For more than 25 years, Shankar Arumugavelu has called Verizon home. He was a director at telecom GTE when Bell Atlantic acquired it in 2000 to form Verizon. Since March 2021, he’s served as SVP and Global Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Verizon, one of the largest communications technology companies in the world. In this position, he is helping to drive the company’s adoption of emerging technologies, like AI and machine learning in service.

The way Arumugavelu sees it, the CIO role has been changing over the years. Whereas previously CIOs focused more on optimizing for efficiency and risk, today many of them are at the helm of digital transformation. This means that in addition to previous concerns, a modern CIO like Arumugavelu is also concentrating on things like agility, speed, and innovation.

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Looking forward, Arumugavelu sees the 5G Datasphere as being especially important for Verizon as it seeks to fulfill its vision of accelerating the power and potential of better utilizing massive amounts of data for its customers around the globe. "1G was all about voice. 2G was text. 3G was data and apps, 4G was video and speed, and 5G all of these," he said in a recent interview, characterizing 5G as a "totally transformational" technology with the potential to "usher in this fourth industrial revolution."

Considering the success of his multi-decade tenure with Verizon, the company is in good hands. Arumugavelu has a proven track record for leading enterprise transformation in order to scale the business and drive revenue growth. Throughout his career, he's had a number of leadership positions of increasing responsibility at the company. Before taking his current role, Arumugavelu served as senior vice president and chief information officer for the Verizon Wireless and Verizon Consumer Markets business units.

Additionally, he currently serves on the CTO Forum Advisory Board and is also a member of the TM Forum Board of Trustees, a leading global alliance for digital service providers and suppliers in the communications industry. Arumugavelu received a Master of Science in computer science from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor of Science in electrical and electronics engineering from Anna University, which is located in Tamil Nadu, India.