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Aflac Chief Digital Information Officer Rich Gilbert Named a 2021 CIO of the Year® ORBIE Award Winner Gilbert recognized for his commitment to accelerating Aflac's digital transformation strategy

COLUMBUS, Ga., Nov. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac, a leading provider of supplemental insurance in the U.S., announced that Chief Digital Information Officer Rich Gilbert was recognized as a 2021 CIO of the Year® honoree by GeorgiaCIO. Gilbert was presented with an ORBIE Award in the Global category for helping reinvent Aflac as a digital-first company, an initiative that was accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aflac Chief Digital Information Officer Rich Gilbert Named a 2021 CIO of the Year® ORBIE Award Winner

Since joining Aflac in 2019, Gilbert oversaw Aflac's digital transformation via the One Digital Aflac (ODA) initiative. ODA centers on using technology to make it easier for customers to buy from Aflac, for its distribution team to sell, and for employees to successfully fulfill Aflac's promise to policyholders: be there when it matters most. During the pandemic, Gilbert evolved the ODA strategy from traditional IT to a digital service organization, leading Aflac to compete in a digital-first world, where customers are more willing to adopt and use digital channels. Capabilities such as a guest checkout option for online claims, a claims status tracker, and both live and virtual assistant chat capabilities bring a familiar digital experience to insurance, while transforming the way Aflac engages with insureds.

"As digital innovation continues to influence consumer expectations, this recognition is a testament to Rich's leadership and his team, which was tasked with reinventing Aflac's customer service approach by driving excellence in innovation, technology leadership and creating business value while making a difference in the community," said Aflac U.S. President Teresa White. "It further demonstrates the team's effort to improve Aflac's experiences and efficiencies now and into the future – raising the bar across industries. As a result, it is easier than ever for our valued policyholders to take advantage of a new digital experience."

The CIO of the Year® ORBIE® Awards is the premier technology executive recognition program in the U.S. Since its inception in 1998, more than 1,800 chief information officers (CIOs) have been honored as finalists, and more than 400 CIO of the Year winners have received the prestigious ORBIE Award. The ORBIE Awards honor CIOs who have demonstrated excellence in technology leadership. Finalists and winners are selected by an independent peer review process, led by prior ORBIE recipients, based on: leadership and management effectiveness; business value created by technology innovation; and engagement in industry and community endeavors.

"The GeorgiaCIO ORBIE winners demonstrate the significance of strong technology leadership in these uncertain times. Over the past year, CIOs are leading in unprecedented ways and enabling the largest work-from-home experiment in history," according to Karen Wilson, executive director of GeorgiaCIO. "Rich Gilbert's Global ORBIE is meaningful because he was judged by peers – CIOs who understand how difficult this job is and why great leadership matters."

Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) is a Fortune 500 company helping provide protection to more than 50 million people through its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., where it is a leading supplemental insurer, by paying cash fast when policyholders get sick or injured. For more than six decades, insurance policies of Aflac Incorporated's subsidiaries have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. Aflac Life Insurance Japan is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance in Japan, where it insures 1 in 4 households. In 2021, Aflac Incorporated became a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment and was proud to be included as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere for the 15th consecutive year, Fortune's list of World's Most Admired Companies for the 20th time, Bloomberg's Gender-Equality Index for the second consecutive year and in the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index. Learn more about Aflac Incorporated and its commitment to ESG and social responsibility at under "Sustainability." To find out how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover, get to know us at or

About GeorgiaCIO
GeorgiaCIO is the preeminent executive peer leadership network of Georgia chief information officers. GeorgiaCIO is one of 21 chapters of the InspireCIO Leadership Network, a national membership organization comprised exclusively of CIOs from public and private companies, government, education, healthcare and nonprofit organizations.

GeorgiaCIO is led by a CIO Advisory Board, supported by an executive director and staff. Underwriter executives ensure programs remain non-commercial and exclusive to qualified CIOs and members.


Media contact – Darcy Brito, 706-505-9762 or

Analyst and investor contact – David A. Young, 706-596-3264 or


SOURCE Aflac Incorporated