SVP/Chief Information Officer
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Throughout his career, Ben Pivar has learned that the key to his success is building strong teams. “Some tenets that I’ve learned about assembling good teams have included focusing on lifelong learners, and not being afraid to hire ambitious, smart people who might someday take your job,” Pivar said.
As the Senior Vice president and Chief Information Officer of Carter’s Inc., Pivar said he has learned it’s crucial to create a working environment where smart leaders can flourish but also collaborate. “It’s critical that team members understand the overall corporate and IT strategy and that we’re all aligned to drive in that direction,” Pivar said. “I view the IT team as the glue that holds disparate business functions together and in order to achieve that vision, it’s crucial that IT team members work in a highly collaborative model.”
With that model in place, Pivar has been responsible for creating the vision and roadmap for Information Technology while also managing project delivery, applications, security, infrastructure, desktop, data and analytics and support for Carter’s Inc.
Carter’s Inc. is the largest branded marketer in North America of apparel and related products exclusively for babies and young children with a history dating back to 1865. Carter’s and OshKosh B’gosh clothing and accessories are sold at more than 1,000 company owned retail stores, as well as thousands of national department stores and some of the country’s largest retailers, such as Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Belk, JCPenney, Kohl’s and Macy’s.
Pivar said being a leader both at Carter’s and more generally across the industry requires investment. That’s why he is involved in CIO and business groups outside of work, stays involved with the Georgia CIO and National Retail Federation CIO Council.
Pivar said there are several tactics that help drive an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit at Carter’s.
“Firstly, my background and early career were focused on six-sigma quality, and my education was mathematic and measurements focused,” he said. “One of the key tenets that I firmly believe in and try to push down to my team is the spirit of continuous improvement.”
This improvement can take many forms, including opportunities that on the surface might not seem that exciting. “We’ve found that there are significant benefits that come from tracking performance, and we’ve created some transformative projects based on our learnings from studying our most frequent outages,” said Pivar. “We’re pushing the team at all levels to come up with new ideas for improvement.”
Ben and his wife Jenn race BMWs at local road racing courses like Road Atlanta. Ben is a certified instructor with Porsche, BMW, and several other groups.