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