The Digital Supply Chain

Rob Carter has served as FedEx's Chief Information Officer for nearly 20 years, developing the company's information infrastructure and implementing new cutting-edge technologies. In this fireside chat with Jeff Immelt, Carter discusses the role of technology at FedEx, how FedEx learns about and evaluates new technologies, and how it puts innovation at the center of its business.
Rob Carter
I have a seat on our five-person executive committee because everything we do is technology-based. The reality is that technology is the digital nervous system of the company. Planes don't fly, trucks don't roll, packages don't sort, and customers don't have the visibility that they expect to have if the system isn't there.
We have millions of customers and they're trying to get the right stuff to the right place in the right timeframe. That's what we do for a living, for the most part. When you watch what it is that they're moving, you really begin to see that that model is going to shift over time from these bespoke points of manufacturing around the world...and shifting to a much more direct [form of organization] from point-of-manufacture to point-of-need. That's the real shift that's taking place, and we can see it happening.

Robert B. (Rob) Carter is executive vice president of FedEx Information Services and chief information officer of FedEx Corp. He is a member of the five-person Executive Committee, which plans and executes the corporation’s strategic business activities. Carter is also co-president and co-CEO of FedEx Services, which provides sales, marketing, information technology, communications, customer service, technical support, billing, and collections services for U.S. customers of major FedEx business units and certain back-office functions that support other FedEx companies.

Carter joined FedEx in 1993 and has over 35 years of systems development and implementation experience. Carter is responsible for setting the technology direction of the FedEx applications, networks, and data centers that provide around-the-clock and around-the-globe support for FedEx product offerings.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in computer and information science from the University of Florida and his master’s degree from the University of South Florida.

Carter has been awarded many industry accolades, including Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, Fortune magazine’s Executive Dream Team, and Information Week’s Chief of the Year Award. And he is a seven-time recipient of CIO magazine’s 100 Award. Carter is also a charter inductee into the publication’s CIO Hall of Fame.

Carter serves on the boards of directors of New York Life Insurance Company and Pilot Travel Centers LLC.


Read the Digital Factory Report

The future of manufacturing is digital. We explore the technologies that are transforming fabrication, from advanced 3D printing to AI-assisted design, and get to know the leaders who are bringing them to the factory floor.

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