Citi's Heather Cox Joining USAA as Chief Tech and Digital Officer

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Heather Cox, the chief executive of Citigroup's fintech unit, is headed to USAA.

The San Antonio-based bank announced Friday that it has named Cox its chief technology and digital officer, a newly created role that includes the oversight of information technology, digital strategy and operations, and experience design.

"Heather's appointment reinforces our service commitment in fast-moving areas like digital, technology and user experience," USAA Chief Executive Stuart Parker said in a press release. "She's the right leader to take us where we're going."

In the same release, Cox said, "USAA is known for innovating and delivering an excellent member experience for the military community."

Cox joined Citi in 2014, also in a newly created role, from Capital One. In 2015, she was named American Banker's Digital Banker of the Year and was No. 7 on American Banker's list of The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking.

Among her accomplishments, Cox oversaw the launch of an app for a wearable device her team built in 120 days; created innovation events to hear pitches from global software developers; and led the bank as it became one of the first in the U.S. allowing customers to check their account balances and transactions on a mobile app without having to type in user names and passwords.

In a memo to Citi staffers, Stephen Bird, the chief executive of the global consumer bank, thanked Cox for her contributions to the company's digital transformation during her tenure.

"She embraced our vision to become a true mobile business, championed working in new ways to improve speed to market and pursued every avenue to make the experience we deliver simpler, better and faster," Bird wrote in the memo.

USAA said Cox is expected to assume her new role this fall. Yolande Piazza, the chief operating officer of Citi FinTech, will assume interim responsibility for Cox's duties.

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