Information Technology

North Carolina’s technology industry has grown at double the rate of the national average in recent years. Information-technology employment tops 365,000 after increasing by more than 40% over the last decade, according to the CompTIA trade group. The state benefits from a mix of global giants and smaller homegrown entrepreneurial ventures.

ROBBIE ALLEN

co-founder, CEO | Startomatic

Durham

After selling his Automated Insights artificial-intelligence company for a reported $80 million, Allen launched Startomatic, which offers software to help businesses choose names, file documents and launch operations.

PETER BOURNE

CEO | Bright Wolf, a Cognizant company

Chapel Hill

Bright Wolf, an industrial-software company, named Bourne its CEO in 2016. At the end of 2020, he oversaw its sale to business outsourcer Cognizant, a Fortune 500 company. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

JUD BOWMAN

founder, CEO | Sift Media

Durham

Bowman, 39, co-founded his first company, Motricity, while in high school. It later had a $50 million IPO. He started Sift Media, which collects data from app users, in 2015. It raised more than $4 million in 2016.

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ROBERT BRUGGEWORTH

president, CEO | Qorvo

Greensboro

Bruggeworth started with Qorvo’s predecessor, RF Micro Devices, in 1999. This past year, its technology helped land Perseverance Rover on Mars. Annual revenue tops $3.7 billion. The Wilkes University graduate is the Semiconductor Industry Association’s chairman.

MICHAEL CAPPS

CEO | Diveplane

Raleigh

After helping take Epic Games’ Fortnite and Gears of War games to blockbuster status, Capps started his own firm to create artificial intelligence that helps make fair, unbiased decisions in 2018. He has degrees from UNC Chapel Hill and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

ANIL CHAWLA

founder, chairman | ArchiveSocial

Durham

Chawla counts former President Barack Obama among the 5,000 users of his software, which captures and archives social media posts. The Georgia Institute of Technology graduate’s company has attracted investments, including
$53 million from private-equity firm Level Equity in 2019.

CHRIS DOWNIE

CEO | Flexential

Charlotte

A Dartmouth College graduate who earned an MBA at New York University, Downie, 52, became CEO of the data center and infrastructure company after the merger of Charlotte’s Peak 10 and ViaWest in 2017.

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JOY PARR DRACH

president, CEO | Advanced Animal Diagnostics

Morrisville

Drach, who has an MBA from the University of Chicago, founded the company in 2009 mainly to develop tests to diagnose sick cattle. Last summer, she began testing to detect the coronavirus in humans, backed by a $50,000 grant from the N.C. Biotech Center.

DAVID GARDNER

founder, managing partner | Cofounders Capital

Cary

An entrepreneur, author and N.C. State University graduate, Gardner, 57, spent more than 30 years building software technology companies. His investment company has raised $43 million. It made its largest initial investment — $1.3 million — in Cary-based digital marketer marGo in January.

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JIM GOODNIGHT

CEO | SAS Institute

Cary

The state’s most famous tech titan co-founded SAS in 1976. Its analytics software is used by more than 83,000 organizations worldwide. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and Ph.D. at N.C. State University. Forbes estimates his net worth at $6.5 billion.

TIMOTHY HUMPHREY

North Carolina senior state executive; RTP senior site executive | IBM

Raleigh

Humphrey, 47, has worked for IBM or Lenovo since earning an electrical engineering degree at N.C. State University in 1996. He has been senior state executive since 2018 while helping IBM add artificial intelligence to internal operations. He is a UNC Health director.

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ERIC LATALLADI

global chief technology officer | MetLife

Cary

Latalladi was a senior applications developer at a New Jersey broker-dealer acquired by Royal Bank of Canada in 2007. He started with MetLife in 2012, about when the insurer split its tech headquarters between Charlotte and Cary. He is an MBA graduate of the University of Western Ontario.

DEVERRE LIERMAN

vice president, head of U.S. Southeast Region and Raleigh Innovation Hub | Infosys

Raleigh

The former IBM executive and Rutgers University graduate was tapped to run the Indian IT company’s Wake County tech hub in 2018. It is expected to employ as many as 2,000 people.

JESSE LIPSON

founder, CEO | Levitate

Raleigh

The serial entrepreneur sold his software company ShareFile to Citrix in 2011. He has raised more than $20 million in investments for his latest venture, Levitate, which designs small business marketing software. The Duke University graduate helped establish coworking space Raleigh Founded.

GINA LOFTON

chief technology officer | Microsoft US

Raleigh

Lofton, 55, earned an electrical engineering degree from N.C. Agricultural & Technical State University. She focuses on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and STEM diversity.

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O’HARA MACKEN

partner and senior vice president | IHS Markit

Raleigh

A Fairfield University graduate, Macken continued as office lead when financial-services provider Ipreo was purchased for $1.9 billion by London-based IHS in 2018. At the time Ipreo had about 325 employees and a $2 million state incentive to add 250 more.

DAVID MORKEN

CEO | Bandwidth

Raleigh

The Oral Roberts University and University of Notre Dame Law School graduate founded the company in 1999 then took it public in 2017. It had a market value of $3.1 billion in late March. Morken expects to more than double its 750-person staff over the next few years.

DAVID MOUNTS

chairman, CEO | Inmar Intelligence

Winston-Salem

Mounts has led Inmar, which develops technology and provides analytics for retail, manufacturing and other sectors, since 2010. The University of Nevada at Las Vegas and Wharton MBA graduate previously worked in executive posts for Domino’s Pizza and UPS.

JILLIAN MUNRO

group head of data and analytics technology | Envestnet | Yodlee

Raleigh

A member of NC TECH’s advisory board, Munro earned degrees from Bucknell and George Washington universities. As a senior technology executive, she’s worked for some big financial-services firms including JPMorgan Chase and Fidelity. She joined Envestnet, a financial-data services company, in November.

PIERRE NAUDÉ

CEO | nCino

Wilmington

The South African-born graduate of Upper Iowa University has more than 30 years of financial technology experience. Naudé, 62, helped develop nCino, a fintech that specializes in cloud technology for banks, raising $248 million from an initial public offering last summer.

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TODD OLSON

co-founder, CEO | Pendo

Raleigh

Pendo, considered one of the state’s most promising tech startups, uses analytics to help managers optimize their software development. Prior to Pendo, the Carnegie Mellon University graduate founded 6th Sense, which was acquired by Rally, and Cerebellum. Pendo has raised more than $200 million in capital. Last year, he wrote a book, The Product-Led Organization.

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SANJAY PAL

global vice president and head of CX, IBM Hybrid Cloud | IBM

Durham

Pal helps clients embrace artificial intelligence and the cloud. He worked for Cisco Systems for 23 years before joining IBM in 2017. The master’s degree graduate of Louisiana State University is chairman of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.

MICHAEL PRAEGER

CEO | AvidXchange

Charlotte

The Georgetown University graduate, 52, co-founded the payment automation solutions provider that has raised more than $1 billion and is considered likely to go public this year at a valuation of $7 billion or more. He and his wife visited many cities before picking Charlotte as the best place for a startup.

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BUFFIE RODRI

managing director | Accenture

Raleigh

The N.C. State University graduate, 52, leads the North Carolina office for the Ireland-based information-technology and consulting business, where she’s worked since 1992. She is vice chair of NC TECH’s board of directors.

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CHRISTY SHAFFER

general partner | Hatteras Venture Partners

Durham

The former president and CEO of Inspire Pharmaceuticals raised more than $300 million before taking it public. She has spent more than 20 years in the life-sciences industry. Shaffer earned her Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee. She now oversees life-sciences investments for Hatteras.

TIM SWEENEY

founder, CEO | Epic Games

Cary

The video game industry superstar’s company created Fortnite, which counts 350 million users, and Unreal Engine, software used by other game-makers. A former University of Maryland student, he has a net worth of $9.5 billion, according to Bloomberg. His firm is suing Apple and Google over third-party payment collections, while also raising more than $1 billion in additional capital.

JIM TRIANDIFLOU

CEO | Insightsoftware

Raleigh

Triandiflou, 55, was named CEO of the financial-reporting software company in October. A graduate of State University of New York at Oswego and Arizona State University, the former CEO of health care education provider Relias was Triangle Business Journal’s Business Person of the Year in 2017.

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JIM WHITEHURST

president | IBM

Raleigh

The former Red Hat CEO, 54, took his new post in January, less than two years after IBM paid a record $34 billion for the Raleigh-based open-source software company. He came to North Carolina in 2007 after being chief operating officer at Delta Air Lines. He is a Rice University and Harvard University graduate.

SCOT WINGO

CEO | Spiffy

Durham

Wingo, 52, holds computer-engineering degrees from the University of South Carolina and N.C. State University. He started four companies, including ChannelAdvisor, which went public in 2013, and Spiffy, a mobile vehicle maintenance business.

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BOB YOUNG

founder, CEO | Lulu Press

Raleigh

The University of Toronto graduate was the co-founder and public face of Raleigh-based Red Hat, an open-source software company that went public in 1999,  posting Wall Street’s eighth-biggest one-day gain. IBM bought Red Hat in 2019. His latest enterprise helps people self-publish printed materials.

MATTHEW ZIELINSKI

president | Lenovo North America

Morrisville

The University of Michigan graduate joined the Chinese-owned computer giant in 2018 after 11 years with Advanced Micro Devices. Zielinski, 42, was named Lenovo’s international sales organization leader in February. A month earlier, he predicted that Lenovo would become North America’s second-largest PC manufacturer.

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