As an undergraduate at MIT and New York University, Dennis Callahan majored in mathematics. So, it's not so surprising that the CIO of Guardian Life Insurance Company of America has been so successful at focusing on the numbers at the New York-based insurance company.Since he took the CIO position in late 2000, Callahan has reduced the IT budget at Guardian by one-third-all while modernizing the entire corporate infrastructure.

What is surprising, however, is that Callahan credits much of his success with a quality you might not expect a "numbers guy" to have: his ability to build relationships.

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