Business and Tech Success

Business and Tech Success

Photo of Chris DiGiorgio

In February, alumnus Chris DiGiorgio (BS, Business Administration, ’81; BS, Computer Science, ’81) accepted Joint Venture’s 2015 Packard Award for Civic Entrepreneurship, a prestigious honor presented to individuals who embody the spirit of David Packard, a legendary Silicon Valley pioneer who set a high standard for civic engagement.

DiGiorgio, who comes from a middle-class family and is a graduate of public schools, says in the valley, there is a culture that rewards ability over pedigree. 

“It’s a lot like Chico State,” he says. “Where you came from doesn’t matter as much as what you can do. At Chico and in Silicon Valley, if you have the talent and can get stuff done, you can do very well.”

DiGiorgio has had a long and successful career in the country’s technology center. Straight out of CSU, Chico, he was recruited to join Andersen Consulting, which would later become Accenture, where he remained for 32 years.

At that time, a dual major in business and computer science was rare, and DiGiorgio says both programs prepared him for a prosperous career at the dawn of the age when businesses widely adopted technology.

He ended his career at Accenture as California’s managing director, overseeing 3,000 people. During that time, he worked with clients all over the world, flying almost a million miles in one three-year period. 

While at Accenture, he embraced one of the company’s core values—giving back to the community. He served on the boards of many universities, colleges, and museums. He is currently board chair of The Tech Museum in San Jose, vice chair of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, and an associate of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. 

DiGiorgio has also maintained strong ties to Chico State, recruiting and hiring more than 100 Chico grads to Accenture and staying active in both the College of Business and Department of Computer Science. In 1997, he was named the College of Business’s Distinguished Alumnus, in part for his role in creating the Business Integration Contest, a weekend-long competition among business and computer science students judged by Chico grads working in Silicon Valley. In 2012 he was given the computer science department’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award, and he spoke at the 2015 Commencement. 

Post-retirement, DiGiorgio shows no signs of slowing down. He’s in demand as an advisor for startups, and in his free time, he restores old British sports cars. He lives in San Carlos with his wife, Eileen, whom he met in the Chico State dorms. Their sons, Scott and Brian, are pursuing their own careers as an aerospace engineer in Seattle and physics student at Carleton College in Minnesota, respectively.

Kacey Gardner (attended, Journalism) is a writer and editor at Upgraded Living magazine in Chico and also works as the social media and web coordinator for North State Public Radio.