Special Edition: Digital execs getting board seats

Exclusive list of CIOs and other digital leaders who joined a corporate board of directors in the past 12 months

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

Welcome to this special edition of the Digital Business newsletter. It comes at a time when corporate boards are eager to gain expertise about digital transformation & cybersecurity in the face of digital disruption & disastrous data breaches. In addition, boards are trying to diversify the voices in the boardroom, including the addition of more women and minorities.

My observation while conducting research for this newsletter over the past year is that there has been a sharp increase in the number of CIOs (and similar digital executives) getting board seats. (I don’t have data for the 12 months before that, so that observation is impressionistic & un-quantified.)

Why this matters. A recent MIT study of 1,233 U.S. companies earning at least $1 billion in revenue found that only 24% of the boards of directors were deemed “digital savvy.” But those companies performed consistently better than their peers on key metrics, including 38% higher revenue growth, 17% higher profit margin, 34% higher market cap growth, and 34% higher return on assets.

Especially noticeable in my research: the prevalence of female CIOs & ex-CIOs selected for board seats in the past 12 months. In those cases, boards are gaining digital smarts and gender diversity in one appointment.

Below are the results of my analysis, followed by my list of CIO/CDO-to-board appointments in the past 12 months. At the end, you’ll find a Related Reading section, including advice for CIOs & CDOs who would like to snag one of those board seats in the future. — Mitch Betts


A total of 73 CIOs and other digital-savvy executives were appointed to U.S. corporate boards over the past 12 months — and 48 (or nearly 66%) of those were women, according to the Digital Business newsletter.

Above, left to right: Juan Perez, Zack Hicks, Meg McCarthy

of well-known CIOs and ex-CIOs getting new board seats — in the past 12 months — include:

  • Juan Perez, chief information & engineering officer at United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS), became a director at candymaker Hershey Co.

  • Diana McKenzie, former CIO at Workday Inc. and Amgen Inc., was appointed to the boards of insurer MetLife Inc., and healthcare tech platform Change Healthcare Inc.

  • Diane Bryant, whose career included positions of CIO at Intel Corp. and COO at Google Cloud, joined the board of tech vendor Broadcom Inc.

  • Paula Tolliver, former CIO at Intel and Dow Chemical Co., became a board director at C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., a Fortune 500 transportation & logistics company.

  • Zackery (“Zack”) Hicks, chief digital officer at Toyota Motors North America Inc., and CEO of Toyota Connected Inc., joined the board of Signet Jewelers Ltd., which was seeking his digital expertise.

  • Patricia (“Patty”) Morrison, former CIO at Cardinal Health Inc., was appointed a board director at Baxter International Inc., a Fortune 500 healthcare company. (She was already on two other boards.)

  • Adam Stanley, global CIO & chief digital officer at Cushman & Wakefield plc, joined the board of GATX Corp., a railcar leasing company founded in 1898.

  • Margaret (“Meg”) McCarthy — former EVP of operations & technology, and CIO, at Aetna Inc., before its acquisition by CVS Health Corp. — recently gained director seats at Marriott International Inc. and American Electric Power (AEP).

Methodology: Ampersand Reports, publisher of this Digital Business newsletter, compiled a list of senior digital executives who were appointed or elected to corporate board directorships over the past 12 months (October 2018 through October 2019). The raw research is based on press releases posted at PR Newswire, Business Wire, Globe Newswire and PR Web. (Most entries were previously reported in this Digital Business newsletter, with links to the announcements.) The scope was limited to senior executives who manage (or formerly managed) internal enterprise IT and/or e-commerce at U.S. corporations, such as CIOs, CTOs, and chief digital officers. Executives excluded: IT vendor CTOs focused on the vendor’s technology. The boards are chartered for corporate governance. Boards excluded: Non-profit boards; customer advisory boards for vendors; and startup advisory boards.

The list has three categories:

  1. Currents: CIOs & C-level digital executives who currently hold that job and simultaneously were appointed to an external corporate board (29 digital executives, 40% of the total list)

  2. Formers: Former CIOs & C-level digital executives who are either retired or held those positions at some earlier point in their careers, and were appointed to a corporate board (35 people, 48% of the total list)

  3. Others: Digital-savvy executives, lacking C-level titles, appointed to a corporate board for their digital expertise (9 people, 12% of the total list)

The List


Senior executives who manage internal IT and/or external digital business
Appointed/elected to a U.S. corporate board of directors in the past 12 months

Category 1: C-level digital executives (e.g., CIOs, CDOs, CTOs, and equivalents) who CURRENTLY hold those positions and were appointed to an external corporate board in the past 12 months

Above, left to right: Amy Brady, Phil McKoy, Earl Newsome, Leslie Snavely
Above, left to right: Elizabeth Theophille, Zhanna Golodryga, Danielle Brown

Juan Perez
, chief information & engineering officer at United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS)
>> Board: Hershey Co.

Zackery (“Zack”) Hicks, chief digital officer at Toyota Motors North America Inc., and CEO of Toyota Connected Inc.
>> Board: Signet Jewelers Ltd.

Zhanna Golodryga, chief digital & administrative officer at Phillips 66 Co., and former CIO at Hess Corp.
>> Board: Regions Financial Corp.

Adam Stanley, global CIO & chief digital officer at Cushman & Wakefield plc
>> Board: GATX Corp.

Brigid Bonner, chief experience officer at CaringBridge, and former CIO at UnitedHealth Group
>> Board: Workiva Inc.

Lisa Baldwin, CIO at Tiffany & Co.
>> Board: Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co.

Steven Van Wyk, EVP of technology & innovation at PNC Financial Services Group Inc.; former CIO at ING and Morgan Stanley
>> Board: Reinsurance Group of America Inc.

Amy Brady, CIO at KeyCorp
>> Board: DuPont de Nemours Inc.

Sheila Jordan, CIO at Symantec Corp.
>> Board: Slack Technologies Inc.

Janet Sherlock, CIO at Ralph Lauren Corp.
>> Board: BJ’s Restaurants Inc.

Phil McKoy, CIO at UnitedHealth Group
>> Board: TrueCar Inc.

Earl Newsome, CIO at Praxair (now part of Linde plc)
>> Board: First Independence Bank (Detroit)

Noelle Eder, chief information & digital officer at Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.
>> Board: Ameren Corp.

Danielle Brown, CIO at Brunswick Corp.
>> Board: PRA Group Inc.

Laura Miller, global CIO at InterContinental Hotels Group plc (IHG)
>> Board: LGI Homes Inc.

Adrian Butler, CIO at Dine Brands Global Inc. (IHOP and Applebee’s)
>> Board: Potbelly Corp.

Kathy McElligott, CIO & CTO at McKesson Corp.
>> Board: Forescout Technologies Inc.

Elizabeth Hackenson, CIO at Schneider Electric SE
>> Board: Forescout Technologies Inc.

Twila Day, CIO at Huntsman Corp.
>> Board: Luby’s Inc.

Michael Mathews, CIO at Deluxe Corp.
>> Board: Alerus Financial Corp.

Bruce Baude, chief operations & technology officer at CNO Financial Group Inc.
>> Board: MIB Group Inc.

Mercedes De Luca, CIO at Pebble Beach Co.
>> Board: PFSweb Inc.

Rathi Murthy, CTO at Gap Inc.
>> Board: PagerDuty Inc.

Albert Prast, CTO/CIO at Aerocare Holdings Inc.
>> Board: VectorCare Inc. (Also a board member at several other companies.)

Julie Scheck Freigang, CIO at Franklin Electric Co. Inc.
>> Board: Horizon Bank (Indiana)

Ann Dozier, CIO at Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits LLC
>> Board: Golden Entertainment Inc.

Leslie Snavely, chief digital officer at CHG Healthcare Services Inc.
>> Board: Med One Group

Elizabeth Theophille, chief technology & digital officer at Novartis International AG
>> Board: 8x8 Inc.

Timothy (“Tim”) Schoener, CIO at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Susquehanna
>> Board: Citizens & Northern Corp.

Category 2: FORMER C-level digital executives (e.g., former or retired CIOs, CDOs, CTOs, and equivalents) appointed to a corporate board as independent directors in the past 12 months

Above, left to right: Monte Ford, Denise Clark

Diana McKenzie
, former CIO at Workday Inc. and Amgen Inc.
>> Boards: MetLife Inc., Change Healthcare Inc.

Paula Tolliver, former CIO at Intel Corp. and Dow Chemical Co.
>> Board: C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.

Monte Ford, former CIO at American Airlines
>> Board: Iron Mountain Inc. (Also on the boards of The Michaels Companies Inc. and Akamai Technologies Inc.)

Denise Clark, former CIO at Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
>> Board: Caesars Entertainment Corp. (Also on the board at United Natural Foods Inc.)

Kimberly (“Kim”) Hammonds, former CIO at Deutsche Bank AG and The Boeing Co.
>> Boards: Box Inc., Segment.io Inc. (Also on the boards of Cloudera Inc., Tenable Inc., and Zoom Video Communications Inc.)

Michael Robinson, former chief digital officer at Macy’s and Macys.com
>> Board: Vista Outdoor Inc.

Julie Bornstein, former COO at Stitch Fix Inc. and former chief digital officer at Sephora USA Inc.
>> Board: WW International Inc. (formerly Weight Watchers)

Adam Sussman, former chief digital officer at Nike Inc.
>> Board: AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.

Darcy Ortiz, former CIO at Wachovia Bank’s corporate & investment bank
>> Board: Southwest Power Pool Inc.

Patricia (“Patty”) Morrison, former CIO at Cardinal Health Inc.
>> Board: Baxter International Inc. (Also serves on the boards of Aramark Corp. and Splunk Inc.)

Karen Austin, former CIO at PG&E Corp.
>> Board: Triton International Ltd.

Scott Alcott, former CIO at Comcast Cable Communications LLC
>> Board: TenFour (formerly Alliant Technologies LLC)

Marcy Klevorn, former head of Ford Motor Co.’s advanced technology units, and former CIO at Ford
>> Board: Northern Trust Corp. (Also a director at Pivotal Software Inc.)

Diane Bryant, former COO of Google Cloud; former president of Intel Corp.’s data center group; and former CIO at Intel
>> Board: Broadcom Inc. (Also on the board of United Technologies Corp.)

Michael Azarian, former CIO of Citigroup’s U.S. retail consumer & commercial groups
>> Board: Flushing Financial Corp.

Theresa Wise, former CIO at Delta Air Lines Inc.
>> Board: TCF Financial Corp.

Pam Parisian, former CIO at AT&T
>> Board: BrightStar Group Holdings Inc.

Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, USN retired, former CIO at the U.S. Navy
>> Board: Huntsman Corp.

Margaret (“Meg”) McCarthy, former EVP of operations & technology, and CIO, at Aetna Inc., before its acquisition by CVS Health Corp.
>> Boards: Marriott International Inc., American Electric Power (AEP)

Jay Vijayan, former CIO at Tesla Inc.
>> Board: HyreCar Inc.

Linda Clement-Holmes, former CIO at Procter & Gamble Co.
>> Board (re-elected): Cincinnati Financial Corp.

John-Paul Besong, former CIO at Rockwell Collins Inc. (now known as Collins Aerospace, a unit of United Technologies Corp.)
>> Board: United Fire Group Inc.

Georgette Kiser, former CIO at The Carlyle Group LP
>> Board: Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.

Brian Stevens, former CTO of Google Cloud
>> Board: Nutanix Inc.

Steven Scopellite, former global CIO at Goldman Sachs
>> Board: OceanFirst Financial Corp.

Ursuline Foley, former CIO and chief data officer at XL Group Ltd.
>> Board: Provident Financial Services Inc.

Robert Dixon Jr., former global CIO at PepsiCo Inc.
>> Board: Okta Inc.

Michael (“Mike”) Keller, former CIO at Nationwide Insurance & Financial Services
>> Board: Guidewire Software Inc.

Daphne Jones, a former CIO at General Electric Co. (imaging division), Hospira Inc., and Johnson & Johnson
>> Board: Barnes Group Inc. (Also a board member at Masonite International Corp. and AMN Healthcare Inc.)

Jim Cochrane, former CMO and CIO at the U.S. Postal Service
>> Board: Visible Supply Chain Management LLC

Chris Lofgren, former CIO, COO, and CEO at Schneider National Inc.
>> Board: International Money Express Inc.

Deborah Chase Hopkins, former chief innovation officer, and chief operations & technology officer, at Citi.
>> Board: Deep Instinct (USA) Inc.

Heather Wilson, chief analytics & AI officer at L Brands Inc.
>> Board: Equifax Inc.

Sondra Barbour, former EVP of information systems & global solutions, and former CIO, at Lockheed Martin Corp.
>> Board: AGCO Corp.

Shelley Leibowitz, former CIO at the World Bank and Morgan Stanley
>> Board: Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual); she also serves on the board of E*Trade Financial Corp.

Category 3: Other digital-savvy leaders appointed to a corporate board in the past 12 months to provide digital expertise

Above, left to right: Deb Henretta, Eva Manolis, Moonhie Chin, Linnie Haynesworth

Deb Henretta
, former group president of global e-commerce at Procter & Gamble Co.
>> Board: American Eagle Outfitters Inc.

Sumaiya Balbale, former VP of e-commerce, mobile and digital marketing at Walmart Inc.
>> Board: Shake Shack Inc.

Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, a digital industry consultant and former executive at Cisco Systems Inc.
>> Board: Edison International & Southern California Edison

Harsha Ramalingam, former global VP of the e-commerce platform at Amazon.com Inc.
>> Board: Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.

Lizabeth Dunn, an IT and retail consultant
>> Board: GameStop Corp.

Eva Manolis, former VP of consumer retailing (e-commerce) at Amazon.com Inc.; and founder of Shutterfly Inc. (1999).
>> Board: iRobot Corp.

Moonhie Chin, former SVP of digital platform & experience at Autodesk Inc.
>> Board: Proto Labs Inc.

Linda Zecher, a digital transformation consultant
>> Board: Tenable Inc. (Also a board member at Hasbro Corp.)

Linnie Haynesworth, a former cybersecurity & technology executive at Northrop Grumman Corp.
>> Board: SunTrust Banks Inc.


  • Digital Directors Network

  • 5 Questions to Ask When Creating a Tech-Savvy Board (Deloitte)

  • Sharp Questions Can Help Boards Oversee Cybersecurity (WSJ)

  • Research: When Women Are on Boards, Male CEOs Are Less Overconfident (HBR)

  • Corporate Boards Face Challenges in Overseeing AI (WSJ)

  • Women Tech Execs: The Boardroom Door is Open (Deloitte)

  • The CIO’s Guide to Developing Board Engagement (IDC)

  • 10 Trends Directors Need to Know as 2020 Approaches (WomenCorporateDirectors)

  • 5 Biases That Hold Boards Back (Concinnity)

  • Governing Digital Transformation & Emerging Technologies: A Practical Guide (NACD)

  • What Your Board Needs to Know about Digital Transformation (Futurum)

  • Moving from CIO to corporate board requires a change in thinking (CIO.com)

  • Strengthening the CIO – Corporate Board Relationship (Fortium Partners / Heller Search)

  • How CIOs can become corporate board directors (CIO.com)

  • For CIOs, Joining a Board Requires Role Reversal (CIO magazine)

  • Why CIOs Makes Great Board Directors (HBR)

  • The impact of digital transformation on companies’ boards (Deloitte)