Successful Big Data Analytics Project Leads to CIO Position at UPS

UPS has promoted Juan Perez to the position of CIO, replacing Dave Barnes, who is retiring after 38 years with the company. Perez is also a long-time UPS employee who most recently served as senior vice president of technology. Perez helped develop the Orion system, a computer platform that uses algorithms designed to optimize delivery routes to improve service and efficiency.

Straight Talk Featured Blogger Tom Davenport wrote in the Harvard Business Review that UPS “is perhaps the best example of an organization that has pushed analytics out to frontline processes—in its case, to delivery routing. The company is no stranger to big data, having begun tracking package movements and transactions in the 1980s. It captures information on the 16.3 million packages, on average, that it delivers daily, and it receives 39.5 million tracking requests a day. The most recent source of big data at UPS is the telematics sensors in more than 46,000 company trucks, which track metrics including speed, direction, braking, and drivetrain performance. The waves of incoming data not only show daily performance but also are informing a major redesign of drivers’ routes. That initiative, called ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation), is arguably the world’s largest operations research project. It relies heavily on online map data and optimization algorithms and will eventually be able to reconfigure a driver’s pickups and deliveries in real time. In 2011 it cut 85 million miles out of drivers’ routes, thereby saving more than 8.4 million gallons of fuel.”

In other recent appointments and career moves:

Westinghouse Electric Co. has appointed Jeff Kubacki as its new vice president and CIO, reporting to Steve Hamilton, the company’s senior vice president of quality, environment, health and safety. Previously, Kubacki  was senior vice president and CIO at ATK, the U.S. ammunition maker.

New Jersey State CIO Steven Emanuel is moving to the private sector after four years in this role and previously as CIO of Montgomery County, Md. Emanuel is expected to take an executive position with Alliant Technologies Inc., where he will act as a liaison between the company and government, and will be responsible for developing the public-sector vertical.

Blue Diamond Growers, the world’s largest almond processing and marketing company comprised of more than 3,000 almond growers in California, has appointed Steven Birgfeld as vice president of information technology. Previously, Birgfeld held senior executive IT positions with Unisys, Hostess Brands and CompuCom Systems.

Online lender Elevate Credit has appointed Joan Kuehl to the newly created position of CIO. Previously, Kuehl has served as CIO and senior vice president of eBusiness at the Travelers Companies, senior vice president of eCommerce Technology at Bank of America and senior vice president of Product Development at Sabre Holdings Inc.

Littler Mendelson P.C., a legal practice specializing in employment and labor law, has appointed Durgesh Sharma as CIO. Previously, Sharma was CIO with global commercial real estate firm Colliers International.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has appointed John G. Edwards as CIO. Edwards has 20 years of experience in the intelligence community, and has also worked as a consultant for Accenture and as an executive at Agilex Technologies Inc., an IT firm that Accenture Federal Services acquired last year.

Qualcomm has appointed Mary Gendron as senior vice president and CIO, reporting to George Davis, executive vice president and chief financial officer.  Previously, Gendron has served as senior vice president and CIO at Hospira, CIO at Celestica International, Inc., and other senior IT leadership positions at The Nielsen Company, Motorola and Bell Canada.

The newly combined auto parts and repair service Auto Plus and Pep Boys has appointed Gary Desai as senior vice president and CIO. Desai has been CIO of Auto Plus since July 2015. Previously, he was CIO of car-parts maker Federal-Mogul Holdings Corp., vice president of IT at Honeywell Corporation and has worked in senior IT positions at General Motors.

Vitamin Shoppe has expanded its board of directors to include Tim Theriault, formerly the executive vice president and global CIO at Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. Richard Markee, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of the Vitamin Shoppe stated that "this appointment is the result of our ongoing efforts to ensure that our Board has the right mix of skills and experience necessary to advance our long-term goals.  His strategic insights, particularly as it relates to technology and process improvements, will be invaluable as we continue to make progress in executing on our growth strategy.”

Battery maker Exide Technologies has appointed Sean Burke as chief information and digital officer, reporting to president and CEO Vic Koelsch. Previously, Burke was CTO of the Michelin Group, CTO at LaFarge, and CIO at Galderma.

Deutsche Bank AG has appointed Rene Keller as CIO for its Private, Wealth and Commercial Clients division, reporting to Kim Hammonds, Group Chief Operating Officer. Previously, Keller was group CIO at Deutsche Börse, chief operating officer at Information Mosaic, a financial software firm, and has worked as a senior IT manager at Swiss Life Holding AG, Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS Group AG.


Blue Bridge Financial has appointed Jeffrey Emrich as vice president of IT.

Valspar has promoted Jeff Gerber to the position of vice president and CIO.

RegEd has appointed Michael Underwood as CIO.

KeyPoint Credit Union has appointed Anthony Vitale as CIO.

Slater & Gordon has appointed Christiaan Frickel as CIO.

Colorado Statewide Internet Portal Authority has promoted Mike Whatley to CTO.

American Axle and Manufacturing  has promoted Philip Guys to CTO.

LuLaRoe has appointed Guillermo Lopez as CTO.