InfoWorld CTO 25: Bob DeRodes

Executive Vice President and CIO, The Home Depot

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Bob DeRodes used to be a long-snapping center, but he says he missed his shot at the NFL. Instead, he became executive vice president and CIO of The Home Depot.

After joining the company in 2000 and quickly getting promoted to his current position, DeRodes oversaw a massive modernization initiative. “I digitized Home Depot,” he says simply. DeRodes and his team rebuilt all the basic data structures, replaced the WAN and LAN infrastructure, and invested in new operating systems, hardware, and enterprise applications.

The $2 billion project took one year and a million person hours to complete, and stretched from the customer Web site to the supply chain to the sales floor. In all, DeRodes’ developers built 12 business apps designed to improve point-of-sale accuracy, sales floor service and execution, and back-end processes.

Previously, DeRodes held senior IT management positions at Citibank, Delta Airlines, and Sabre. He believes that ongoing advances in networking, storage, and personal devices will continue to improve The Home Depot customer experience. Ultimately, he says, shoppers will use wireless PDAs to find what they need in Home Depot stores. “No one company will revolutionize the industry, but one can influence it,” he says.