Chris Barbin appointed global culture officer at Wipro


Barbin will report to the CHRO and work with Wipro’s executive team, its Board of Directors, and a small, dedicated team of change agents to evolve and advance the worker experience at the Company. 

Chris Barbin, co-founder & CEO of Appirio, a company acquired by Wipro 16 months ago, has been named the global culture officer (GCO).

Appirio won 10 ‘Best Places to Work’ awards in the 10 years of its existence.

As the GCO, Barbin will work with Wipro’s executive team, its Board of Directors, and a small, dedicated team of change agents to evolve and advance the worker experience at the Company. He will report to the Company’s CHRO, Saurabh Govil.

Barbin writes in the Company’s official blog, “This isn’t another ‘digital transformation’ initiative nor is it about modernising technology or systems (although that will be a component). It’s not ‘just an HR thing’ focused on what new incentives or training programmes we can put in place. Wipro already has award-winning programmes in place. It’s more about how we will empower our people and teams across the world to move faster. It’s about challenging belief systems and eliminating organisation friction.”

As the GCO, his job will be to make sure that worker experience is just as ahead of the curve and a role model for clients.

Wipro is a 71-year old company that boasts of 1,300+ customers and 180,000 employees. It has made the investment to ensure its technologies and offerings are some of the best in the industry, and its customers are constantly looking to its teams to keep them ahead of the curve.

The idea of having a GCO is to stay relevant for the employees as well.

Barbin writes, “While culture may sound soft and squishy, this new role will be anything but that for me. What we recommend and put in place will be based on research (such as the recent culture work of Harvard Business Review), best practices from thought leaders, such as Netflix’s Patty McCord, as well as hard-earned insights from a couple of decades in the fast-paced start-up world. Wipro’s leadership is very clear about its desire to be a leader in the digital era, and the research is clear that leadership and culture are intertwined.”

He adds, “I believe we can create a worker experience and strategic culture that could set Wipro as a benchmark for other large, established companies that are quietly wondering whether or not it’s possible to shift culture at scale. There are few companies that have proactively evolved their culture and ways of working to continue their leadership.”

Barbin has been the CEO of Appirio since its inception. Previously he worked at Borland Software, where before becoming its CIO, Barbin also served as the Company’s SVP of worldwide services, managing and growing its global consulting, education, and technical support organisations.
Prior to Borland, Barbin was SVP of global customer services at webMethods. He also served as managing director of W.W. Grainger’s Consulting Services division, an early pioneer in e–commerce.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine and also studied at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England.

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