, NPR and Reuters.

Most people know Bailar is retiring from Capital One this year; what they don’t know is that he plans to pursue philanthropic interests with his wife. He says they will be focusing on two big areas: poverty and international development, and environmental responsibility.

CRM Revolutionary

John Boushy

CEO and President, Ameristar Casinos

“I realized [IT’s] core competency was in the relationships we create with our customers. We wanted to expand that competency using automated tools.”

MORE ON John Boushy


Stanley and Boushy Head Up IT at Harrah’s

How Harrah’s Casino Protects the House’s Money

As CIO of Harrah’s Entertainment, Boushy in 1994 began building WINet, the gaming industry’s first national recognition and rewards system to encourage customer loyalty….

Led a huge multi­year integration to connect transactional AS/400 mainframes at 20 Harrah properties to a single Unix database (a feat vendors said couldn’t be done)…. By 2001, the rewards system had saved Harrah’s $20 million a year in overall costs and increased the number of customers playing at more than one property by 72 percent…. In 2006 he became president of Ameristar, and then later its CEO.

In the middle of 1996, technical difficulties temporarily slowed the WINet project. To show confidence in the team, Boushy let his then-short hair grow until WINet was up. According to CIO, Boushy’s hair was a Samson-like shoulder length by the time WINet was running in February 1997.

Delivering Innovation

Robert Carter

EVP and CIO, FedEx

“I’ve spent my career believing that the single most important and critical success factor in IT is getting to a position of trust with the business. This earns you a seat at the table, which allows IT to move to the strategic level of making any business better for customers and more competitive.”

MORE ON Robert Carter


Change Management at Fed Ex

As CTO and later CIO, revolutionized FedEx’s package tracking system by using wireless networking when it became enterprise ready in 1999…. Pioneered handhelds in the shipping business by deploying 40,000 Bluetooth-enabled PowerPads to FedEx couriers in 2002…. Early adopter of technologies allowing customers to track packages online and to see who signed for them…. After the company restructured its business units in 2000, Carter modernized FedEx TV, a satellite-based network that allowed top executives to communicate with employees…. Sits on FedEx five-member executive committee…. Six-time winner of a CIO 100 award.

After Hurricane Katrina left FedEx’s facility in New Orleans International Airport unusable, Carter’s IT department set up a temporary facility that allowed company workers to organize, scan and ship packages. According to news reports, FedEx returned 10,000 packages to senders.

Business-IT Aligner

Barbra Cooper

Group VP and CIO, Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.

“My biggest challenge these days comes from my own staff who have tried to slow down my appetite for risk.”

MORE ON Barbra Cooper


Toyota’s Big Fix

Introducing The Office of the CIO

Instilled high-level project management metrics and financial discipline in Toyota’s IT starting in 2003, leading to a multimillion-dollar return of IT project funds to the business…. Overhauled business-IT reporting relationships…. IT executives sit next to their business counterparts; IS staffers rotate through business units…. Revamped aged dealership communications and inventory system using the Web so vehicles can be seamlessly tracked…. Held CIO roles at MicroAge and Maricopa County, Ariz…. Served as VP of technology for American Express…. one of the first women in the IT function…. Recognized by Automotive News as one of the 100 leading women in the automotive industry in 2000, 2005 and 2007.

Cooper has been called “the queen of deviant technology” by former bosses and current staffers. Since she didn’t get her start inside IT, she’s not inhibited by taking risks with new technology.

E-Commerce Prophet

Rick Dalzell

SVP and CIO,

“Customer experience matters. You have to invest in the future, not just for the moment. You have to actually lay some foundations that will enable you to take care of the customer in the future. You’ve got to hire a great, world-class engineering team that’s far smarter than the CIO.”

MORE ON Rick Dalzell


Amazon’s Approach to Systems Integration

Created legendary e-commerce engine and CRM system for gathering and analyzing customer and sales data so Amazon could predict customer shopping habits…. Implemented infrastructure that allows Amazon’s networks and data centers to be used by other companies, bringing in millions in revenue…. Spent formative years at Wal-Mart developing critical data warehousing systems alongside CIO Hall of Famers Bob Martin, Randy Mott and Kevin Turner.

Dalzell, who plans to retire at the end of the year, has a talent for identifying and getting rid of inefficiencies and excess IT spending. He reportedly slashed $1.4 billion out of inventory costs at Wal-Mart and reduced Amazon’s spending on IT from 11 cents for every $1 in sales in 2000 to 6 cents by 2003.

Centralizing in a Decentralized World

John Doucette

VP and CIO, United Technologies Corp.

“Most people don’t understand the breadth of experience and business background that you need as a CIO to succeed.”

MORE ON John Doucette


Outsourcing In India

Training for Entry-Level Staff

Standardized and centralized hundreds of applications and systems…achieved IT buy-in for shared IT services at UTC…cut millions out of IT spending and reduced systems complexity…. One of first CIOs to have success with Indian outsourcing (“I was doing this back when you didn’t want to be doing this”)…. Instituted an IT leadership program that rotates entry-level IT staffers through UTC’s seven operating units for an unheard-of 27-month period…. Before UTC, spent 18 years in GE’s operating units…was CIO of GE Lighting.

Doucette is a product of GE’s information management program, where he explored and worked in GE’s business units during an intensive two-year IT training program.

The People’s CIO

Monte Ford

SVP and CIO, American Airlines

“Once I started focusing on people instead of just the technology, I became an effective leader. There’s nothing more important in life than giving people an opportunity.”

MORE ON Monte Ford


Returning American Airlines to Profitability

Helped AA improve profitability and avoid bankruptcy by using IT to create efficiencies, including a data warehousing project that analyzed flight patterns and times…. In the aftermath of 9/11 and AA’s acquisition of TWA, centralized and consolidated all IT employees from disparate groups under one umbrella to improve operating efficiencies for the department…. Revitalized the company’s website,…. Created Jetnet, an employee relationship management system January 2002…set standard for online employee portals acting as both productivity and work-life balance tool…. As EVP and CIO at The Associates First Capital Corp., led integration with Citigroup in 2000…transformed the entire systems infrastructure and consolidated worldwide data center…. Encourages diversity in IT by writing columns and speaking before professional organizations…in 2004 and 2005, Black Engineer called him one of technology’s 50 most important African Americans.

Ford didn’t always believe IT could be an asset to a company. Prior to his time at AA, there was a time when he viewed IT merely as a cost center. Now, he believes that through investments in people, IT can drive the business.

Reinventing Government

Jim Flyzik

President, The Flyzik Group

“CIOs need to be part of the executive team and establish credibility so they can support the business of the organization. That includes building strong relationships with superiors, peers and subordinates as well as understanding your individual organization’s culture.”

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Implementing the E-Government Act

Deputy Assistant Secretary and CIO of the U.S. Treasury, 1997 to 2002…. Built first and largest civilian government enterprisewide infrastructure at Treasury for all 14 bureaus, eliminating redundancies and reducing administration costs…. Created a governance model to manage the consolidated IT enterprise…. In 2002, became special adviser for IT to White House homeland security director Tom Ridge…headed federal CIO council…one of the primary authors of “Reengineering Through IT,” a series of reports released in 1993 that recommended reinventing government through the use of technology…. Headed the team that implemented those recommendations, including creating numerous citizen websites.

Flyzik won a teaching excellence award in 1998 for a program on information security and risk assessment developed and taught at the Graduate School of Management and Technology at University of Maryland, University College. He has taught the program for 17 years part-time on Saturdays.

Putting the Dot in .Com

Paul Gaffney

COO, Desktone

“Be vulnerable. Invulnerability is the wrong model for leadership. You have to be willing to declare what you don’t know and to admit when you are wrong.”

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Aligning IT Integration Strategy with Business Goals

Practice Safe B2B

Named COO of Desktone in 2006…. In 2003, as EVP and CIO of Staples, designed and led three-year supply chain transformation using existing technology initiative improved operating profit, increased comparable store sales and decreased investment in inventory…. While SVP of technology for Charles Schwab, in 2001 launched Street Smart Pro trading platform for active traders allowed Schwab customers direct access to Nasdaq and other trading venues…. Created business plan and built’s fully integrated e-commerce site, establishing company as a multichannel player…. Built infrastructure for as part of overall IT transformation in the early 1990s.

Gaffney has worked with big brand companies most of his career, but in 1999 he created a venture-funded startup called Website Pros, which provided Web development services to small businesses.

Health Care’s CIO

John Glaser

VP and CIO, Partners HealthCare

“During my first year and a half of being a CIO, I learned that energized talent is everything. You have to get good people and, if you get them psyched to accomplish something new, they can do anything.”

MORE ON John Glaser


How to Say No to the CEO

Implemented electronic medical records (EMR), computerized provider order–entry and other clinical information systems providing physicians access to patients’ complete medical histories…. Consolidated nine IS groups from affiliated hospitals beginning in 1995…. Established world-class informatics research and development groups…. Founded the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives in 1991…it now has more than 1,000 members.

Glaser says he doesn’t have a cell phone or a PDA. In fact, he doesn’t find technology to be all that interesting. What does interest him is moving organizations from point A to point B using technology as the tool that enables that transformation.

Father of Database Management

Darwin John

Former CIO, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Someone once wrote that I had a strange career path. But the choice to go to the FBI was consistent with the set of principles I have chosen to live by: to make a difference and to continuously learn.”

MORE ON Darwin John


The Dossier on FBI CIO Darwin John

Integrated multiple disparate systems on his watch as CIO to create an online database of 900 million names for The LDS Church to allow Mormons to track ancestors…by 2003, the database’s search engine received 8 million hits daily…. Instituted videoconferencing to help the Church globally expand its mission…. Took CIO post at the FBI in 2002 to assist Bureau in updating antiquated technology infrastructure…while there, worked toward creating case file software that replaced physical files with virtual ones that include photographs, audio files, news clips…improved FBI infrastructure, including new PCs and network upgrades…. In 1983, at Scott Paper, John became one of first CIOs and earned a seat at the executive table by 1985, a step forward for IT in corporate America.

At both the LDS Church and the FBI John faced the same challenges: How do you get a massive organization, with lots of scattered data, to operate with a technology backbone worthy of the 21st century?

Mr. Enterprise IT

David Kepler

Senior VP and CIO, Dow Chemical

“The more time you spend with technology, the more you understand that technology is about the people who use it. You gain value in using technology by enabling a company in three areas: improving the way people work, making better decisions, and connecting in a more relevant way to customers. Putting in enterprise systems is really about a vision for the future and how it will change people’s lives.”

MORE ON David Kepler


Kepler Leads Charge for Change at Dow Chemical

Helped Dow become one of the first companies in the 1990s to install a global ERP system…. Became Dow’s first CIO in 1998…led the implementation of Dow’s first integrated reporting system…helped integrate the company’s IT systems with Union Carbide’s during 2002 merger, saving Dow $1.1 billion…. Launched major IT center in China to support Asian markets’ demand for supply chain, customer service and purchasing functions…. Piloted projects to test RFID, GPS, traditional bar codes and two-way radios to improve supply chain visibility.

Kepler has led other important functions at Dow such as supply chain, purchasing and Six Sigma; he also developed its national cybersecurity strategy. He has worked on the advancement of Dow’s energy and climate change policy and was recently named the company’s first Chief Sustainability Officer.

The Revenue Generator

Shaygan Kheradpir

EVP and CIO, Verizon

“The discussion that the business wants to have today is, ‘How are you going to partner with me to win in the marketplace?’ They see that the world is full of IT innovations that the customer never asked for. When did a customer ever ask for the iPod or Google? Yet once they get them, they can’t live without them.”

MORE ON Shaygan Kheradpir


The Past, Present and Future of SOA

Is IT Being Consumed by Consumer IT?

Made IT a revenue generator set up small teams to produce new products and services…. His team created iobi, a connectivity suite launched in 2003 that married the Internet with the public telephone network…then created Verizon’s FiOS (fiber-optic) interactive TV product, voice-over-IP service and the VerizonOne phone…. Embraced consumer IT in the enterprise by deploying instant messaging throughout Verizon in 2001…. Early adopter of service-oriented architecture to integrate systems from the merger that created Verizon in 2000…. Developed and implemented national platforms supporting rollout of Verizon’s all-fiber network, bringing fiber optic to millions of homes…. Selected by National Academy of Engineers as one of the nation’s 85 outstanding young engineers in 1996…. Joined GTE in 1987…named VP of GTE Labs seven years later.

After rolling out IM at Verizon, he gave all employees his screen name in case they wanted to discuss anything about the business or IT.

Risk Taker

Dawn Lepore

Chairman and CEO,

“Keep reinvesting in yourself and learn from everyone around you. Never take your eye off your customer or take them for granted.”

MORE ON Dawn Lepore


From CIO to CEO: Lessons Learned

IT Management Is About Relevance

Former vice chairman of technology, operations and administration, and active trader for Charles Schwab…during her tenure, identified the potential for trading stocks online and launched in 1995, ushering in era of electronic trading…pushed for training of branch workers on Schwab’s e-business systems to increase morale and market share…encouraged Schwab to offer discounted online trades, a move viewed as risky but which paid off as share volume increased….

Joined as Chairman and CEO in 2004…implemented a number of business initiatives that improved margins at the company and have recently led to record sales…. Named one of Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business from 1999 to 2002.

Lepore, at the time a music major, found out she had an knack for computers after she took an aptitude test at Cincinnati Bell in the late 1970s.

Supply Chain Trailblazer

Randy Mott

EVP and CIO, Hewlett-Packard

“Give capable people large challenges and let them surprise you. Give them a chance to use their full potential.”

MORE ON Randy Mott


Celebrated CIO Randy Mott Talks IT

IT Integration Strategy

Pioneered retail and supply chain systems, such as merchandising, replenishment and distribution technologies at Wal-Mart…implemented common IT systems and processes as Wal-Mart expanded globally in the 1990s and, during his six years at the helm, almost tripled revenue…. CIO of Dell from 2000–2005….

His mentoring produced 10 C-level executives across multiple industries within the Fortune 100…. Received the Roger Milliken Career Achievement Award in 2007 for contributions to retail and consumer-focused industries through the creation and implementation of supply chain standards and best practices.

Mott has a Harley-Davidson that he rides in the hills of Austin, Texas, whenever he gets a chance.

The Early Adopter

Michael Prince

VP and CTO (and former CIO), Burlington Coat Factory

“We [used open source] because it looked excellent to us and it was the most affordable thing to do. People were nurtured and listened to, and we encouraged people to be knowledgeable in things that were emerging.”

MORE ON Michael Prince


20/20 Honoree: Michael Prince

Brought in Unix boxes as early as mid-1980s when Unix was used only in science and academia…in the early 1980s introduced TCP/IP networking and server-based e-mail to facilitate communication between employees and store managers (while most retailers were still using the postal system and the phone)…utilized storage area networks in the mid-1990s to enable access to disk storage using fiber-switched networks, reducing costs and improving network reliability…brought radio frequency devices into Burlington’s stores, which came equipped with a bar code scanner, keyboard and screen, allowing retail workers greater mobility and productivity…. Pioneered Linux in the corporate space as early as 1998 to cut support costs and promote ease of use for retail employees operating on a thin-desktop client…. Improved connection speeds by implementing satellite networks when everyone else used dial-up…. One of the first to deploy Oracle Relational Database in 1987, revolutionizing how business data was handled.

Unpopular cost efficiencies drove Prince to become the king of early adoption. And it was his technical staff—empowered by Prince—who pushed these technologies. In fact, the Linux decision was driven in large part by college interns who championed the open-source operating system’s capabilities.

The Consolidator

Rebecca Rhoads

VP and CIO, Raytheon

“To prepare for the role of CIO, one needs to reach for the projects and assignments that are way outside of their comfort zone. The growth and the rewards from those diverse, broad and difficult assignments are fantastic.”

MORE ON Rebecca Rhoads


The Role of Risk Analysis in Project Portfolio Management

Careers: Why IT Hates Women

Mitigated more than $50 million in risk by applying rigorous controls, rates and a new business model for IT when she became Raytheon CIO in 2001….

Responsible for post-merger consolidation and integration with Hughes Electronics, TI and E-Systems, for which Raytheon was honored with a CIO 100 Award in 2002…core component of the integration was Rhoads’s elimination of more than 2,800 legacy systems and deployment of a common ERP architecture by 2004…established a common process and proprietary Sox control environment across all businesses in 2005…deployed rigorous security mechanisms through privacy and information assurance initiatives across the company in 2007.

Rhoads did not begin her career in IT. In 1997, after years in electrical engineering, she felt the world was undergoing a “tectonic shift” in technology and she wanted to be a part of it. Rhoads set her sights on the CIO position and worked her way up the ladder until she got there.


Ralph Szygenda

Group VP and CIO, General Motors

“My 37 years as a CIO has taught me that business improvement is all that counts. Information technology is useless unless it provides added value to the business and changes the business for the better.”

MORE ON Ralph Szygenda


GM Takes On Business Alignment and Wins

GM Proves E-Business Matters

Led GM’s global transformation through the use of IT and its influence on business process reengineering…. Since 1996, as GM’s first-ever CIO, has removed $12 billion of IT costs and reinvested $7 billion into new IT development…reduced vehicle development cycle and delivery time to customers by more than 50 percent by consolidating 23 CAD/CAM systems into one global system…. Szygenda and his team played a significant role in GM’s success in China…implemented critical IT to modify product at GM China’s Engineering Center…. Developed systems to support GM’s OnStar system, which provides in-vehicle safety and communications to 4.5 million customers.

Szygenda developed an integrated business and information technology curriculum for MBAs because that combined perspective was not being taught to business students. He feels it’s important for CIOs to give back to society and help the next generation of business and IT leaders.

From Cashier to Business Leader

Kevin Turner

COO, Microsoft Corp.

“Being a CIO is a 7-by-24-by-365 job. Businesses run on infrastructure and the business of technology. Even when you’re off, you have to be reachable. It’s a job that is difficult to unplug.”

MORE ON Kevin Turner


How to Succeed in Business at All Levels

Wal-Mart: IT Inside the World’s Biggest Company

Served as CIO of Wal-Mart and CEO of Sam’s Club…enabled both to expand during rapid business and IT growth…. Current COO of Microsoft…. Known for his ability to mesh business strategy and IT capability….

In 1997, Turner became the first recipient of the Sam M. Walton Entrepreneur of the Year award, a very high honor at Wal-Mart…. Instrumental in developing retail-specific applications (such as RetailLink) at Wal-Mart to achieve complete inventory and supply chain transparency with suppliers….Began Wal-Mart career as a cashier in 1985.

His “team first” approach is legendary. “It’s the people you work with that determine your success,” he says.

The Big Picture

Carl Wilson

EVP and CIO, Marriott International

“Well-informed people normally do the right thing. Alternately, if you don’t let people know what is expected of them, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen.”

MORE ON Carl Wilson


The CIO Role Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

How Marriott Built an IT System to Maximize Revenue

With his team, introduced industry’s first high-speed Internet access offered in guest rooms…. Implemented reservation system…system generates more than $4 billion in annual revenue…. Developed Rewarding Welcome application to personalize guest response for Marriott Rewards members….

Transformed physical networks into a virtual private network…saved $15 million annually…improved network response times by 60 percent…. Implemented industry-leading ERP systems to support shared service centers for HR and financial systems…consolidated group revenue functions into one Web-based system starting in 2001.

Wilson credits his career success to a position he held early on at Central Soya Co. At that company, he conducted special studies for senior executives and board members. Wilson says this gave him the opportunity to see and understand how executives thought and made decisions, which has served him well throughout his career.