Akhil Tripathi is one of the most successful insurance carrier CIOs of recent years. He has been widely recognized in the insurance technology press as a Tech Decisions IT All Star and with an Innovations in Insurance “Innovators Bronze Award.” Tripathi also has won technology industry awards from Information Week, Computer World and CIO Decisions magazines. Working as the CIO at Harleysville Insurance for the past six years, Tripathi created a consistent track record of accomplishment. Then, at the top of his game, in August of this year he abruptly quit. I was lucky enough to talk at length with Akhil on a number of subjects following his departure. With his permission I have summarized our conversation below.

Shop Talk: The insurance IT world was somewhat taken aback by your abrupt departure from Harleysville after six years of success and industry recognition. Why does a successful CIO at the top of his game quit a high profile job in the middle of a recession?

Tripathi: First let me say that my departure was prompted by personal circumstances and was totally amicable. We all need to make changes in our lives and this change was essential for me in order to explore a new role that I could not have explored while being in the last job. As it turns out many successful ventures are conceived during tough economic times. I would like to provide advice and create technology-based value for a larger audience as I settle on my next venture.

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