Chief Technology and Digital Officer, USAA

Banks just keep creating new roles for Heather Cox, who is making another job switch this fall.

In 2014, Citigroup hired Cox away from Capital One to develop a digital strategy for its global consumer bank. Last year, Citi created a new fintech arm — the mission: build a mobile-first bank — and named Cox its CEO.

Then in August, USAA announced that it had lured Cox away from Citi and appointed her chief technology and digital officer. In the newly created post, Cox will oversee information technology, digital strategy and operations, and experience design at the $75 billion-asset USAA. She is expected to start this fall at the online-only bank, which is widely viewed as one of the industry's most innovative institutions.

"Heather's appointment reinforces our service commitment in fast-moving areas like digital, technology and user experience," USAA's president and CEO, Stuart Parker, said when announcing Cox's hire. "She's the right leader to take us where we're going."

Cox oversaw several major tech projects at Citi, including refinements to the bank's mobile app; the development of an app for wearable devices; the expansion of consumer innovation labs across the globe; and Citi FinTech, for which she recruited from the likes of Amazon.

Projects at Citi FinTech begin by assessing customer needs to distill a disruptive idea. The intent is to incubate ideas that can result in making something 10 times better, rather than the 1% or 2% improvements typical of large companies. The very first idea developed through this process — which Citi calls Discover 10X — is slated to be launched this fall. Though details are being kept quiet, Cox described what is to come as a transformational customer experience.

Such accomplishments helped to earn Cox a seat on McKinsey & Co.'s new Digital Roundtable, an invitation-only panel of experts that will meet quarterly to discuss digital trends in financial services.

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