ELITE Digital Crusader Michael Russo of Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.

Michael Russo

Executive Director – Corporate Digital Strategy and Innovation

Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.




Streamlining For Success

It takes a unique individual to pitch a new vision for the company. But that’s exactly what Michael Russo did in 2014 when he approached Acorda’s CEO to create a new Digital Strategy and Innovation department—a dedicated part of the company focused on developing groundbreaking digital initiatives, capable of reshaping and streamlining how the company operates.

One example: Synapse, a company-wide intranet developed by Mike’s team that not only serves as a social hub in which employees can interact, share ideas and encourage each other with “Bolts” and “Super Bolts,” but it also allows Acorda to centralize data-driven activities, such as HR, education and finance in an easy-to-use portal. In 2013, Nielsen Norman Group even recognized Synapse as one of the top 10 intranets in the world.

Since then, Mike and his team have expanded the program to SynapseTV, which takes news stories, Bolts, Super Bolts, important announcements and more, and streams it live on TV screens across the company. And following Acorda’s acquisition of Civitas Therapeutics (now Acorda Chelsea), Mike and his team used digital tools such as Synapse and SynapseTV to help with the integration process.

But this still only scratches the surface of Mike’s achievements. For instance, he also helped develop the successful MS Self App, which allows MS patients to track their mood and day-to-day quality of life; Ampyra’s consumer website with a real-time personalization engine that adjusts based on on-site behavior; and a new framework for online clinical trial recruitment that will allow for greater transparency and efficiency and ultimately get treatments to patients sooner. No matter the challenge, Mike has been there to serve Acorda’s digital needs and help the company grow to new heights.