When I talk to people about getting their MBAs, most of their focus is around gaining new technical skills like financial modeling or something similar. I strongly believe that connecting with classmates and creating new memories with those friends is more important than learning how to be an excel jockey. Bill Schlough is a perfect example of this as we never took a class together, but share fun memories from our days playing volleyball at Wharton – hours spent on the courts and traveling up and down the New England corridor for tourneys. Bill’s held the role of Chief Information Officer for the San Francisco Giants since our graduation 25 years ago. It’s no surprise that we chat a lot about the importance sports plays in the lives of our children and communities across the US.
I incorrectly assumed that Bill, a former collegiate two-sport athlete and Olympics employee, seeks athletes in his hiring, so he fills me in on what he seeks in candidates. His hilarious story about the real life challenges Covid presented as he simultaneously navigated keeping his kindergartener on task during Zoom classes while dialing into his executive staff meetings amidst flying Nerf darts are sure to make you laugh.
I’ve had a hunch about the long-term effects of innovation with remote work. The US boasts some of the most innovative companies in the world, but my experience is that ideas occur in serendipitous moments in the break room during your afternoon chocolate break. Bill says that being back at work breathes lives back into his work day, and he supports my thesis that being in-person is critically important to keeping the flywheel of innovation spinning.
Bill’s an incredible mentor and reveals that he loves giving back and particularly expressing his gratitude with the mentors in his life. With 600+ mentees over his career, Bill demonstrates a servant’s heart and desire to help and guide others. This episode is truly inspirational as Bill is a down-to-earth executive with such rich and deep insights to share with anyone looking to break into the C-Suite. Thanks for tuning in!
About Bill Schlough
Since Bill Schlough’s arrival in 1999, the Giants have been recognized as one of the most innovative teams in sports, playing a pioneering role in the world of mobile connectivity, video, ticketing and payment systems. The Giants were the first team to provide free Wi-Fi to all fans beginning in 2004, and Oracle Park is currently the home of the third largest and first 4K-capable video boardin MLB. Schlough’s IT team has also supported the baseball operation in implementing an array of proprietary analytictools that helped the team secure three World Series titles in recent years.
In addition to his technologyleadershipresponsibilities in San Francisco, Schloughserved asInterim President and subsequently Chairman ofthe Giants’ Class-A San Jose affiliate, ultimately overseeing the team’s recent sale after a decade at the helm.
An Olympic enthusiast, Schlough assisted in crafting the technology vision and operations plans for San Francisco’s bids to host the 2012, 2016 and 2024 Olympic Games. His event experience includes assignments at the 1994 World Cup along with Olympics in Atlanta, Salt Lake, Torino, PyeongChang, and Beijing.
Previously, he worked as a consultant with Booz-Allen & Hamilton and EDS. Schlough serveson the boardof Junior Achievement of Northern California and isan avid supporter of Junior Giants, raising over $150,000 through speaking appearances and other fundraisers. Schlough was inducted into CIO.com’s CIO Hall of Fame in 2017, was named Trace3’s 2016 CIO Outlier of the Year, InformationWeek’s 2012 IT Chief of the Year, and is a Sports Business Journal“Forty Under 40” honoree.
A San Francisco native and Ironman triathlete, Schlough holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Duke University and an MBA from the Wharton School. He resides inLos Altos with his wife, Erin, and sons, Xavier and Quinlan.