Ford shakes up C-suite; UPS CIO to join Hershey's board

and other news for digital executives, by journalist Mitch Betts ▸ Conagra adds AI to HR ▸ M&T Bank's hiring spree ▸ Container shippers go digital ▸ CxO job changes ▸

Newsletter by Mitch Betts © Ampersand Reports 2019, all rights reserved.


Marcy Klevorn departing Oct. 1. Ford Motor Co. announced a variety of C-suite changes, effective May 1, “as it accelerates progress on its global business redesign.” One result: Long-time Ford digital executive Marcy Klevorn is on the way out. Ford named:

  • Joe Hinrichs as President of Automotive (essentially the present car company, including manufacturing, IT, and customer experience)

  • Jim Farley as President of New Businesses, Technology & Strategy (essentially “the future,” including strategy, transformation, advanced engineering, artificial intelligence, data analytics, Ford Smart Mobility, and Ford Autonomous Vehicles)

Both Farley and Hinrichs will continue to report to Ford CEO Jim Hackett.

The company said Klevorn — who had been Ford CIO and was elevated to President of the Ford Mobility business operation in mid-2017 — “has elected to retire” from the company in October, and in the interim, she will serve as chief transformation officer. The announcement went to great lengths to describe Klevorn’s distinguished career and the transition plan:

After 36 years with Ford, Marcy Klevorn, president of Ford Mobility, has announced plans to retire Oct. 1. Until then, Marcy will report to Hackett and work with Ford’s senior leadership team on key transformational opportunities.

In this role, Klevorn will help refine the company’s corporate governance systems, facilitate faster adoption of agile teams across the business and ensure process improvements across the enterprise. She will also continue to facilitate strategic partnerships with key technology partners as well as continue to champion Ford’s Professional Women’s Network and support the company’s diversity efforts.

“I have asked Marcy to work with me and the senior team to accelerate our transformation,” Hackett said. “Marcy’s decades of experience working with many of the leading companies in the tech space as well as the work she has done with the transformation of Ford IT and the establishment of Ford Mobility gives her unique knowledge to drive these initiatives.”

Klevorn was appointed leader of Ford Mobility in June 2017. Over the past two years, she redesigned the organization to focus on delivery of great products and services, to nurture and grow new businesses, to support city customers, and to incubate new ideas.

Through her leadership, the Ford Mobility team put in place the pillars for the company’s transition toward mobility services, including the establishment of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, the acquisition of Autonomic and creation of the Transportation Mobility Cloud and the company’s commitment to 100 percent vehicle connectivity globally.

In addition, she led the expansion of FordPass, directed the growth of several revenue-generating businesses including Ford Commercial Solutions, GoRide Health, and the City:One Challenges, and she steered the acquisition of others including Spin and Transloc. Prior to becoming president of Ford Mobility, Marcy served as the company’s chief information officer, where she led the transformation of IT into a product-led organization.

CIO on board. Hershey Co. nominated Juan Perez — chief information & engineering officer at United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) — for election to its board of directors. (The election will be May 21 at the company’s annual stockholder meeting.) The board cited his “deep expertise in supply chain management and logistics, digital technology, innovation, and data analytics.”


Real digital activity in corporate America

HR meets AI. Conagra Brands Inc., a major branded food company based in Chicago, launched a pioneering careers website that uses matching algorithms to help job candidates discover & quickly apply to the most relevant roles for them at Conagra. The AI-powered system will also help HR professionals “rediscover the talent in our legacy applicant tracking systems and easily re-engage valued people,” Conagra said.

Inventory-checking robot. Giant Eagle Inc., one of the nation’s largest food retailers & distributors, announced a pilot program to deploy Tally autonomous robots — which roam the aisles to determine whether shelves are fully stocked — at grocery stores in the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Akron areas. Tally detects out-of-stock & low-stock situations, then sends detailed inventory reports to store teams every 30 minutes.

IT hiring spree. M&T Bank plans to hire more than 1,000 permanent technology employees, including software engineers, Web developers and other digital positions, over the next five years. The first 250 of these technology positions will be posted & filled throughout 2019, according to a statement by CEO Rene Jones & CIO Michael Wisler. Most of the jobs will be in Buffalo, N.Y., but 200 will be in Wilmington, Del.

Digital shipping. Four of the largest global container shipping companies have launched the Digital Container Shipping Association, based in Amsterdam. André Simha — CIO of Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) — is the association chairman. He said the goal is to establish common IT standards to make the industry more efficient for both customers and shipping lines. “For the first time in twenty years, the container shipping industry has a common goal to move the industry into the digital era,” he said in a statement. The association’s CEO will be Thomas Bagge, a digital tranformation adviser at Maersk. (Twitter feed)

Floor visualizer. Virginia-based Lumber Liquidators Inc., a specialty retailer of hard-surface flooring, announced the launch of its floor visualizer, a new digital tool to help customers picture the latest flooring styles and trends in their home. By uploading a photo of any room, customers can use the floor visualizer (at to digitally preview Lumber Liquidators’ collection of flooring options, according to Charles Tyson, chief customer experience officer.

Briefly noted: Bank of America is preparing to launch (this fall) a digital portal called Life Plan, intended to help customers work toward financial goals like buying a home or saving for retirement. (CNBC) ▸ Albertsons Cos. LLC, one of the largest food & drug retailers in the U.S., is joining the blockchain-based IBM Food Trust network to improve how food is traced from farm to store shelf, according to CIO Anuj Dhanda. First up: tracking romaine lettuce in the supply chain. ▸ Clothing retailer Chico’s FAS Inc. plans to launch a new, “digital-first brand” of intimate apparel, called TellTale, on April 24, with a dedicated website:


Appointments, promotions, transitions

U.S. Bank, based in Minneapolis, hired Derek White as Chief Digital Officer, “responsible for leading the company’s newly combined digital team,” the bank said in a statement. He will report to the CEO and join the company’s Managing Committee. White was most recently an executive at the banking group BBVA in Spain, where he led a team of nearly 10,000 people focused on digital innovation and data science. “He and his family will be relocating to the United States when he begins with the company this spring,” the statement said.

Medtronic plc announced that Sean Lennon will join the company as CIO on April 29, according to an e-mailed statement. He will succeed Mike Hedges, who is retiring from this role after 19 years at the company, including 10 as CIO. Lennon was most recently CIO at global pharmaceutical company Allergan plc.

SUNZ Holdings LLC, a national workers’ compensation insurance company based in Bradenton, Fla., named John Sells as CIO. He’ll focus on “digital transformation and deep usage of data analytics,” the company said. Sells was previously the company’s Chief Data Officer but will now have broader IT responsibilities.

Cox Automotive Inc., based in Atlanta, named Mark Luber to the newly created role of Chief Data Officer, reporting to the Chief Product Officer. He was SVP of Global Product & Analytics at LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

Bob Wolpert, corporate SVP for Logistics at Golden State Foods in Irvine, Calif., will move into the role of Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer as part of a C-suite makeover. Wolpert will continue to spearhead the company’s work on blockchain, the Internet of Things, and other digital innovations, while helping to guide company strategy overall.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (dba BNY Mellon), in New York, announced the appointment of several members of its digital leadership team, reporting to Roman Regelman, Senior EVP & Head of Digital:
Alina Peradze, Digital Business Development Leader
Janelle Prevost, Client Journey Reimagination Leader
Michael Demissie, Advanced Digital Solutions Leader

More recent appointments & promotions: ▸ Asif Malik, CIO, SilkRoad Technology Inc. ▸ Joe Ferlisi, CIO, Rockefeller Capital Management LP (starting in May) ▸ Rad Brannan, CIO, EMEX LLC ▸ Bill Jennings, Chief Digital Officer, PatientPoint LLC ▸ Leo Brunnick, Chief Digital Officer, Newscycle Solutions Inc. ▸ Stephen Cross, CIO, Merchants Insurance Group ▸ James (Jim) Furr, CIO, North Wind Group ▸ Raj Nukala, EVP & CIO, Park West Gallery ▸ Leonard (“Len”) Camara, CIO, FirstLight Fiber ▸ Shawn Berg, Chief Digital Officer, MarineMax Inc. ▸ Catherine Lloyd, Chief Data Officer, University of Wisconsin–Madison ▸ Greg Higham, CIO, Malwarebytes Inc. ▸ Curt Gooden, CIO, TaskUs Inc. ▸ Dan Chichester, Chief Experience Officer, Ogilvy Health ▸ Timothy Tindle, CIO, Spok Inc. ▸ Gabriel Orthous, CIO, Central Georgia Health Network ▸ Dawn Douglass, CIO, Volly (a new marketing automation firm) ▸ Eric Hagopian, Chief Data Officer, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board ▸ Zack Kilburn, CTO, InSync Healthcare Solutions LLC ▸ Richard (Rick) Johnson, CIO, Sonoco Products Co. ▸ Daryl Seaman, CIO, Sphere Commerce LLC ▸ Dennis Lee, CIO, Mountain Health Network ▸ Peter Schaubach, CIO, Tactile Systems Technology Inc. ▸ Peter Randazzo, Global CTO, Merkle Inc. ▸ Rama Kondru, CIO, Medidata Solutions Inc. ▸ Craig Richardville, CIO, SCL Health ▸ Jim Rogers, CIO, Dealer Teamwork LLC ▸ Michael Ciano, CIO, ConsumerMedical Resource Inc. ▸ Chad Harris, Chief Digital Officer, SeniorMetrics ▸ Tony Batalla, CTO, City of San Leandro, Calif. ▸ Patrick Bogan, VP for IT Strategy & Operational Excellence, CNO Financial Group Inc.