Mr. Doug Phibin is Chief Information Officer of American Express Global Business Travel. As a tenured technology executive, Doug Philbin is best known for delivering award-winning innovations, superior customer satisfaction and streamlining operating efficiencies. With deep professional experience spanning both IT and business management disciplines, Philbin has worked in all aspects of global IT and technology operations for market-leading global companies in diverse industries.
Technology has played an important role in each of the positions Philbin has held throughout his 20+ year career. In March 2015, Philbin joined American Express Global Business Travel to oversee the company’s technology function and manage all information technology needs for GBT and its customers. Prior to this role, he worked as a Client Executive for Dell Services where he was responsible for Dell’s overall relationship and the delivery of services to one of its top healthcare clients. Before joining Dell, Philbin was a tenured executive at Perot Systems where he served numerous roles including Chief Information Officer for Parsons Corporation. As CIO, Philbin led the development and implementation of cutting-edge management tools, processes, best practices, and technology infrastructures to achieve multi-million dollar cost reductions and foster collaborations across geographically dispersed business units. As a top technology leader, Philbin oversaw Parsons’ enterprise architectures and worked with its Executive Committee to execute its corporate strategy and company operations across Europe, the Middle East and North America.
Prior to these successes, Philbin worked as an Account Manager for several of Perot Systems’ major clients including Volkswagen North America and Western Pacific Airline where he directed IT operations, managed multi-million dollar annual budgets and spearheaded a number of IT turnaround efforts.
In addition to securing prominent professional positions, Philbin has also served as a speaker at industry events and as an Advisory Board Member of FarkasBerkowitz. In his earlier years, Doug earned his B.S. in Computer Science from Trinity University.
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) enables corporations and empowers business travelers with insights, connections and exceptional customer service on a global scale. Through technology and information, GBT provides leading travel solutions, integrated consulting services, proprietary research, and end-to-end meetings and events capabilities. These innovative offerings enable clients to optimize the return on their travel and meetings investments. GBT has operations and network partners in nearly 140 countries worldwide with approximately 12,000 employees. GBT is a joint venture between American Express and an investor group led by private investment firm Certares. GBT ranked first among corporate travel providers in the 2014 Corporate Travel 100 (“CT100”), an annual listing compiled by Business Travel News which ranks companies with the largest volume of U.S. air bookings.
In today’s global business environment, STEM education and workforce development plays a key role in allowing companies like American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) to lead their industries and drive success. STEM is core to our competitiveness from a workforce perspective and as a means of establishing companies as leaders in STEM fields worldwide. From retaining top talent to fostering advanced employee education opportunities, STEM is essential to propelling our company and global economy forward.
In March 2014, American Express announced it had signed an agreement to enter into a joint venture with an investor group and closed the deal later that year, resulting in GBT becoming a standalone company for the first time. As a new company with more than 100 years of experience in travel and technology, GBT’s identity consists of a unique combination of a startup and a tenured brand that embodies an environment of professionals looking to disrupt the travel industry. Throughout this transition, technology has always been and continues to be at the heart of our company’s growth strategy and a key component to our success. We are deeply committed to providing our customers with superior technologies and exceptional traveler care, and have embraced STEM education as a key aspect of delivering on this promise.
We are greatly invested in our people, encouraging a learning culture that empowers and supports the development of our employees across all levels and business functions. Our approach to strengthen talent is rooted in how we have embraced a model that features frequent feedback and coaching at all levels of our organization. We’re creating a culture that encourages employees to own their career journeys as a way to drive true growth and change. In a short period of time, we’ve been able to successfully fuel performance for the future, rather than dwell on the past, because as technology continues to push forward, so will we.
An unfortunate reality across the broader technology industry is scarcity of talent and lack of diversity in the workforce. For companies who embrace diversity, funneling the talent pool to attract diverse individuals can be complex. It is critical for companies to create workforce strategies that align with their current business needs and define required technology skills to meet the company’s future goals.
To address these challenges, at GBT, our recruitment strategy is centered on our ability to identify a diverse group of candidates from different markets and a variety of backgrounds. Upon becoming a standalone company, a key driver of our strategy is focused on delivering leading technology solutions on a global scale. To enable that strategy we are recalibrating our recruitment strategy to tap into a more diverse set of talent pools including university, military veterans and early career hiring as well as sponsorship of students pursuing STEM career via internship programs.
In recent decades, it has been remarkable to see how careers in science, technology, engineering and math have become attractive arenas students are pursuing. For me, this shift has been very refreshing. With an expanding number of present and future opportunities, STEM careers have become attractive paths students are eager to embark on.
One of the greatest opportunities ahead lies in the ability to introduce STEM to students at young ages. In today’s world, technology at home is becoming ubiquitous. Children are increasingly exposed to technology at a very early age. Therefore, as STEM education becomes increasingly ingrained in school curriculums, students will be able to better position themselves for STEM careers.
On the other hand, a significant challenge for STEM education will be to keep up with the rapid pace of change. Curriculums can no longer remain static, and therefore teachers and content must continuously evolve with the changes happening across the industry as students and STEM professionals regularly learn how to use new tools and platforms.
In the coming years, it will be exciting to see how GBT and other companies continue to develop STEM initiatives and embrace STEM education, to fortify a bright future for the students and young professionals of tomorrow.