C-suite Awards 2022

CEO MONTHLY / C-suite Awards 2022 10 Most Trusted CTO in America: Zack Storer Trust is the foundation of building incredible companies, and Zack Storer strives to live the word everywhere he leads. It is essential for modern boards to incorporate trusted technology innovators to help them navigate the ever-changing landscape of opportunities and there is no trait more important in an executive leader as they guide and build the future of a company. Having transformed digital cultures at iconic and trusted brands including The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), News Corp (NYSE: NWSA), Bowery Farming, and Grainger (NYSE: GWW), it’s no surprise that innovation and great digital cultures thrive wherever Mr. Storer is advising or leading. ack has always been a curious lover of engineering and technology. He grew up outside Detroit, Michigan, where his great-grandfather owned a scrapyard with hundreds of vintage cars being parted out for repairs. As a child, he spent countless hours learning how electronics worked by dismantling toys so he could automate or build something new with the parts. This curiosity became both the foundation of a lifetime of learning and a key component of trust building. Still today, he regularly seeks to understand ‘the why’ first and dig deeper before judging things at face value. Helping people in their lives and long-term careers has fueled this investor, board member, and technology leader from a very young age. In 2021, Zack joined the fast-growing Cincinnatibased startup Health Carousel, where he now leads both technology and product to help millions of Americans live better lives through the company’s healthcare workforce enablement. One of the reasons Zack who has led at some of the most impressive companies and diverse industries across the globe accepted the position was because there was an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the healthcare workers, who live in service of helping others. “The pandemic has taken an incredible toll on our country’s healthcare professionals, and I am personally grateful for the caregivers who have helped me and my family over the years,” said Zack when asked about why he is personally investing in the space. Given that healthcare needs in the US are set to grow under increasingly high demand over the next two decades, it is no surprise that he decided to branch out and learn a new industry. Although new to healthcare, Zack has been leading technology innovation and digital strategy for over 25 years. Throughout his career, there has been one singular constant: he has worked tirelessly to scale valuable solutions that transform industries by growing and supporting incredible teammates. We heard this from not only Zack himself but the many leaders he has worked alongside or had a hand in developing over decades. It is for this reason why Zack was selected as the Most Trusted CTO in America. “When motivating change across the organization, Zack focuses on people first. We were so lucky to have his guidance at an inflection point riddled with complexity (pandemic, rapid growth, attrition). Zack’s tenure as CTO of Bowery cultivated a welcoming, honest culture necessary for innovation,” said Noah Shpak, a machine learning engineer now at Twitter. This relentless learning machine helped grow careers and fostered a legacy of former associates now thriving at some of the most innovative organizations in the world. “As a visionary leader, he transformed Kroger Technology to a superhub where creative minds meet and inspire each other to make something that truly matters to the customers. It was a great privilege to work for him,” said Huiting (Isabel) Milewski, a senior software engineer at Microsoft. Summarizing Zack’s belief in collective mindpower, a headline quote of his reads “Empowering great talent to scale and operate at a speed of trust creates the ecosystem required for game changing innovation” (RelentlessCuriosity.com). Placing trust at the center with innovative strategy is how Zack was able to unlock billions of dollars in growth while leading digital technology at The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), and it has also been the fuel behind the successes he has seen in advising and leading completely diverse sectors within companies at every single stage. Zack is both a seasoned P&L business leader and a bleeding-edge technologist, which enables him to build bridges across organizations, boards, and frontline associates. These unique traits have inspired thousands of individuals to unleash growth and technology led scale. Before joining the corporate world, he owned and managed a tech business full-time while simultaneously paying his way through school in the evenings at the University of Cincinnati. Once he landed his first professional job at International Paper (NYSE: IP), he was determined to soak up as much as he could. That included everything from managing servers, mainframes, and advanced networking to reverse Apr22136 Z