- Waste Management's Puneet Bhasin was promoted above the chief information officer role earlier this year without a successor named. He became Senior Vice President of Corporate Operations and President of Waste Management Recycle America. Two of the company's vice presidents are jointly running IT, reporting to the chief financial officer.
- Despite Waste Management not hiring someone to fill the CIO role, Bhasin told Forbes that he does not believe the role of CIO will go away in a general scope. Bhasin believes that the title of CIO is simply evolving, as more IT leaders need to become knowledgeable in both the technology side and business side of the operations.
- As for the future of the waste industry and technology, Bhasin told Forbes that he is keeping his eye on driverless cars. The idea of making waste trucks driverless is one that is "fascinating" to Bhasin, because of the enormous benefit that it can have on labor dollars. "The impact that it can have on our maintenance operations and fuel efficiency just given how we can control and manage kind of the acceleration, deceleration and those kinds of factors for a truck, I think our fuel consumption and maintenance implications of that are large," he said.
Bhasin's insight on the role of CIO is one that can apply across many industries. Bhasin told Forbes: "I think that there are many examples of IT leaders who have taken on other significant roles in the business and I think that we will ultimately see more of that happen. But I do not see the role of the CIO going away. I think there will always be a need for somebody to provide the technical leadership in any organization."
As technology slowly changes the waste and recycling industry — from new types of bins to mobile apps — Bhasin's prospect of driverless trucks does not seem far off. However, driverless trucks may have more consequences than benefits. Eliminating the need for a driver will eliminate thousands of jobs across the industry, and it may also affect the safety of those on the road.