Top 10: Technology Leaders in Manufacturing

top ten manufacturing CIOs
top ten manufacturing CIOs
Here's our rundown of the top ten manufacturing CIOs who are leading the advancement and innovation of the sector

During the industrial revolution, technology transformed manufacturing. Today, it continues this pattern, through emerging innovations like industrial robots, AI and digital twins, providing new opportunities for advancement and improvement.

The role of the Chief Information Officer has grown ever more prominent with these developments, as technology is no longer simply a means to produce products, but a way to fundamentally transform manufacturing operations.

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The Chief Information Officer therefore has to possess both technical expertise and the capacity to steer technological development to fulfill overarching business strategy.

This is a complex task, especially as global manufacturing undergoes a period of upheaval, facing a hiring crisis and digital skills gap as the sector embraces new technologies.

For this reason we at Manufacturing Digital believe those taking on the mantle of manufacturing CIO deserve some proper recognition. With that said, here's our list of the top ten CIO's in manufacturing.

10: Thomas Schmall-von Westerholt at Volkswagen Group

Thomas Schmall-von Westerholt is a member of the Volkswagen AG Board of Management for Technology. With more than twenty five years of international experience in the automotive industry, Thomas's expertise and oversight has been critical in guiding the manufacturers EV development. A firm believer in the future of electric cars, his influence is strong on the company's 2030 technology roadmap for battery and charging.

Thomas has also been CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, an autonomous corporate unit of the wider company since 2019, where he supervised the transformation of the unit into a stand-alone unit. Thomas shaped this transition, increasing its competitiveness and optimised investment planning and plant utilisation.

09: Hiroki Nakajima at Toyota Motor Corporation
Hiroki Nakajima is a Member of the Board of Directors, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Toyota. Renowned for his engineering work on the Toyota iQ and the Hilux, Innova and Fortuner in Toyota's second generation IMVs, Hiroki has a masters degree in engineering from Kyoto University and joined the company in 1987. Hiroki oversees Toyota's digital transformation, as the company pursues automation, sustainability and enhanced mobility solutions.
08: Timothy Campos at Apple Inc
Timothy Campos is Apple's Chief Information Officer, spearheading the company's pioneering technological development. With previous experience as CIO of Meta, Timothy oversees Apple's current ventures surrounding augmented reality and AI. These ventures include Apple's Vision Pro Headset, which is currently being used by manufacturers to enhance training and troubleshooting.
07: Jong-Hee Han at Samsung Electronics
Jong-Hee Han is the Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics. He is also the company's Head of Digital Appliances Business, overseeing the technological advancement and development of Samsung. Samsung offers innovative manufacturing solutions like it's S-pen and seeks to enhance operations through elevating legacy technologies like CCTV and Thermal Imagining through increased 5G connectivity.
06: Michael Kung at Foxconn
Group CIO of Foxconn technology group, Michael has more than 25 years of software development, expert consulting and organisational leadership experience. A technology leader, Michael helps Foxconn digitally transform its operations and pursue superior productivity, efficiency and results. Before joining Foxconn Michael was a Principal Group Manager at Microsoft.
05: Jan Brecht at Mercedes-Benz Group AG
Responsible for Internet technologies across all of Mercedes-Benz's operations, Jan studied electrical engineering in Karlsruhe, Southampton and Paris. He joined Mercedes-Benz in 1997, and apart from a six year stint at Adidas, has worked at the company ever since. Jan is conscious of the worlds movement from a hardware-based economy to a software based-economy. In order to necessitate this shift, organisations need to evolve new digital mindsets, approaching organisational structures and corporate culture with a data-driven focus.
04: Michelle D Greene at Cardinal Health
Michelle Greene is chief information officer and executive vice president of Global Technology and Business Services at Cardinal Health. She improves and advances the company's healthcare delivery through leading the embrace of innovative new technologies. Michelle's role has her manage teams collaborating across Digital and Commercial Technologies, Pharma and Medical segment IT, Global Business Services and Information Security. Before joining Cardinal Health, Michelle was the Vice President of Information Technology for Masco Corporation in Livonia, Michigan. She's also held senior technology focused roles at Johnson Controls and Sony Ericsson.
03: Masao Kuruma at Mitsubishi Motors
Masao Kuruma is CIO at Japanese Automotive Manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors, bringing his lengthy experience managing digital transformation at Sony. With a degree in industrial engineering from Waseda University, he oversees Mitsubishi's digital transformation as the company harnesses AI technologies to enhance its automotive production.
02: Bob Brizendine at American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Bob, CIO at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. leads IT operations across North America, managing the digital transformation of the company's vehicles, engines, ATV's, transmissions, aircraft and power equipment. He does this while fostering collaboration between company sectors including sales, finance and manufacturing.

He defines the company's IT strategy, ensures compliance and works to use technology to elevate business processes. Bob represents Honda on the global IS Management Board and leads the North American IS Management Board.

01: Alan Wexler at General Motors
Alan Wexler is Senior Vice President of Strategy And Innovation at General Motors. He was appointed this role in 2020 and since then has lead the Innovation and strategy and Data and Customer Insights teams. Alan has extensive experience working with digital technologies, which he brings to General Motors manufacturing advancements in the areas of AI, smart manufacturing and sustainability. He was previously the Chairman and CEO of Publicis Sapient, and served as the President of Sapient.

So there you have it, our list of the top ten CIOs. Experts from leading manufacturers from Samsung to General Motors to Cardinal Health who are taking these companies forward into a new age of digital transformation. 


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