Moving up the supply chain: the rise of the CSCO

Top 10 SCLM SEOs in the industry today

With the increased globalisation of transport, technology and commerce, never has the role of the Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO) been more important to a company. Combining technical know-how with softer management skills, the CSCO is arguably becoming the strongest link in the organisational chain. We take a look at 10 notable CSCOs.

#1: Tim Cook – Apple

The third CEO in Apple’s history, Tim Cook grew the company from $6 billion in 1998 to over $100 billion in 2014. His operational acumen as well as his colourful personality continue to drive the growth and technical innovation of Apple, now worth $586 billion (May 2016).

#2: Pier Luigi Sigismondi – Unilever

Tasked with optimising Unilever’s supply chain in a competitive consumer goods market, Pier Luigi Sigismondi accounts for a global operation consisting of 270 factories delivering EUR 23 billion worth of revenue.

#3: Mary Barra – General Motors

Listed as the fifth most-powerful woman by Forbes in 2016, Mary Barra has been CEO at General Motors since 2014, and more recently was elected as Chairman. She’s been a key driver in technological and customer service change – and in 2015, she lead the company to record profits after some difficult years in which 30 million of their cars were recalled.

#4: David Abney – UPS

David Abney started his career loading packages on UPS trucks before becoming CEO in 2016. UPS is now the richest transport and logistics company in the world. His humble, yet determined, approach lead him to being appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2007.

#5: Rudiger Grube, Deutsche Bahn AG

Holding an influential position in the transport and automotive industries, Dr. Grube is chairman and CEO of Deutsche Bahn AG, board member at the Hyundai Motor Company and Mitsubishi, and also chairman for The Airbus Group. Since 2009, he has held the position at the Germany-owned railway company, and began his tenure by making tough decisions regarding cuts, to lift the company out of a struggling position post-Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

#6 Frederick Smith – FedEx

Frederick Smith founded FedEx after he observed military logistics systems and procedures first hand as a US Marine. Smith lost $26 million in his first two years in business but kept it afloat. Still the Chief Executive Officer at 71, Smith has just raised the company’s mandatory retirement age from 72 to 75.

#7: Frank Appel – Deutsche Post DHL

As the CEO of DHL, Dr. Frank Appel believes logistics is a transformative industry that’s more than just business. His science background, which earned him a doctorate in neurobiology, has fused with an entrepreneurial spirit, helping to grow the company considerably since his appointment in 2007.

#8: Reuben Slone – Walgreens

Reuben Slone has not only managed supply chain and logistics for multibillion-dollar companies, but has written extensively on the subject. As Senior Vice President, Supply Chain and Logistics, he says the five key characteristics of an effective CSCO are operational knowledge, technical knowledge, leadership, cultural savvy and change management skills.

#9: Brian Krzanich – Intel

Brian Krzanich’s 2013 appointment to Chief Executive Officer of Intel follows an impressive 31-year involvement with the company’s operations. He led a broad transformation of Intel’s factories and supply chain, improving factory velocity by more than 60 per cent and doubling customer responsiveness.

#10: Sonia Syngal – Old Navy (GAP)

After 12 years at Gap in charge of international supply chain product operations, Sonia Syngal became Global President of Old Navy, the most profitable brand under the Gap umbrella. Though facing challenging times in a declining retail fashion market, she’s been chosen because of the profitable results she’s delivered in operations.

You too can transport your career to new heights with an online Master of Supply Chain and Logistics Management at RMIT. Call 1300 701 171 to speak to one of our Student Enrolment Advisors for more information.