John McKinley

John McKinley has a unique background of running huge technology organization as well as startups.   John has run technology for such companies as General Electric, Merrill Lynch, AOL, and News Corporation.  John has been awarded CTO of the Year, and has received a variety of awards for products he led the development of in the financial services, entertainment, and education sectors.

John was an early champion of new computing models, starting with 18 years ago with one of the first aggressive open source server migrations in financial services while at Merrill Lynch. John also was one of the first large enterprise users of cloud-based security services like Postini, drove the next-gen open platform migration efforts at AOL, and served on the Board of cloud-based security company MessageLabs, which had a very successful exit to Symantec.  At Fox/News Corp, John also led the migration to cloud-based media and ad systems that allows the company to deliver 22 different consumer video offerings (American Idol, MasterChef, Fox Sports, etc.) in only 18 months. John’s more recent efforts in the cloud sector include advising players like DigitalOcean on where to take their consumer and SMB cloud computing offerings.

John is also strategic advisor to Workspot, a new DaaS offering that is bringing disruptive technology and economics to the virtual desktop marketplace, competing as a next-gen alternative to VMware and Citrix.  He is also involved in a new AI-based crypto-trading platform that is employing advanced pattern recognition and hedging strategies across a variety of cryptocurrencies.

John’s latest focus is in the AI arena.  John’s work in the area of artificial intelligence goes back nearly two decades.  His initial work in the AI sector was the delivery of the first robo-advisor solution for Merrill Lynch, which allowed the company to better serve a wider range of consumers.

John also has done work in the area of natural language processing.  Powerset was one of the first sophisticated commercial NLP offerings in the market.  It was sold to Microsoft, and its technology became an integral part of the Bing query parsing solution.

John has also been an advisor to companies in the bot space, most notable Conversable (exit to LivePerson), which has delivered AI-based conversational solutions for such clients as Pizza Hut, Sony, Viacom, P&G, and others.   John’s latest efforts involve being strategic advisor to HyperGiant, which has emerged as a market leader in the commercialization of ML/AI technology, working with everyone from NASA to F100 companies.

Over the last several years, companies in his portfolio have very successful exits to such acquirers as Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Magic Leap, Symantec, RealPage, LiveAgent, AOL, Zynga, and others.  John also helped lead the successful IPO of Proxicom.

John has served on the board of several private and public companies, and has experience servicing on and/or leading Technology and Audit committees of multiple organizations.  John currently serves on the board of Equifax, where he chairs the Technology Committee and also serves on the Audit Committee.  At EFX, he has worked with management to dramatically improve the security of the company, which has led to one of the largest and fastest improvements in the company’s NIST risk score the company’s independent assessor has ever seen.  He is now assisting the firm as it undertakes one of the largest cloud-native software migration in the world.

John is also involved in the construction technology industry.  He is on the board of MYRO International, which designs robots for specific use cases in construction, including commercial painting.  He is also advisor to a stealth-mode AI-based trading company in the crypto market.

John started his career at Ernst & Young, where he helped establish the computer security practice in the United States.  As a partner in the firm, he also co-led the largest outsourcing engagement the firm ever undertook, and helped created the Advanced Development Center, a new model for software development engagements for clients.

Mr. McKinley is a graduate of the Wharton School.  He lives in Great Falls, Virginia with his wife Cindy and two children, Liam and Kylie.