Shaping the Future: Three North Texans Make Forbes’ 2023 CIO Next List

Forbes has released its third annual CIO Next List, which celebrates 50 of the top tech leaders who are leveraging technology to transform their companies and the role of the CIO. Dubbed "shapeshifters of the C-suite" by Forbes, these innovative leaders are driving change and redefining what it means to be a successful technology executive in today's digital era.

Forbes says the chief information officer “has become the shapeshifter of the C-suite in the digital era.” This year, three Dallas-area leaders just made it onto Forbes’ 2023 CIO Next List, demonstrating their remarkable ability to adapt and drive innovation in today’s fast-paced business environment.

The third annual list recognizes 50 top tech leaders “who are leveraging technology to transform their companies and the role of the CIO.”

Instead of offering a 1 to 50 ranking, the CIOs are listed alphabetically to put “a spotlight on the technology leaders who are shaping the next wave of business.” Forbes says it reviewed hundreds of nominations and applications for this year’s list, “getting suggestions from colleagues, recruiters, industry experts and peers on who is making a difference in the areas that matter most.” For this year’s version, the magazine excluded CIOs who were featured on its 2021 and 2022 lists. 

The list includes CTOs and those with other titles as well as CIOs, because “in a world where everything is connected and the platform is the product, the lines between CTO and CIO have blurred,” Forbes notes.

Here are the three local CIOs who made the Forbes list:

Sumit Anand
Chief Information and Strategy Officer
At Home

At Home Chief Information and Strategy Officer Sumit Anand [Photo: At Home]

The CIO and head of strategy for Plano-based At Home Group is no doubt thanking the ancestors who passed down his name—because Forbes’ A to Z order placed him right at the top of the 50-CIO list.

That should bring even more renown to Anand, who makes sure the 260-store At Home chain has the tools it needs for continued growth. “With a business model that essentially brings fast fashion to the world of home decor, Anand’s team has to maintain a seamless supply chain for an ever-changing mix of up to 45,000 products that range from furniture and art to housewares and seasonal decor,” Forbes writes. 

One recent At Home data crunch was highlighted in Dallas Innovates just last week, when the company announced thousands of “permanent price drops” after improving the freight costs in its supply chain. 

Nancy Avila
Chief Information and Technology Officer

McKesson Corporation

Nancy Avila, CIO and CTO at McKesson

As CIO and CTO of Irving-based medical distribution giant McKesson, “Avila has to balance the core job of operating a critical supply network with innovating through data and technology,” Forbes writes.

Avila helped McKesson navigate its role in distributing COVID vaccines to pharmacies, hospital systems, and other organizations. scaling distribution capacity to 15 times the normal volume in less than 90 days, Forbes notes, adding that “She’s now mining data insights to transform go-to-market cancer therapies, along with investing in AI and other technologies to streamline service and security.”

Speaking of those cancer therapies, Dallas Innovates wrote last June about McKesson’s forming a joint venture with a subsidiary of Nashville’s HCA Healthcare to accelerate cancer research. Avila’s company called it an important step forward in increasing access to clinical trials, particularly within the community setting,.

Joe Summers
Chief Information Officer

Jon Summers CIO at AT&T

“Summers is leading AT&T’s technology transformation, and 2022 was a year of significant accomplishments and modernization for his team,” Forbes writes, noting that the Dallas-based company is retiring legacy systems and  modernizing critical apps for the public cloud.

“In recent years, the telecom giant has decommissioned 125,000 servers and shut down about 2,000 applications while moving 2,250 others to the public cloud,” Forbes adds. “Summers is also helping lead an effort called Project Raindrops aimed at streamlining internal processes.”

The result so far? Forbes says Summers’ team has created 166 solutions “that have saved about $186 million and three million hours of work.”

You can see all 50 C-suite changemakers on executives on the Forbes 2023 CIO Next List by going here.

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    Welcome to the pulse of North Texas, where creativity and innovation converge to shape the future of business and beyond.

  • The program is designed to help the owners of forward-thinking small businesses in Tarrant County. Through the program, they can apply for federal funds via mechanisms known as the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, collectively known as America’s Seed Fund. Meet the startups selected for the first monthly cohort—and learn how other companies can apply for the program each month through November 2024.

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  • Are you or your company a leader in innovation? The Innovation Awards celebrates trailblazers and innovators in North Texas. Nominate your organization, a colleague, peer, or yourself—by September 22.

  • The UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth has received a $2 million grant from Tarrant County to help emerging tech startups successfully apply for federal Small Business Innovation Research funding. "It’s about creating entrepreneurial excellence in Tarrant County,” says Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks. “This puts us at the forefront of innovation in bringing tech industries to Tarrant County as an economic development tool.”