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28 CIOs on the Move

The State of Illinois, Foot Locker, The White House, and Zscaler are among the governments and organizations that hired new technology leaders within the past month.
Joshua Koszalkowski
Contributing Writer

With AI advancing at breakneck speed and organizations scaling to meet the digital needs of the future, solid leadership is necessary to guide the ship. From seasoned veterans to rising stars, these executives are shaping the landscape with their vision, expertise, and innovative approaches. Congratulations to these technology leaders who have all taken up new roles.

Yao Morin – Chief Technology Officer at JLL

JLL, a leading global commercial real estate and investment management company, has promoted Yao Morin to Chief Technology Officer (CTO). As CTO, Morin will lead the company’s global technology development strategy and delivery as well as oversee the newly centralized engineering group within JLL Technologies (JLLT), the technology division of JLL. Morin joined JLL Technologies in 2020 as Chief Data Officer and has been leading a team of over 700 employees developing and implementing enterprise data solutions, building advanced analytics, creating new data products, and utilizing data science and machine learning to discover new business opportunities.

Syam Nair – Chief Technology Officer at Zscaler

Zsaler Inc., a leader in cloud security, recently appointed Syam Nair as Chief Technology Officer and EVP of Research and Development. In this capacity, Nair will be responsible for driving the research and development engines to expand Zscaler’s Zero Trust Exchange platform, accelerate AI/ML innovations, and further scale the largest security cloud in the world. “I am delighted to join the Zscaler leadership team and drive innovation and cloud platform scale at the industry leader in cloud security,” said Nair in a press release. He brings over 25 years of industry experience working for companies including Salesforce, Microsoft, Bocada, and At Home Corp, among others.

Jonathan Hale – Chief Technology Officer at Security Validation

Security Validation, a leading managed security provider servicing more than 1,500 across the globe, has named Jonathan Hale Chief Technology Officer. As CTO, Hale will foster the growth of the company’s core security offerings and build a robust AI security platform that will protect their clients from AI enabled threats. Prior to Security Validation, Hale “served as Chief Information Security Officer of NuArx Inc, where he was responsible for growth offerings in the PCI space, innovative design of new products and building a next generation security platform to manage end to end security for customers,” according to a press release. He brings over 25 years of technology leadership experience, having worked with HP, ANX, Ocuram, AT&T, Techedge, and IBM Global Services, to name a few.

Christine Palmer – Chief Technology Officer at the US Naval Observatory

The US Naval Observatory has appointed Christine Palmer as Chief Technology Officer. Palmer has worked in the public sector in the past, notably working with the Department of Defense as a Data Scientist from July 2016 to March 2018 and as the Lead Data Scientist with the agency from July 2019 to September 2021. She’s also worked with the Sensors and Functional Materials Group, the ARL Navigation Research and Development Center with Penn State University, Booz Allen Hamilton, and most recently Frontier Technology. In regard to her appointment to CTO with the US Naval Observatory, Palmer wrote the following in a LinkedIn post: “I am very excited to share that I will be returning to civilian service this month as the new Chief Technology Officer for the United States Naval Observatory (USNO)! Their mission is especially exciting for me since my first role in engineering was (coincidentally) supporting navigation R&D for the Office of Naval Research. Definitely looking forward to collaborating with other leading scientific and emerging technology organizations, very soon!”

Stephen Fridakis – Chief Information Security Officer at Oracle Health

CISO at Oracle

Oracle Health, the healthcare solutions branch of the cloud technology company Oracle, named Stephen Fridakis as Chief Information Security Officer. The company, which offers the “most secure and reliable healthcare solutions that connect clinical, operational, and financial data to improve care and advance decision-making around health and well-being,” is looking to transform healthcare through better information. Fridakis’ background may help them to achieve just that. Fridakis brings 38 years of industry experience, having served in strategic positions at UNICEF, FAO, Amazon, HBO, WW (formerly Weight Watchers), and most recently as Deputy Chief Information Security Officer at Verily. While at Verily, he was responsible for security risk, strategic planning. certifications, and attestations, among other key initiatives.

John Israel – Chief Information Security Officer with the State of Minnesota

The Minnesota IT Services Agency (MNIT) has named John Israel its full-time Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Israel had been serving the State’s IT services agency as CSIO on an interim basis since October. “Minnesota’s whole-of-state approach is critical to protecting the information of our citizens, residents, and visitors and keeping systems running,” said Minnesota CIO Tarek Tomes, who leads MNIT and chairs the cyber planning board. “John Israel has experience bringing together all levels of government, critical industry, and public institutions to ensure that cybersecurity is embedded into the work we do to serve Minnesotans.”

Jerry Glynn – Chief Information Officer at DEMDACO

DEMDACO, a leading gift and home décor company, has appointed Jerry Glynn as Chief Information Officer (CIO), effective immediately. As CIO, Glynn will help the company to achieve their “strategic goals of launching a customer-friendly online experience; better defining and prioritizing technology initiatives; and introducing a more robust project-management infrastructure that will reduce cost overruns, production errors, and reporting,” said DEMDACO President and CEO Demi Lloyd. Glynn brings more than 20 years of progressive technology management experience driving measurable business results in profit growth, process re-engineering, operational efficiency, and cost efficiency. He joins DEMDACO from Lenexa, Kan-based American Direct, where he led the company’s technology efforts for the past six years.

Oscar Araya – Chief Information Officer at Exigent

Exigent, a provider of mission-critical HVAC, plumbing, and other mechanical system repair, maintenance, and replacement services, has selected Oscar Araya to serve as Chief Information Officer. Prior to joining Exigent, Araya spent over 10 years at Beacon Building Products, finishing his tenure as Vice President of Information Technology. Upon announcing his departure from the company, he said the following in a LinkedIn post: “I owe so much to Beacon and will miss each and every one of you. Thank you all for a fantastic decade filled with learning, hard work and team building.” Araya is a solutions-driven, highly analytical IT Executive with over 25 years of experience driving technology innovation, software design and systems architecture at an enterprise scale.

Bindu Purushothaman – Chief Information Officer at WelbeHealth

Physician-led organization WelbeHealth, the California-based Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), announced that Bindu Purushothaman is their new Chief Information Officer. Bindu brings over 15 years of leadership experience in the IT healthcare realm, and most recently served as Chief Information Officer at Satellite Healthcare. “I am inspired by, and excited for, the journey ahead with WelbeHealth, an organization known for its dedication to providing compassionate all-inclusive care for seniors who need it most,” said Purushothaman. “The opportunity to work with an organization so deeply rooted in the community offers me the chance to not only do meaningful work but also better the lives of those around me.”

Nestor Lopez – Chief Information and Technology Officer at SiriusPoint

Nestor Lopez has been promoted to Chief Information and Technology Officer at SiriusPoint, a global underwriter of insurance and reinsurance. Lopez brings 23 years of IT leadership experience, having worked with General Electric, Genworth Financial, Allianz Group, CNA Insurance, and most recently at Prosight Specialty Insurance where he served as Chief Information Officer. Scott Egan, CEO at SiriusPoint, commented on Lopez’s promotion, saying, “The quality and accessibility of our data is central to SiriusPoint’s strategy and best-in-class aspirations. I look forward to continuing to work with Nestor as we further develop our data and tech capabilities. It is a pleasure to announce his promotion and to recognize the talent we have at SiriusPoint.”

Luis German – Chief Information Officer at Amentum

Amentum, a leading global engineering and modernization provider, has appointed Luis German as Chief Information Officer. As CIO, German will apply his expertise in implementing large and complex technology transformation solutions to Amentum’s business transformation and growth strategy. German brings 25 years of experience, most recently serving as CIO at Visteon Corporation, and is an expert when it comes to combining business acumen with technical capabilities to fuel market expansion with technology, according to his LinkedIn. “I’m thrilled to welcome Luis to our executive team as our new CIO,” said John Heller, Amentum’s CEO. “He brings a wealth of experience in digital advancement through strategic enablers like business process modernization, smart logistics management, and IT backend solutions. Under Luis’s leadership, we can better elevate Amentum’s technology position internally and enhance our ability to deliver innovative offerings to our many customers and partners around the globe.”

Sukshma Rajagopalan – Chief Information and Digital Officer at Lamb Weston

Lamb Weston, a leading supplier of frozen potato, sweet potato, appetizer, and vegetable products to restaurants and retailers around the world, has announced Sukshma Rajagopalan will join the company as Chief Information and Digital Officer, effective June 26, 2023. Rajagopalan brings over 25 years of experience in IT leadership and most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at Avantor, where she led all aspects of the company’s global enterprise solutions, analytics strategy, data platforms, and digital solutions around automation/AI and global insights. “I’m looking forward to Sukshma joining our executive team in this new role,” said Lamb Weston President and CEO Tom Werner. “Her breadth of experience in the digital space and her deep knowledge of the food industry will help us to unlock even more value in our digital and technology strategies.”

Jim FrenchChief Technology Officer at Radial Inc.

Radial Inc., a leader in eCommerce solutions, appointed James French as Chief Technology Officer. As CTO, French will continue building on Radial’s efforts around driving innovation and boosting its technology and infrastructure across the network, while solidifying the company’s leadership in delivering innovative eCommerce solutions. Most recently, French served as Chief Technology Officer for four years at Transplace, an Uber Freight Company, where he managed the company’s enterprise technology, including information security, product and program management, data platforms, and software engineering. “I am delighted to join Radial and lead the technology team during such an exciting time of growth and transformation for the company,” said French. “Together, we will continue to improve the client experience, drive growth, and solidify Radial’s position as a leader in the industry.”

Michael Yoo – Chief Information Officer at RetireeFirst

RetireeFirst, the premier retiree benefit management solutions and advocacy service provider, selected Michael Yoo as their first Chief Information Officer. Yoo is a key addition to the team who will help to continue the company’s people-centric approach while simultaneously keeping data protection top-of-mind. “By joining the RetireeFirst team, I see a prime opportunity to combine my technology, information security, and compliance experience to enhance our position as an industry leader through elevated technological innovation,” Yoo said. “I’m eager to build on RetireeFirst’s stellar reputation as a top-performer by leveraging the latest industry trends to significantly accelerate our digital initiatives.” Yoo is an established technology executive with experience leading initiatives at companies including Vanguard, NBOME, Sagent Lending Technologies, and most recently Tinuiti, to name a few.

Matt Hillary – VP, Security & Chief Information Security Officer at Drata

Matt Hillary has been named VP, Security & Chief Information Security Officer at Drata, a continuous security and compliance automation platform. In this role, he will be tasked with leading and upgrading Drata’s global cybersecurity strategy, safekeeping internal operations, and its thousands of customers. Hillary comes to Drata with over 15 years of security leadership experience having served in key roles with Adobe, Amazon Web Services, Instrucuture, Weave HQ, and Lumio, to name a few. In a LinkedIn post celebrating the new role, Hillary said “As a CISO, operating a security compliance program using existing methods can be extremely burdensome and painful, and Drata is here to help revolutionize how we continuously operate these programs in an automated, predictable, and favorable way. I’m thrilled to join this amazing team to continue building upon and further elevate the security-first foundation already in place!”

Denice Ross – Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer for Tech Capacity at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has named Denice Ross as Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer for Tech Capacity. In this role, Ross will work to enable “governments at the federal, state, local, tribal and territorial levels to be more open, effective and equitable.” Prior to this, Ross served as U.S. Chief Data Scientist in the office, having held the position since November of 2021. Her previous work history includes leadership roles at the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), New America, the White House Office of Management and Budget, White House Presidential Innovation Fellows, and the City of New Orleans, to name a few.

Jennifer Prescott – Chief Digital and Information Officer at CDM Smith

CDM Smith, a privately owned engineering and construction firm, has appointed Jennifer Prescott Chief Digital and Information Officer, where she will be accountable for continuing the firm’s leadership in digital solutions, technology modernization, and innovation all geared towards supporting their clients to solve their most difficult challenges and accomplish world-class outcomes. Prescott brings more than 25 years of technology leadership experience, having worked with Coors Brewing Company, Molson Coors, and most recently at Kleinfelder, where she served as Chief Information Officer & Innovation Lead. The spectrum of Jennifer’s expertise – from implementing internal IT strategies to building external partnerships to creating innovative solutions to optimize client outcomes – as well as her passion for making a positive difference made her a perfect match for us, our culture and our mission,” said CDM Smith Chairman and CEO Tim Wall. “We are very excited about the future she will help CDM Smith achieve for our employees and our clients.”

Chris Kostakis – Chief Technology Officer at Hero Digital

Hero Digital, a leading independent digital customer experience company, has selected Chris Kostakis as Chief Technology Officer. As CTO, Kostakis will use his two decades of experience in the digital customer experience and commerce technology space to lead the company’s future technology vision and capabilities. He joins the company from Gorilla Group, where he served as CTO with a variety of clients to create award-winning digital and commerce experiences that bridged strategy, digital experience, customer intelligence, and technology. In a LinkedIn post around the new appointment, Kostakis said “Thrilled to join Hero Digital as CTO, leading their tech vision. Grateful for the warm welcome from the amazing team. Excited to drive capabilities, talent development, strategic partnerships, and global tech delivery. Let’s push digital boundaries together!”

Mike Uwe Dickersbach – Chief Digital Officer at Highgate

Highgate, a premier hospitality investment and management company, has named Mike Uwe Dickersbach Chief Digital Officer. Dickersbach served as Chief Technology Officer from April 2015 to June 2017 with Highgate before working in key leadership roles with HEI Hotels & Resorts, RipplePoint, and most recently Infor, where he served as Vice President Global Hospitality Services. He shared his excitement around being back in a technology-centric role at Highgate, saying: “After almost a decade, I am honored to return to Highgate, a company that understands the importance of having IT as a core component of its broader strategic vision. I am thrilled to be working with such a talented team of professionals who are committed to achieving the highest standard of excellence.”

Adrian Butler – Chief Technology Officer at Foot Locker

Foot Locker, a leading footwear and apparel retailer, appointed Adrian Butler as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Butler will be leading “the Global Technology Services Team and the organization’s technology operating model transformation focused on elevating cross-functional collaboration and modernizing ways of working to enable enterprise thinking and create value for all stakeholders.” Prior to joining Foot Locker, Butler served as Chief Information Officer at Casey’s General Stores, where he spearheaded cybersecurity efforts and technology initiatives, as well as digital, data, and analytics functions. He’s also served in key technology leadership positions for AccorHotels, Tom Joyner Online Education, Target, and Dine Brands Global, leading Information Technology and digital transformation efforts for Applebee’s and IHOP.

Judd Nicholson – Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority 

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) selected Judd Nicholson as Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer. Nicholson joins WMATA from Georgetown University where he spent the last 10 years leading key technology initiatives. In his most recent capacity there, he served as VP of IT and CIO, leading vision, strategy, and execution for all facets of IT for the university. Prior to his time at Georgetown, he served as Deputy Assistant Director/Deputy CIO Information Technology Division with the US Marshals Service. As noted in his LinkedIn, Nicholson is a “highly motivated and experienced subject matter expert and executive with extensive experience in defining and guiding information technology vision, strategy, and execution for major organizations, with experience gained in multi-campus university environments as well as in federal agencies.”

David Walsh – Chief Information Officer at Plastics Family Americas

Plastics Family Americas hired David Walsh as Chief Information Officer, where he will “oversee the IT division and work in conjunction with the Marketing and Digital Experience Teams to elevate the user experience by offering innovative e-commerce solutions while maintaining a secure and stable IT environment.” Walsh’s background includes extensive experience around driving digital transformation initiatives and building customer-centric solutions, generating profitable growth, and building successful teams. Prior to joining the company, he worked as Chief Information Officer at The Crosby Group where he led efforts to build a global technology division among other initiatives. Walsh has also served in IT leadership positions with companies including The Hackett Group, Haggar Clothing Co., and Farmer Brothers, among others.

Sanjay Gupta – Chief Information Officer and Secretary of the Department of Innovation and Technology with the State of Illinois

The State of Illinois has selected Sanjay Gupta as Chief Information Officer and Secretary of the Department of Innovation and Technology. Gupta has served in key technology leadership roles with Gartner, Heidrick & Struggles, the International Code Council, World Book, IDC, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and most recently, DOJ-EOIR where he lead IT initiatives as Chief Information Officer. “I want to thank Governor Pritzker for giving me the opportunity to serve the people of Illinois, my adopted home,” said Gupta, who used to live in the Chicago suburbs. “Over decades in IT, I’ve learned how to apply the private sector’s best practices to government work. The team at DoIT has propelled the state forward tremendously in the past five years, and I look forward to working with the committed professionals in Illinois.”

Scott Kessler – Chief Information Officer at Northeast Grocery

Northeast Grocery, a new powerful alliance between Market 32, Price Chopper, and Tops, has appointed Scott Kessler Chief Information Officer. Kessler brings more than 20 years of industry experience to the role, having worked with companies such as GSI Commerce Solutions, Inc., Belk, and most recently, BJ’s Wholesale Club where he served as Chief Information Officer for 6 years. He is a results-oriented leader with “relentless focus on driving innovation and operational excellence,” with his specialties including digital strategy and delivery, IT and digital transformation, Artificial Intelligence, strategic planning, cloud computing and infrastructure, and more.

Rob Burch – Chief Information Security Officer at Brown & Brown, Inc.

Brown & Brown Inc., a leading insurance brokerage firm, selected Rob Burch as Chief Information Security Officer. According to Burch’s LinkedIn, he has more than 35 years of experience in technology, operations, information risk and security, and says that he is eager to leverage his “experience developing and implementing comprehensive information security programs for large and complex financial services and insurance organizations to strengthen Brown & Brown’s security framework.” His past experience includes technology leadership roles at PNC, Regions Bank, KeyBank, and most recently, Fidelity National Financial, where he served as CISO.

Brian Butts – Chief Technology Officer at CardFlight

CardFlight, a leading provider of payment technology and point-of-sale solutions and creator of SwipeSimple, appointed Brian Butts Chief Technology Officer. Butts brings over two decades of cloud technology leadership, having worked with companies such as Evokos, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, Scientia Solutions Inc., Northplains, and most recently Revel Systems, where he served as Vice President of Development & Cloud Operations. “I am excited to be a part of the CardFlight mission to make payments simple for small business merchants. The company’s commitment to innovation combined with its strong culture of collaboration are what attracted me to this role,” said Butts. “I look forward to working with the talented technical team at CardFlight to further our strategic vision and ambitions.”

Jessica Kral – Chief Information Officer at Modivcare Inc.

Modivcare Inc., a technology-enabled healthcare services company that provides a platform of integrated supportive care solutions focused on improving health outcomes, named Jessica Kral Chief Information Officer. As CIO, Kral will drive the company’s IT strategy and operations. Kral brings decades of technology leadership experience, having worked with UnitedHealth Group, UnitedHealthcare, and most recently Optum, where she served as SVP of Strategy & Transformation, Optum Health Technology. “I am confident my healthcare IT leadership experience will help guide our journey as we scale operations and implement the right technologies to provide the best experience for our members and customers,” said Kral in a press release. “After serving Medicare and Medicaid members over the last 15 years, I am passionate about Modivcare’s mission and strongly believe in making connections to care through the most effective use of technology, enabling our members to age gracefully in the comforts of their homes.”

Liz Rodgers – Chief Information Officer for the City of Lexington, Kentucky

The city of Lexington, Kentucky has selected Liz Rogers as Chief Information Officer. Rogers brings over 20 years of IT leadership experience, the majority being with The Commonwealth of Kentucky in various capacities, followed by a brief tenure at Connexus Credit Union. According to her LinkedIn, she is “Committed to service excellence and continuous improvement, passionate about ITSM, and talented at bringing together people, practices, and partners to put technology to work.” Upon joining the City of Lexington, Kentucky as CIO, she said “My team and I are dedicated to providing our government workforce with technology that is readily available, operates securely and efficiently, and supports their mission to serve,” said Rodgers in a statement. “As the demand for technology-enabled interactions with local government continues to grow, we’re also looking forward to exploring new opportunities to reinforce our connection to the community.”

CIOs on the Move is brought to you by CIO Partners®. When hiring your next technology executive, experience matters. Trust CIO Partners, the #1 executive search firm for technology leadership talent.

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