Jeff Kubacki has been a chief information officer for nearly a decade and a half, first as an interim-CIO at Ecolab, then with stints at Kroll, ATK, and Westinghouse Electric. For a bit more than two years, he has been the CIO of Winnebago, based in Eden Prairie. You might not think of this iconic nearly $2 billion recreational vehicle company to be a hotbed of technology, but changing that perception inside and out has been Kubacki’s mission.
He is currently pursuing five strategic objectives as IT leader:
- Driving increased automation and integration across the supply chain;
- Leveraging IT to drive increased employee performance and productivity;
- Modernizing the IT infrastructure and all of our services;
- Making improvements around IT risk management;
- Transforming the digital experience for the connected consumer.
With these areas of focus, he is both modernizing the technology footprint of the company, but also planning better ways to harness the data that flows through that technology to make better decisions. He describes his methods herein.
Peter High: You have been the Chief Information Officer of Winnebago Industries for just over two years. Can you describe Winnebago’s business?
Jeff Kubacki: Winnebago is one of the most recognized brands in the RV industry. Sixty years ago, the company was launched in Northern Iowa, and for the majority of our history, we have primarily been a motorhome business. When our new CEO Mike Happe came in a few years ago, he put together a new leadership team, and he started to change the purpose and the vision of the company. This marked the beginning of a transformation that saw our model go from primarily being an RV company to one that is mainly focused on helping our customers explore the outdoor lifestyle. Making this change allows us to look at elements outside of the normal RV industry.