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Langston named first female chief information officer at Excellus

Cindy Langston

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, the largest health insurer in Central New York, has appointed Cindy Langston as senior VP and the first female chief information officer in its 87-year history.

In her new position, Langston is responsible for delivering on a new technology foundation, developing market-leading capabilities, and readying the organization with the talent and technology needed for the future.

“Cindy is an experienced and strategic leader with a proven track record of building high-performing teams and delivering results,” Jim Reed, CEO and president of Rochester–based Excellus, stated in a news release. “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.”

Langston has a bachelor’s degree in computer technology from Purdue University, MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, and more than 30 years of experience in the field of information technology and consulting. She previously worked for Dow Corning Corp., Aon Hewitt, Health Care Service Corp., and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

She spent 10 years as an international consultant leading large, global IT implementation in Australia, Japan, England, Singapore, Scotland, and South Korea.

Langston began her career at Excellus BCBS in 2014 as VP in information technology. Three years later, she received a promotion to lead the Analytics & Data division as chief analytics data officer.

“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 noted.

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

When her boss asked her to get a broom and bring it to the dining area, she did so and handed him the broom, not realizing that he wanted her to do the sweeping. It was his reaction, looking at her in disgust and calling her an unflattering name, which forged her Golden Fry rule.

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

Langston mentors and coaches many individuals and leads the Excellus Women’s Leadership group, which engages women with a passion to invest in the advancement of themselves and other women leaders

“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,” she said. “You don’t see many women in the STEM field, so I’m always trying to encourage, mentor, and coach women to think about some of those disciplines.”

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

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members and more than 3,500 employees.


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