Governing Body Spotlight

Co-Chair of the Benelux CIO Community

Gopal VC Gopalratnam

EVP & Global CIO


As of January 2020, I am the Chief Information Officer for Royal Philips. Partnering with the global Philips leadership team, I am focused on transforming the company into a strong solutions leader in the HealthTech domain by leading and implementing large IT transformation programs in global settings and leveraging technology to better serve our customers.

Learn more about leaders in the Benelux CIO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I started my career in engineering consulting, where I developed expertise across various domains, including program management and e-commerce. In subsequent leadership roles at companies like General Electric (GE) and Cisco Systems, I had the opportunity to be part of amazing business and IT transformations in many areas, from strategy and operations to customer and employee experience.  

What are some of your guiding leadership principles?

  • Don’t worry about things that you cannot control.
  • Hire people much smarter than yourself.
  • My priority list is always Organization, Function, Team, and then Self, in that order.
  • Ask “so what” of everything presented to you and keep asking it until you reach a business outcome.
  • The more diverse a team, the greater the business benefits and better the results.
  • It is important to build a culture of giving back.
  • Always remember, a pat on the back is just centimeters away from a kick in the pants.
  • The three most important things for a leader? Communication, communication, and communication.

With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a CIO going in the next 1-2 years?

Last year’s developments have made it crystal clear that the role of an agile IT organization as a key business enabler is more important than ever. As we further increase our focus on customer satisfaction, this means that we should continue to build on business innovation and drive our company’s digital transformation.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CIO?

My advice would be to get to know the organization and talk to as many people in as many layers as possible, both inside and outside the IT organization – be a business professional before you try to be a technology professional! Use this knowledge to push the status quo and question everything fearlessly.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

I am a mental math fanatic, played four sports at the university level, and have actually worked (for at least one month) in 48 of the 50 U.S. states.

What is the value of participating in a professional community through Evanta?

Being part of this community is vital to learn from peers and stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the field. Continuous growth is very important to me and that is exactly what this community can provide.


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