This content is from: Home

The 2017 Tech 40: Don Callahan

< The 2017 Tech 409. Don CallahanHead of Operations and TechnologyCitigroupLast year: PNR

The historical timeline of Citigroup and its predecessors dates back to 1812. The 20th-century part of it includes industry firsts in wholesale banking (international branch openings and the negotiable certificate of deposit); operations (large-scale back-office re-engineering); and consumer services (mass distribution of both credit cards and automated teller machines). The idea that "innovation is part of our DNA," as Don Callahan says, has deep resonance at Citigroup. How the $1.8 trillion-in-assets bank has organized for the 21st century's rapid technological acceleration — its opportunities and risks — is reflected in Callahan's responsibilities. The 61-year-old head of operations and technology is also executive chair of the chief information officer council, which sets companywide technology standards, and chair of the digital governance office, which is charged with driving digital transformation across the businesses. He oversees Citigroup's global information security strategy and is a member of the growth board, whose assignment is to accelerate innovation efforts. "We are going through a digital transformation, rewiring our systems and our culture to move fast and think in an agile way," says Callahan, who before joining Citigroup in 2000 held executive positions with IBM, Morgan Stanley, and Credit Suisse. He reports to Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat.

The Citi Ventures investment arm is part of a three-pronged strategic innovation force within the bank, helping to identify, develop, and test new ideas with potential business and cultural impact. The other parts are a network of eight innovation labs and an emerging-technology team. Together they analyze more than 2,000 companies annually, selecting a handful for investment, adoption, piloting, and production. Citigroup's consumer bank has a "mobile first" focus, Callahan notes. The Citi Mobile App for iPhone was built using an agile operating model and rapid prototyping. Within its institutional business, the bank last year introduced MobilePASS, a virtual token for secure login to the CitiDirect BE global transaction platform, CitiDirect BE Mobile, and the CitiDirect BE Tablet. Client transaction value on the latter two jumped to $1.8 trillion in 2016, from $552 billion the year before. "The biggest game-changer for our industry is data, and we see it as a competitive advantage," Callahan says.


 The 2017 Tech 40Click below to view profiles
1. Adena FriedmanNASDAQ2. Catherine BessantBank of
America Corp.3. Robert GoldsteinBlackRock4. Jeffrey SprecherIntercontinental Exchange5. Lance UgglaIHS Markit
6. Shawn Edwards & Vlad KliatchkoBloomberg7. David CraigThomson Reuters8. Michael SpencerNEX Group9. Don CallahanCitigroup10. Elisha WieselGoldman Sachs Group
11. Michael BodsonDepository Trust & Clearing Corp.12. Terrence DuffyCME Group13. Charles LiHong Kong Exchanges and Clearing14. Sean BelkaFidelity Investments15. Chris ConcannonCBOE Holdings
16. Guy ChiarelloFirst Data Corp.17. Steven LieblichCitadel18. David RutterR3CEV19. Blythe MastersDigital Asset Holdings20. Alfred SpectorTwo Sigma Investments
21. Neil KatzD.E. Shaw Group22. Lee OleskyTradeweb Markets23. Richard McVeyMarketAxess Holdings24. David GledhillDBS Bank25. Seth MerrinLiquidnet Holdings
26. Antoine ShagouryState Street Corp.27. Peter Brown &
Robert Mercer
Renaissance Technologies28. Lou EcclestonTMX Group29. Peter CherecwichNorthern Trust Corp.30. Mike ChinnS&P Global Market Intelligence
31. Chris CorradoLondon Stock Exchange Group32. Neal PawarAQR Capital Management33. Gary NorcrossFidelity National Information Services34. Steven O'HanlonNumerix35. Sebastián CeriaAxioma
36. Brian ConlonFirst Derivatives and Kx Systems37. Tyler KimMaplesFS38. Michael CooperBT Radianz39. Robert SchifelliteBroadridge Financial Solutions40. Jim MinnickeVestment