Haas Names Winner of Inaugural Fisher-Hopper Prize for Lifetime Achievement in CIO Leadership

The Haas School’s Fisher CIO Leadership Program has named Filippo Passerini, Procter & Gamble's chief information officer and group president of global business services, recipient of the first annual Fisher-Hopper Prize for Lifetime Achievement in CIO Leadership.

Passerini, who was honored for changing the way CIOs may view and implement information technology, created an information/decisions/solution (IDS) framework at P&G that shifted the IT focus from a service-based function to a solution-based one.

The award was announced Friday evening, Sept. 14, at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley. Watch Passerini's acceptance speech on YouTube.

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 in memory of Haas alumnus Don Fisher, BS 51, co-founder of Gap Inc. and supporter of the IT Leadership Program at Haas, and Max Hopper, the visionary behind American Airlines’ SABRE Systems that computerized and revolutionized travel reservations.

“Our bicoastal panel of judges identified 22 distinguished candidates and four finalists. Mr. Passerini was selected for the magnitude of his accomplishments coupled with his reputation as a well-respected yet humble leader,” says Jim Spitze, executive director of the Fisher CIO Leadership Program at Berkeley-Haas’ Fisher Center for Management and Technology.

“I’m deeply honored and humbled by this award from the Haas School and the highly distinguished panel of judges,” Passerini said.  “It recognizes that at P&G, we are achieving our vision of transforming IT from a back-office commodity to a strategic and competitive advantage—a journey we continue each day. This wouldn’t be possible without the tremendous talent and drive of our organization—and I share this accomplishment with all of them.”

Passerini led the integration of P&G’s IT and services groups to form one of the largest and most progressive shared services organizations in the world. He was one of the first CIOs to deploy an “open innovation” strategy of outsourcing IT and other services. In 2005, he also delivered the largest integration (Gillette) in P&G history in record-breaking time. The “commercial integration” alone spanned 69 countries, 115 distribution centers, and 71,000 new products. The scope of projects included demand management, order-shipping-billing, employee services, core financials, and business reporting— followed by the integration of manufacturing and supply planning and the Gillette infrastructure. Under Passerini’s leadership, P&G estimates it has saved more than $1 billion to date in back-office systems and solutions.

Prior to becoming CIO in 2004 and P&G group president in 2011, he held leadership roles in the U.K., Latin America, Greece, Turkey, and the United States. Passerini, a native of Rome, began his P&G career as a systems analyst in Italy in 1981.

Passerini says he believes that CIOs need to remain closely connected to the business.

“We’re at a unique point where the stars and the moon are aligned for the CIO to play a dramatically different and much more transformational role in the business.  I believe it’s less about technology, and much more about being a business person with an interest in technology," he says. "This mindset has helped our organization transform the way we do business at P&G.”