Premier 100 IT Leader: Nick Costides

With challenges and opportunities at every turn, a career in IT takes shape.

At UPS, employees are encouraged to remain "constructively dissatisfied," which means they're always focused on continuous improvement and challenging themselves with a variety of assignments. So it's easy to see how Nick Costides, vice president of information services, could reinvent himself many times at the same company over 22 years -- with stints on three continents in IT, business and M&A roles.

Nick Costides

Costides, 50, recalls that when he first joined Louisville, Ky.-based UPS, he thought it was "just a stop" on his career path. "But each assignment provided a lot of excitement," he says, "and before I knew it, my evolution through UPS had happened."

Two years ago, his breadth of experience helped him lead the launch of My Choice, a service that allows consumers to control their delivery experience on mobile devices. But perhaps more significantly, UPS anticipated the social ramifications of mobile apps and created a team of IT, product, marketing, communication and social media specialists to gather feedback and make changes quickly.

In its first year, the team delivered 26 releases of software, while reacting to customer feedback and supporting new mobile platforms. Today, UPS has more than 6 million My Choice customers and its mobile app has been downloaded more than 4 million times.

Jim Medeiros, vice president of IT shared services, describes Costides as a positive leader. "People want to follow him because he's so energetic and knowledgeable," says Medeiros. "They believe in what he's professing to achieve."

Next: Return to the full list of 2014 honorees

Collett is a Computerworld contributing writer. You can contact her at stcollett@comcast.net.

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