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Chityala to Lead E-Commerce at Wachovia

Sridhar Chityala has joined Wachovia (Charlotte, N.C.) as its new chief of e-commerce. Chityala, who will report to Ranjana Clark, head of marketing, will be responsible for the strategic direction and execution of the company's Internet, intranet and mobile channel, along with Wachovia's overall online customer experience and integration.

Most recently, Chityala served as head of the telecommunications business unit at Citi Cards, where he was responsible for the company's partnership with AT&T, along with mobile services and PayPass applications for credit cards.

At Wachovia, Chityala says his main duties will consist of expanding the bank's multi-channel accomplishments across all of the company's business units. "This will involve research, looking for emerging technologies, testing them, embedding them into our e-commerce platform and integrating all the business applications while making sure we have a stable platform," he explains.

Also on Chityala's radar is helping to build Wachovia's Web 2.0 capabilities. Along with mobile, he remarks that this area is also very important for the bank. "Web 2.0 involves collaborative technologies. While Web 1.0 connected computers, Web 2.0 connects customers and communities," he explains. "So how can we take Web 2.0 and embed that into our business, customer engagement and internal architecture?"

Already, Wachovia is testing the Web 2.0 waters. Chityala says the bank is on social networking site Twitter so it can see within the online community what people have to say about the bank. Chityala also has his own blog, which went live soon after he joined the bank. He will also help the bank work toward Web 2.0 initiatives that are more outward facing so it can add more value for its customers.

"Wachovia is in the high quartile in customer satisfaction scores," he says. "I want to help the bank continue [to maintain] that position in this highly competitive market."

Part of Chityala's strategy will be to expand upon Wachovia's use of customer focus groups. "I want to build a panel of about 5,000 customers to give us on-going feedback. This would be a formal panel of regular customers who will give us regular feedback."

At the heart of it all lays the technology, which he says is the foundation of what the bank does. "We have technology around our core applications, our Web infrastructure and the security piece, which enshrines it all," Chityala explains. "We have customers coming to us from so many different devices today so I want to make sure our infrastructure is upgraded to improve the experience."

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