Top 10: Chief Transformation Officers

Technology Magazine highlights the Top 10 Chief Transformation Officers
With Chief Transformation Officers holding a pivotal role in the success of organisations' transformations, we highlight 10 of the leading CTOs

With research suggesting that the first 100 days of a digital transformation will make or break the initiative, the role of the Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) – a senior executive dedicated to delivering change – has become increasingly important.

According to McKinsey, the most effective CTOs inspire employees and act as role models for the sort of behaviour needed to encourage and embed change. The importance of this role is reflected by Bain & Company research which finds that transformation efforts with a dedicated transformation executive achieve 1.25 times more of the intended value than those without.

Some of the key responsibilities of the Chief Transformation Officer include:

  • Strategic Planning: Developing a clear vision and strategy for transformational initiatives aligned with the company's goals and market demands.
  • Change Management: Leading change management efforts by fostering a culture of adaptability and resilience among employees. This involves communication, training, and providing support to ensure smooth transitions.
  • Innovation and Technology Adoption: Identifying emerging technologies and innovative solutions that can drive efficiency, productivity, and competitive advantage for the organisation.
  • Cultural Transformation: Promoting a culture of innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement throughout the organisation. This may involve breaking down silos, encouraging employee empowerment, and fostering a mindset of agility and experimentation.
  • Executive Leadership: Providing leadership and guidance to the executive team and other key stakeholders, effectively communicating the rationale behind transformational initiatives and securing buy-in from all levels of the organisation.

Here, Technology Magazine highlights 10 of the world’s leading transformation leaders.

10: Bruce Laco, Partner and Chief Transformation Officer, EY Canada

Bruce Laco, Chief Transformation Officer at EY Canada

Bruce Laco is a member of the Canadian Leadership Team and Chief Transformation Officer at EY Canada.

Committed to helping clients navigate disruption through innovation, he brings 22 years of experience managing transformation for some of the world’s leading organisations, and has a proven track record of unprecedented growth and a passion for complex, strategic engagements. In his role today, he is responsible for evolving EY Canada’s NextWave business strategy, with a focus on managed services, new solutions and alternate delivery.

9: Roel Louwhoff, Chief Transformation, Technology & Operations Officer, Standard Chartered

Roel Louwhoff, Chief Transformation, Technology & Operations Officer at Standard Chartered

Roel Louwhoff is the Chief Transformation, Technology & Operations Officer at Standard Chartered, a position he has held since 2022. Joining the bank as Chief Digital, Technology & Innovation Officer in November 2021, he spearheads Standard Chartered’s Technology and Operations strategy and the development of its technology systems, business resilience framework and infrastructure. In his role, he is also responsible for leading bank-wide transformation, which includes the digital transformation of the bank into a future-focused organisation.

8: Christopher Paquette, Chief Digital Transformation Officer, Allstate

Christopher Paquette is Chief Digital Transformation Officer for Allstate

Passionate about growth, customer experience, and leveraging technology and data to drive positive change, Christopher Paquette is the Chief Digital Transformation Officer for Allstate Insurance.

His background includes 12 years as a Partner with McKinsey & Company, with a deep expertise in financial services, driving transformational change, deploying deep digital and analytics technologies and developing leading strategies. He is passionate about digital and innovation and has served many of the top North American financial institutions over his career.

7: Stuart Wagner, Chief Digital Transformation Officer, Air Force and Space Force

Stuart Wagner is the Chief Digital Transformation Officer at the US Department of the Air Force, comprising the Air Force and Space Force: a role he has held since 2021.

On behalf of the Chief Information Officer, he promotes innovation and digital transformation to enable warfighters globally, helps build the digital workforce and implements AI and autonomous capabilities. His areas of interest include telemetry instrumentation, collection, unification and analysis, natural language processing, and improving partnerships between the venture community and government.

6: Xenia Walters, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Capita

Xenia Walters is Capita's Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer

With 25 years of experience across a range of industries and sectors covering manufacturing, real estate, recruitment, education, technology, translation services and consumer retail and hospitality, Xenia Walters is responsible for driving the corporate strategy for Capita. Her role entails determining where Capita invests and where it prioritises growth, and ensuring the company has the right strategies to ensure its services best meet clients’ current and future needs. In addition, she provides leadership and oversight for the portfolio of business change activity required to deliver Capita’s strategic business objectives.

5: Patrick O'Connell, Chief Digital Transformation Officer, US Navy

A senior executive with more than 25 years of experience leading multi-billion turnarounds, transformations and multinational new starts while concurrently meeting in-year targets, Patrick O’Connell has extensive domain experience in the space, health and defence sectors in the US, UK and Europe. 

He moved to the public sector in 2016 via an industry-to-government program to lead Navy transformation efforts, where his tasks have ranged from the global personnel system to cross-Navy availability optimisation for its nuclear fleet.

4: Francois van Praagh, Chief Transformation Officer, Orange

With more than 30 years of experience in the telecoms, internet and mobile industry, Francois van Praagh is a results-driven leader capable of translating strategy to operational objectives and execution tasks with clear metrics to achieve business goals.

Having spent several years working at Orange between 1991 and 2005, including serving as President and CEO of Orange Japan, he rejoined the company in 2012. He has served as Chief Transformation Officer of Orange Business Services SA since 2018.

3: Dharti Tripathi, Chief Digital Transformation Officer, GE HealthCare

Chief Digital Transformation Officer of GE HealthCare since 2021, Dharti Tripathi is a results-oriented, dynamic and entrepreneurial-minded senior executive with experience driving digital strategy through analytics. With a proven record of leading global teams successfully and implementing digital solutions, she has a demonstrated history of success growing businesses, improving business (B2B) and customer (B2C) experiences, transforming industrial businesses into digital industrial businesses using AI, software and data to accelerate customer growth, improving bottom-line performance and generating revenue.

2: Laureen Knudsen, Chief Transformation Officer, Broadcom

Laureen Knudsen, Chief Transformation Officer at Broadcom

Laureen Knudsen is an award-winning senior business leader with a 15+ year career that spans IT, financial and healthcare systems and analytics. In her role as Chief Transformation Officer at Broadcom, she leads a team of experts working to define the future of the business to bring Lean principles and agility to all parts of an organization, focusing on optimizing end-to-end process flows and removing waste.

A member of the Forbes Technology Council, The Conference Board, and the Impact Circle for Digital Transformation for the World Economic Forum, she was named by Technology Magazine as one of the Top 100 Women in Technology in 2024.

1: John Powers, Global Chief Transformation Officer and CIO, Deloitte

John Powers, Global Chief Transformation Officer and CIO at Deloitte

A Principal at Deloitte, John Powers serves as both its Global Chief Transformation Officer and Chief Information Officer (CIO).

In his role as Chief Transformation Officer – a role he has held since 2020 – he guides, directs and sponsors the implementation of transformative programmes and is accountable for embedding sustainable change and realising quantitative and qualitative benefits, and formerly led Deloitte’s Defense Sector and its Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) practice in the US and globally.

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Throughout his career, he has helped execute several large M&A transactions, including the Dell/EMC merger and the eBay/PayPal divestiture. His work has spanned the globe and has enabled the seamless transition of more than 500,000 people throughout his career.

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