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Excellus BCBS Appoints Organization’s First Female Chief Information Officer

Carol Elizabeth Owens /

Cindy Langston, Excellus BCBS newly-appointed senior vice president and chief information officer
(Photo courtesy of Excellus BCBS)

Cindy Langston has been appointed as senior vice president and chief information officer at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield (Excellus BCBS).

The announcement came on Thur., Jan. 6, 2022 along with a statement from Excellus BCBS saying, “Langston is the company ‘s first female chief information officer in its 87-year history.”

Langston holds a bachelor of science degree in computer technology from Purdue University and a master’s degree in business administration from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

Excellus BCBS says Langston brings over 30 years of experience in the field of information technology and consulting to the organization in her new position.

“Anyone who knows Cindy is also likely not surprised that she broke this barrier at our company, as our first-ever female chief information officer,” said Excellus BCBS Chief Executive Officer and President Jim Reed. “Cindy is an experienced and strategic leader with a proven track record of building high-performing teams and delivering results. Reed also noted that Langston is “tremendously generous with her time and service to our [greater Rochester] community.”

Excellus BCBS says Langston’s role is to deliver a new technology foundation, develop market leading capabilities and ready the organization with the talent and technology needed for the future.

“Cindy impressed us with her ability to step outside her comfort zone and lead in an area that wasn’t as familiar to her,”Reed said.

Langston’s leadership journey has taken her across the globe– she spent 10 years as an international consultant leading large global IT implementations in Australia, Japan, England, Singapore, Scotland and South Korea, according to information provided by Excellus BCBS.

“I’m a believer in developing strong women, and I’ve had a lot of opportunities to work on it having three daughters and five granddaughters,”said Langston. “You don’t see many women in the STEM [science technology engineering and mathematics]
field, so I’m always trying to encourage, mentor and coach women to think about some of those disciplines.”

Langston is not an Excellus BCBS newcomer. She began as vice president in the organization’s information technology sphere in 2014; three years later, she was promoted to lead the entity’s analytics and data division as chief analytics data officer.

Excellus BCBS says Langston serves the Rochester community in a variety of ways, including as board chair of the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County; member of the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes; and past chairwoman of the YWCA Racial Justice Committee and Stand Against Racism events.

Langston says her leadership journey started 40 years ago when she was a teenager in Chicago working her first job at a fast-food restaurant. It was there, working the fry line, that she accidently discovered her “Golden Fry” rule of leadership.

Here is how Langston describes her “Golden Fry” moment of epiphany: “[My] boss once said, ‘I need you to get a broom and bring it into the dining area’.” Langston complied and gave her boss the broom. Langston says she “never forgot [her boss’] reaction when she handed him the broom– he had wanted her to sweep the dining room. Instead of voicing his intention, he looked at Langston with disgust and called her an unflattering name.

“It was there and then that I vowed to never, ever act that way toward any future employees of mine,” said Langston. “Respect would also be of the utmost importance to me. I have kept my Golden Fry rule ever since.”

Langston attributes her success to her faith and support of her husband and family. “I’m humbled and grateful for this opportunity,” she said. “I hope the statement that I’m making by being a female CIO here at Excellus BCBS is that anything is possible.”