MetLife tapped Pawan Verma to serve as CIO and EVP effective Nov. 9, according to a company announcement. Verma will report to Bill Pappas, EVP and head of global technology and operations.
Verma is joining MetLife from Foot Locker, where he served as chief information and customer experience officer leading a 4,000-person team through a digital transformation. While there, he led the team's transformation to a cloud-based, omnichannel customer ecosystem. In 2019, Forbes awarded Verma the CIO Innovation Award in a class dedicated to turning data into revenue.
At MetLife, Verma will spearhead the business's efforts to "balance high tech and human touch to truly enable commercial success," Pappas said in the announcement.
Verma starts his tenure at MetLife at a time when the life insurance and benefits company's business is trending upward.
While MetLife's latest earnings report is still under wraps, the company reports new investors and the market anticipates growth. That said, Verma joins the company at a time when major senior leadership changes are already underway. Shifts in Japan and Latin America leadership announced in mid-October will go into effect later this year.
Over the last few years, MetLife has undertaken a digital transformation effort that Verma will assist on in his new role.
In 2017, MetLife invested $1 billion in an efficiency program to yield permanent cost savings through tech investments, according to a letter to shareholders. The effort was a part of the company's transformation strategy as it pivoted to adapt to a digital mindset.
Verma brings his customer-focused approach to digital transformation from Foot Locker to MetLife. As MetLife works to engage with millennials and Gen Z, Verma touts experience connecting with that audience.
At Foot Locker, Verma worked to create a "phygital" experience for the younger customer base focused on digital and in-person engagement, he said in a 2018 interview with Forbes.
Verma will also bring his penchant for data. Moving data management to the cloud and data governance transformation efforts at MetLife match Verma's sentiment of data as a problem-solving tool that is taking center stage.