Chris Hjelm, senior vice president and chief information officer at The Kroger Co., has received the Fisher-Hopper Prize for Lifetime Achievement in CIO Leadership from the Fisher CIO Leadership Program at the University of California-Berkeley's Haas School of Business.
Hjelm was selected by a group of his peers for the enduring impact he has had on not only Kroger, but also FedEx, Orbitz and the information technology industry at large.
"I am honored to receive this award, and humbled to be recognized by such a distinguished and respected group of industry leaders," Hjelm said. "This award is truly a testament to the entire IT and leadership team at Kroger, and all we have accomplished by using information technology to enhance the customer experience. Success is a team sport."
The Fisher CIO Leadership Program established the award to honor a currently active CIO for his or her lifetime achievements in CIO leadership. The award is named in memory of Don Fisher, co-founder of The Gap and supporter of the IT leadership program at the Haas School of Business, and Max Hopper, the visionary behind American Airlines' Sabre Systems that computerized and revolutionized travel reservations.
"Our bi-coastal panel of judges identified 25 distinguished candidates and four finalists. The Fisher-Hopper Prize Committee has honored Chris Hjelm for his extraordinarily perceptive innovations that have given his employer, The Kroger Co., a significant competitive advantage while demonstrating to the entire retail industry the hidden potential of technology when wisely managed," says Jim Spitze, executive director of the Fisher CIO Leadership Program at Berkeley-Haas' Fisher Center for Management and Technology.
As Kroger's senior VP and CIO, Hjelm is responsible for managing the company's nationwide network of information and technology systems, including systems used in retail stores, manufacturing plants, distribution centers and offices. He also oversees the company's small format strategy.
He played a central leadership role in the development of Kroger's faster checkout initiative, QueVision, which employs infrared technology and predictive analytics to reduce the time customers wait in line to checkout from four minutes to less than 30 seconds, on average, today.
Hjelm serves on the boards of DunnhumbyUSA and Kindred Healthcare Inc. Before joining Kroger in 2005, he was CIO of Cendant's Travel Distribution Services. He has served as SVP for technology at eBay Inc., EVP at Excite@Home, and senior vice president and CIO at FedEx Corp.
Cincinnati-based Kroger operates 2,418 supermarkets and multidepartment stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's.