Barbara Cooper

Former CIO - Retired - Toyota Motor North America

A highly successful and industry recognized corporate career spanning four decades and crossing five industries: retail, financial services, municipal government, logistics/distribution and automotive. An innovator and risk-taker known for her passion for business alignment, organizational strategy, optimizing and developing exceptional IT talent.

She became the first female Vice President in the technology function at American Express and led the company globally into the personal computing and networking generation, connecting travel offices and operating centers around the world together for the first time. Her reputation as an innovator and risk taker built from there as she took on her first CIO role at Maricopa County, Arizona, the fourth largest in the US. She was appointed acting County Manager during a serious and widely publicized financial crisis in 1994. Established a turnaround strategy that avoided bankruptcy and established a viable budget and funding model leading to financial stability. 

Her reputation as a successful turnaround and transformational leader established, she started being recruited for even more challenging CIO roles. She was recruited by Toyota having spent a short fourteen months as the CIO for MicroAge to transform an IT function that not keeping pace with the dramatic growth of the business in North America. As Group VP and CIO of Toyota, she was responsible for modernizing the company’s technology and governance practices. 

She established her own business in 2013 specializing in Executive Coaching for CIO’s and senior IT management in addition to consulting for IT organizations in transition. She serves as a coach for the CIO Executive Council’s Pathways Program as well as coaching clients directly in both private and public sector IT as part of her consulting company.