Playing to win: the criticalness of infrastructure and tools



The world is changing. Every company wants to compete and win. Most of us recognize that the companies that are the most technically savvy are winning. Ask yourself, are your company’s tools, infrastructure and processes helping or hindering your product development teams? Improving infrastructure is a challenge that touches everyone in a company. What should you do? How do you go about improving things? In this talk, James will share his experience, philosophies, and recommendations on how focusing on infrastructure can unlock the potential of your teams. Companies that focus here see radical benefits; the right strategy and investments will set your company on a path to win in today’s highly competitive marketplace.


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James Barrese
Former CTO @ PayPal

With more than 30 years of technology experience that spans the military, academic world, business consulting, commerce, payments, and enterprise platforms and infrastructure, James Barrese has broad experience in digital transformations, financial systems, high performance processing systems, security, infrastructure and developing innovative product solutions for consumers and businesses.

A graduate of Stanford University, James served as a high-frequency communications specialist for the U.S. Army Signal Corp, spent time as a programmer at Stanford, worked for Andersen Consulting, and then joined the e-philanthropy company Charitableway as vice president of engineering. In 2001, James joined eBay and led a number of strategic technology initiatives, including serving as the vice president in charge of delivering the open platforms, creating infrastructure services, systems software, 3rd party developer ecosystems, data analytics and overall site operations running the world’s largest marketplace at scale.

In 2011, James moved over to PayPal. In 2015, James expanded his role as the business leader for the Payment Services business in PayPal, a global team that powers the efficient global movement of money and rewards into, out of, and within the PayPal network. As PayPal’s CTO, James leveraged his deep expertise in leading digital transformations, technology strategy, building next-generation global infrastructures, data platforms and secure, flexible, reliable systems that continue to deliver innovation and world class customer experiences.

James earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Stanford University. He is based in Silicon Valley with Altos Group, his independent strategic advisory consulting firm. James provides strategic technology advice on platform strategies, scaling organizations and systems, cloud computing, information security, machine learning, enterprise digital transformation, external developer programs, replatforming, operational excellence, and strategic business trends. Additionally, James currently serves as an independent director for Idemia (digital and physical identity), Merrill Corp. (secure collaboration), Visteon (automotive), and Waystar (healthcare).

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