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High Five: Meet Dave Barnes, CIO Of United Parcel Service

Dave Barnes, a 30-year veteran of UPS, started at the company while in college, unloading trucks on the twilight shift. Appointed CIO in 2004, he oversees a global technology organization of 5,200 people and a budget of more than $1 billion.
Dave Barnes
CIO of United Parcel Service

Interview by Rob Preston

Dave Barnes, CIO of United Parcel Service

Photograph by Sacha Lecca




1
LIFER IS GOOD
Like most career UPS execs, Barnes has been rotated throughout the company, in various operations, accounting, and tech positions. At a company where longtime truck drivers became millionaires at the IPO in 1999, this CIO and senior VP is probably doing OK.

2
MATH WHIZZES
The advanced research team uses algorithms to chart the best truck routes, helping drivers avoid construction and traffic lights and minimize their left turns in congested cities. UPS estimates its brown trucks logged 28 million fewer miles and burned 3 million fewer gallons of fuel last year than the year before, cutting 31,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

3
FLIGHT CONTROL
As the world's eighth-largest airline, UPS works with the FAA to improve flight efficiency and safety. It shared a technique for gradual aircraft "step downs" into airports, an approach that reduces noise and fuel consumption, as well as its algorithms for detecting fog.

4
OVERRATED
UPS is in no rush to implement RFID across its global supply chain. "What people don't always understand is that for RFID to work, there must be radical change in process first, not so much focus on the technology."

5
ALWAYS THE GEEK
For Barnes' new home in suburban Atlanta, he created the wiring plan and laid much of the cable. "I love watching tech drive cost down, value up."

Editor's Choice
Mary E. Shacklett, President of Transworld Data
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer