Principal – E2 Innovation Group
Until January 2012, Eric Williams served as Catalina Marketing’s (CMC) executive vice president and chief information officer responsible for directing strategic technology, research and development, and new applications. Williams also served as the Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) for Catalina Marketing and was responsible for the overall consumer privacy activity for the company.
While officially retired, Williams remains active in the industry as the Principal of E2 Innovation Group assisting key friends and colleagues with technology selection & implementation, large data base selection & utilization, as well as the use of consumer analytics in the retail space. His focus includes some key areas such as mobile solutions, electronic payments, and loyalty executions.
During his tenure with CMC, Williams led the development of Catalina’s multi-petabyte data warehouse (still one of the largest transaction-level databases in the world). In addition, Williams was instrumental in the development of the first “Internet-delivered” loyalty marketing solution for basket-level data management. This solution is utilized as the Frequent Shopper data management application by some of the largest supermarket retailers in both the US, Europe and far-east markets.
Previously, Williams served as the vice president of research and development for Catalina Marketing and vice president of retail for Catalina’s SuperMarkets Online division (one of the first Internet couponing solutions started over 10 years ago). Williams brings more than 35 years of experience including management, sales, marketing, systems design and development, and operations positions with retailers, software development, and information technology companies. Prior to joining CMC, he served as the vice president of retail operations for Catalina Information Resources (CIR), where he developed and implemented leading-edge technologies needed to supply daily scanning data for inventory control and logistics management to top CPG (consumer package goods) companies and retailers throughout the US.
Williams previously served in the senior management of Retail Management Systems, a company that developed the first commercially available DEX/UCS (Direct Exchange/Uniform Communications Standards) DSD (Direct Store Delivery) systems. Williams started his career in the late 1970s with Datachecker Systems (formerly National Semiconductor Corporation), where he worked as an account executive, marketing manager, systems analyst, and a field operations manager implementing some of the first scanning technology in the world. During his tenure, Williams assisted in the development and implementation of many “first use” technologies in the supermarket arena including automated time and attendance systems, automated cash control applications, automated inventory replenishment systems, and radio-frequency in-aisle price verification applications.
Williams is an accomplished inventor with 5 US and 3 international patents to his credit. In 2007, the Tampa Bay Technology Forum named him CIO of the year and in 2011, Information Week ranked Catalina Marketing as one of the top five most innovative technology organizations in the nation according to their Information Week 500 study.
Williams has been a promoted speaker at a number of industry events, including Information Week, Gartner, FMI (Food Marketing Institute), NRF (National Retail Federation), and many other national Retail venues. He was also one of Information Week’s featured CIOs in 2011 and he and Catalina were the focus of the cover article on Big Data that same year.
While retired, Williams remains active in the retail industry and speaks regularly on the topic of Big Data and how the retail arena can be transformed using consumer information and predictive analytics to more accurately understand the needs and desires of their consumers. Williams also is very active in the nonprofit world, assisting the visually-impaired community through his work with Southeastern Guide Dogs, supporting returning military personal afflicted with PTSD through a program called Paws for Patriots, and serving as a Board member of the Florida Orchestra.