In this Faces of Unity post, we’re welcoming Unity’s new Chief Information Officer, Archana Rao. Read on to learn more about Archana’s aspirations for the IT team, curiosity quotient, and more.
What will your role as Chief Information Officer (CIO) entail?
As the CIO of Unity, my team will be responsible for the internal systems that support Unity employees and the applications that support our business functions. I’d like to see IT leverage our seat at the table with all Unity teams to drive strong business outcomes and help Unity grow.
What brought you to Unity?
I first heard of Unity – and even bought some stock in the IPO – based on cajoling from my eldest son, who grew up in the era of video games and the metaverse. As I’ve learned more about Unity over the past couple years, I’ve come to believe in the power of the “creator economy” and am excited about all the possibilities for Unity in the market. While I’ve never been much of a gamer, I’m eager to learn more about this space and look forward to the day when I can really hold my own in discussions with my two grown-up sons. Given where we are in our growth phase, I also see huge potential at Unity for IT to drive the scale needed for the next few years, and would love to help us achieve that growth.
What is one piece of career advice you would give to someone?
I have always felt that the only way you can move forward in this fast-paced industry is to stay open and curious. Many have talked about IQ (intelligence quotient) and EQ (emotional quotient), but I encourage people to raise their CQ – their curiosity quotient. There is so much to learn and understand. When you stay abreast of new ideas, new technologies, and new ways of thinking, you can really apply those things and grow in your career.
What are your personal values, and what Unity values do you gravitate towards the most?
My personal values are anchored in encouraging diverse views while operating with a high degree of ethics and accountability.
I love all the Unity values, but I especially connect with Go Bold, as it relates to staying curious and hungry. I’m never satisfied! There is always room to go faster, do bigger things, and make more impact.
Can you share any fun facts about yourself?
I love to learn and need constant challenges, so my career has been an unusual zigzag path through roles in engineering, business development, and IT.
I grew up in a small town in India and always wanted to be an engineer, although I would never have dreamed that I’d be a CIO one day. Despite my small-town origins, I was lucky to receive tremendous encouragement from my parents, teachers, friends, and mentors. I would not be here without them. I hope to pay this forward, and love to invest in building, mentoring, and growing diverse teams.
When I was little, I was really, really scared of dogs. I got chased by a large dog as a kid and that scarred me quite a bit. But, thanks to the insistence of my kids and husband (who had a lovely Labrador growing up!), we now have two amazing dogs: Cleo, our happy-go-lucky 10-month-old Labradoodle, and Rusty, our effervescent Golden Retriever. They are the loves of my life, and I now really enjoy meeting dogs and basking in their loyalty and joie de vivre.