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Texas Titans: 20 Chief Data Officers Leading the Lone Star State

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Khushbu Raval
Khushbu Raval
Khushbu is a Senior Correspondent and a content strategist with a special foray into DataTech and MarTech. She has been a keen researcher in the tech domain and is responsible for strategizing the social media scripts to optimize the collateral creation process.

Discover the visionaries, pioneers, and changemakers shaping the future of Texas and beyond – these 20 Chief Data Officers are more than data heads; they’re fueling innovation and progress.

In the heart of Texas, where boundless landscapes meet cutting-edge data, a breed of visionary Chief Data Officers (CDOs) is shaping the future of data analytics and science. This exclusive compilation, “Texas Titans: 20 Trailblazing CDOs,” spotlights these 20 data leaders revolutionizing industries from finance to energy, healthcare to retail.

Meet the architects of a data-driven future: pioneers pushing boundaries, not just crunching numbers. Their remarkable achievements showcase their critical role in driving innovation and progress. Each CDO, a unique blend of talent and passion, proves data is not just fuel but the engine of change.

Keep your eyes on these Titans—they’re leading the Lone Star State to new heights of data-driven excellence.

Tech Titans

Kelley McClain, Managing Vice President – Chief Data Officer for the Financial Services Division of Capital One

Kelley McClain

Kelley McClain serves as the Managing Vice President and Chief Data Officer for the Financial Services Division at Capital One. With a distinguished career in the financial industry, McClain brings extensive expertise to her role, leading strategic initiatives in data management and analytics. She has a wealth of experience, highlighting her commitment to driving innovation and leveraging data to make informed business decisions. As a thought leader, Kelley McClain is pivotal in steering Capital One’s data-driven initiatives, contributing to the company’s success in the dynamic financial services landscape.

Venkat Achanta, Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Data & Analytics Officer TransUnion

Venkat Achanta

Venkat Achanta is the Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Data & Analytics Officer at TransUnion. With a wealth of experience in technology and analytics, Achanta is a strategic leader overseeing crucial aspects of TransUnion’s operations. His role involves navigating the intersection of technology, data, and analytics to drive innovation and enhance the company’s capabilities. 

Tony Cyriac, Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Charles Schwab

Tony Cyriac

Tony Cyriac serves as the Chief Data & Analytics Officer at Charles Schwab, bringing a wealth of expertise to the financial services industry. With a strategic focus on data-driven decision-making, he plays a pivotal role in shaping Charles Schwab’s data and analytics landscape. His leadership at Charles Schwab underscores a dedication to leveraging data for informed business strategies and fostering a culture of analytical excellence within the organization.

Energy & Innovation

Ellen Nielsen, Chief Data Officer, Chevron

Ellen Nielsen

Ellen Nielsen serves as the Chief Data Officer at Chevron, where she plays a pivotal role in shaping and implementing data-driven strategies for the organization. With a wealth of experience in the data industry, she brings expertise in leveraging data analytics to drive business insights and decision-making. Nielsen’s leadership at Chevron reflects a commitment to harnessing the power of data to enhance operational efficiency and innovation. Her strategic vision and contributions to the field make her a notable figure in the intersection of energy and data management. 

David Mayo, Chief Data Officer – Trading and Supply, Shell

David Mayo

David Mayo serves as the Chief Data Officer for Trading and Supply at Shell. With a wealth of experience, he plays a pivotal role in overseeing data strategies within the trading and supply domain. Mayo’s leadership at Shell is underscored by his proficiency in leveraging data-driven insights to optimize trading operations and supply chain processes. His commitment to innovation and strategic data management aligns with Shell’s emphasis on staying at the forefront of the energy industry. 

Sid Ghatak, Chief AI and Data Officer, Increase Alpha

Sid Ghatak

Sid Ghatak serves as the Chief AI and Data Officer at Increase Alpha. With a background steeped in artificial intelligence and data expertise, Ghatak brings a wealth of knowledge to his role. His leadership at Increase Alpha is marked by a commitment to driving innovation and leveraging advanced data solutions. As a seasoned professional, Ghatak has played a pivotal role in steering the company’s strategies to harness the power of AI for enhanced performance. 

Healthcare & Beyond

Chris Gifford, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, USAA Bank

Chris Gifford

Chris Gifford is the Chief Data and Analytics Officer at USAA Bank, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the financial sector. With a notable career, he has played a pivotal role in shaping data and analytics strategies for USAA. Gifford is committed to advancing data-driven practices within the banking industry, contributing to USAA’s success in navigating the complexities of modern finance.

Sean Hayward, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, First Command Financial Services, Inc.

Sean Hayward

Sean Hayward serves as the Chief Data and Analytics Officer at First Command Financial Services, Inc. With a wealth of experience in data and analytics, Hayward plays a pivotal role in shaping the company’s data-driven strategies. His leadership is instrumental in leveraging data to make informed business decisions and drive innovation. Hayward’s expertise extends to developing advanced analytics frameworks and fostering a culture of data-driven decision-making within the organization. His commitment to excellence is evident in his role as a key executive at First Command Financial Services. 

John Overington, Chief Data Officer, Exscientia

John Overington

John Overington serves as the Chief Data Officer at Exscientia. With a strong background in data science and analytics, he plays a pivotal role in driving data-driven strategies for the company. Leveraging his expertise, Overington is instrumental in optimizing Exscientia’s approach to drug discovery through innovative data applications. 

Retail & Consumer Champions

Cameron Davies, Chief Data Officer, Yum! Brands

Cameron Davies

Cameron Davies serves as the Chief Data Officer at Yum! Brands oversee the strategic management and data utilization within the global restaurant powerhouse. With a wealth of experience, Davies is pivotal in leveraging data-driven insights to enhance decision-making processes and drive innovation. His expertise lies in navigating the intersection of technology and business, contributing to Yum! Brands’ continued success in the dynamic and competitive food industry. 

Hema Yalamanchi, Global Chief Data Officer, The Kraft Heinz Company

Hema Yalamanchi

Hema Yalamanchi serves as the Global Chief Data Officer at The Kraft Heinz Company, bringing a wealth of expertise to the role. With a strong background in data management, she plays a pivotal role in shaping and executing data-driven strategies for the company. Yalamanchi’s leadership extends to leveraging data analytics and insights to enhance decision-making processes and drive innovation within The Kraft Heinz Company. Her commitment to excellence in data governance and utilization underscores her significant impact on the company’s data-centric initiatives. 

From Finance to Fintech

Japan Mehta, Chief Data Officer, Citi

Japan Mehta

Japan Mehta is the Chief Data Officer at Citi, a global financial institution. With a wealth of experience in data management and strategy, Mehta leads the charge in leveraging data to drive insights and enhance decision-making processes within the organization. His role involves overseeing the comprehensive data architecture and governance, ensuring compliance, and spearheading innovative initiatives to harness the full potential of data assets. 

Mike Kenny, Chief Data Officer, TrustArc

Mike Kenny

Mike Kenny is the Chief Data Officer at TrustArc, a seasoned professional with a wealth of experience in data management. His role involves overseeing strategic initiatives related to data governance and privacy. With a track record of success in the data industry, Kenny is dedicated to ensuring TrustArc maintains the highest data protection and compliance standards. 

Brian Durkin, Chief Data Officer, Pacific Life

Brian Durkin

As the Chief Data Officer at Pacific Life, Brian Durkin brings a wealth of experience and leadership to data management. With a proven track record in leveraging data for strategic decision-making, Durkin is pivotal in shaping Pacific Life’s data-driven initiatives. As a key executive at Pacific Life, Brian Durkin is instrumental in steering the company toward innovative and effective data utilization strategies.

Building the Future

Adrian Estala, VP, Field Chief Data Officer, Starburst

Adrian Estala

Adrian Estala is the VP and Field Chief Data Officer at Starburst, a position that reflects his expertise and leadership in data management. With a rich professional background, he has played a pivotal role in shaping data strategies and operations within the organization. 

Kishore Agasthi, Global Chief Data Officer, HAVI

Kishore Agasthi

Kishore Agasthi is the Global Chief Data Officer at HAVI, a role that underscores his expertise in leveraging data for strategic business outcomes. With a wealth of experience in data management and analytics, Agasthi has played a pivotal role in steering HAVI towards data-driven decision-making. His leadership is showcased through initiatives that harness the power of data to drive innovation and optimize business processes. 

Trailblazing New Paths

Greg Bohl, Chief Data Officer, Transaction Network Services

Greg Bohl

Greg Bohl serves as the Chief Data Officer at Transaction Network Services (TNS). With a wealth of experience in data management, analytics, and technology, Bohl is pivotal in steering TNS towards innovative, data-driven solutions. His leadership is marked by a commitment to harnessing data’s potential to drive business strategies and enhance decision-making processes. 

Sean McCall, Chief Data Officer, Oceaneering

Sean McCall

Sean McCall is the Chief Data Officer at Oceaneering, a global provider of engineered services and products for the offshore energy industry. With a rich background in data management, Sean leads Oceaneering’s data strategy and initiatives. His expertise encompasses leveraging data for informed decision-making, driving innovation, and enhancing operational efficiency. McCall’s professional journey is marked by a commitment to advancing data-driven solutions in complex industries. 

Gopal Ravi, Chief Data Officer; Data & Analytics Leader, Triumph Financial, Inc.

Gopal Ravi

Gopal Ravi serves as the Chief Data Officer and Data & Analytics Leader at Triumph Financial, Inc. With a robust data management and analytics background, Ravi is pivotal in driving Triumph Financial’s data strategies. His leadership ensures effective data utilization for informed decision-making, contributing to the company’s success. Ravi’s expertise extends to diverse domains within the financial industry, making him a valuable asset in navigating the complexities of data-driven insights. 

Brendan Nelson, Chief Data Officer and Head of Internal Solutions, Third Bridge Group Limited

Brendan Nelson

Brendan Nelson serves as the Chief Data Officer and Head of Internal Solutions at Third Bridge Group Limited. With a strong background in data management, his role involves overseeing the strategic use of data within the organization. Nelson is known for his leadership in implementing innovative internal solutions, contributing to the company’s growth and efficiency. His expertise lies in harnessing data for informed decision-making aligning business objectives with technological advancements. 

The Future is Now

These 20 CDOs are not just data heads; they are visionaries, pioneers, and changemakers shaping the future of Texas and beyond. Their talent, passion, and dedication prove that data is not just numbers but the fuel that drives innovation and progress. Keep an eye on these Texas Titans, as they’re just getting started, leading the Lone Star State’s data-driven future to new heights.

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