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The CIO’s First 100 Days Series Summary in Forbes

The CIO’s First 100 Days series in Forbes explores what the CIOs at some of the world’s most recognizable firms did, and what they could have done differently at the onset of their tenure.

by Peter High, series on Forbes.com

In a recent article, I highlighted a number of lessons, some of them common, and others unique, to which I will develop the series titled, “The CIO’s First 100 Days.”  For years, the CIO was among the “c-level” executive with the shortest or near shortest average tenure. The reasons for this were manifold including the fact that the average c-level executive (almost all of whom outranked the CIO) did not clearly understand technology, and it was easy to choose the CIO as a scapegoat if things were amiss within the company generally or within IT more specifically. Given the fact that so much that is managed by the IT leader can be esoteric in the minds of other business executives within the company, it is essential to push hard in one’s first 100 days to build relationships, to communicate a plan, and to track progress against that plan. Column pieces will be published over several weeks, and will include the following discussions with leaders  about their 100-day strategic plans:

Below are the CIO’s First 100 Days series’ recent posts:

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Mike Giresi, Chief Information Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises

When Mike Giresi joined Royal Caribbean Cruises as its chief information officer 18 months ago, he did so after having been a CIO three times over, at Tory Burch, Direct Brands, and Godiva Chocolatier. He had depth of knowledge in retail, but not as much depth of experience in travel and hospitality, except as a customer of that industry. That said, he had been exposed to and even driven digital innovations in his prior experiences, especially at Tory Burch, where he saw first hand as the eponymous founder and CEO of the company mastered social media as a driver of growth.

Royal Caribbean introduced its “smart ship,” Quantum of the Seas prior to Giresi’s arrival, but it set a template that he and his team could use as a launching point for further innovation. A key hypothesis of his is that digital is a team sport, touching each part of the company. The CIO and the IT team is well positioned to be a driver of the change given its many touch-points across the enterprise.

Diana McKenzie, Chief Information Officer of Workday

When Diana McKenzie was the Chief Information Officer of Amgen, she introduced Workday to the company. In her words, “I always wanted to be a CIO who implemented Workday.” She was impressed enough with the experience to join the company as its first ever enterprise-level CIO in February of this year.

Although McKenzie had worked at companies that had a deep appreciation of technology as a strategic enabler prior to this role (e.g., Eli Lilly in addition to Amgen), in joining a company that is a leading digital business, she has developed new ideas on how the information technology department can provide unique value to an IT-centric company. She participates in the “Workday-on-Workday” program, and has encouraged her team to think like product managers to a greater extent. She is passionate about developing a progressive “future of work” program within Workday, as well, which she describes in some detail herein. She has enjoyed becoming an external-facing CIO who counsels fellow CIOs who plan to implement Workday, and also those who hope to modernize their solutions more generally speaking. As such, she sees an opportunity for CIOs to become Chief Experience Officers on behalf of their enterprises and customers.

Mike McNamara, Chief Information Officer of Target

When Mike McNamara first learned of the chief information officer opening at $72 billion, Minneapolis-based Target, he was not entirely sure where Minneapolis was. He had built a strong reputation as CIO of Tesco in the UK, a firm that had long been thought of as among the more progressive users of technology in the bricks-and-mortar retail space. He had spent considerable time working in Europe and in Asia, but relatively little in the United States.

McNamara began his tenure at Target by working at a store for a time, getting to know the experience of Target associates by living as one of them for a time. He interacted with customers, discovering what delighted them and what did not about customer experience. Since many of those same customers also visited Target’s digital channels, he garnered invaluable information to take back to headquarters.

Since then, McNamara has pushed IT to be woven into almost every facet of the business, as so much, inside and outside of the company, is delivered with and facilitated by technology.

Click here for the full article

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Greg Meyers, Chief Information Officer of Motorola Solutions

When one thinks of Motorola, one might think of the consumer brand, but $6 billion Motorola Solutions no longer includes the consumer brand, which was sold to Lenovo in October of 2014. Currently, the $6 billion company is a leader in public safety, providing two-way radios and for providing some of the most reliable voice communication networks around the world. It is focused on the areas of public safety, such as police, fire, and EMS. The company is also focused on smart public safety, which is how first responders use advanced technologies to help communities be safer and work more efficiently.

Technology has always been at the center of what made Motorola an iconic brand, but ironically the IT department was until recent times viewed as a support organization rather than a driver of innovation and efficiency. When Greg Meyers joined Motorola Solutions nearly two years ago, he did so after spending the prior dozen years in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. He was attracted to history of the firm, now dating back eighty-eight years, but also to the transformation that he would lead. In the period since, he has led IT to become much more customer-centric, deriving ideas directly from those who Motorola Solutions serves. He has also rethought the hiring and training methods to ensure that his team has the make-up to drive higher levels of value. He has also ushered in a “cloud-first” strategy to ensure that IT is more nimble, agile, and flexible.

Click here for the full article

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Paul Chapman, Chief Information Officer of Box

Paul Chapman has been a chief information officer (among other IT leadership roles) at multiple technology-centric businesses from HP to VMWare to Sun Microsystems. When he joined Box as CIO ten months ago, he had a keen understanding of how a can play an influential role in an organization that has both depth and breadth of technology talent. First, he and his team act as the first customer of the enterprise, working with product leaders to test new products and offer comment on value. As such, he is also well positioned to be a company advocate with the CIOs and other technology executives who are Box’s customers. He also highlights the need for IT leaders to make change a source of strength rather than a source of angst. He also offers thoughts on how best to work with and motivate an IT department and a company that is largely made up of digital natives.

Click here for the full article

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Marcy Klevorn, Chief Information Officer of Ford Motor Company

As I have interviewed IT leaders at many companies, there are a handful of companies that seem to have the biggest family trees in producing CIO talent. Few can match Ford Motor Company’s family tree. The CIOs at Boeing and Nike and executives above the CIO rank at Biogen and Deutsche Bank have each spent time in the IT department at Ford. I was curious about this phenomenon, but especially curious to hear from Marcy Klevorn, who for some time had been groomed to become the global CIO of Ford. Her highly regarded predecessor, Nick Smither identified her as a successor and then provided the kinds of opportunities for her in multiple units and geographies to ensure she would have depth and breadth of experience.

Since ascending to the top role in IT a bit more than a year ago, Klevorn has bolstered the IT strategy process and content, she has helped weave IT further into the narrative of customer experience and IoT trends that are important to the industry. All the while, she has used her love of cars as inspiration for new ideas on how IT can make Ford continue to improve.

Click here for the full article

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Amy Doherty, Chief Information Officer of AARP

Amy Doherty was a four year veteran and right hand woman of the CIO of AARP when she was tapped to become interim-CIO in March of 2015. Her predecessor, Terry Bradwell, was elevated to a newly created role of Chief Enterprise Strategy & Innovation Officer of the membership organization for people age 50 and over that operates as a non-profit advocate for its members and is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States. Following a highly regarded leader who would remain at the firm meant that there was not a mandate for tremendous change, but nevertheless, Doherty got to work at creating her own vision and leadership style.

She has focused continuing the evolution of IT into a value creator and innovator within AARP. She has creatively built bonds and lines of communications with her team through regular meetings with everyone on the team to better understand how things are progressing. Year over year delivery of projects is up ninety-six percent , and there have been thirty-four percent fewer outages. As Doherty notes in this interview, it is the cultural work that has been the secret weapon in her arsenal by driving engagement, accountability, and fun in the department. AARP leadership was sufficiently impressed by the progress to remove the “interim” title in October.

Click here for the full article

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Jim Fowler, Chief Information Officer of General Electric

When Jim Fowler was promoted to become the Chief Information Officer of GE, it was a move that he was aware of well in advance. A hallmark of GE’s legendary talent management program is to have leaders identify people who could take their places in advance of the need for that transition. Jamie Miller, who had been CIO for two and a half years prior had identified Fowler – then CIO of GE Capital – as her possible successor. As Miller ascended to the role of President & CEO of GE Transportation, Fowler had been preparing for this move. In turn, in his first six months in his current role, he will be planning who might succeed him, even though he has no plans to leave the role any time soon.

In this interview, Fowler describes how he has organized himself in the early stages of his role.  He already has developed audacious goals of driving $1 billion in productivity gains by 2020 while also generating $15 billion in revenue growth from software and technology. At the heart of this is Predix, an analytics platform to help assets run more effectively. GE is using it internally, and has already garnered $5.5 billion in revenue gains by making it available to GE’s customers. All the while, Fowler has developed a well thought out plan to keep GE’s information secure. He talks about all of the above and more in the following interview.

Click here for the full article

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Trevor Schulze, Chief Information Officer of Micron Technology

Seven months ago, Trevor Schulze joined $16 billion Micron Technology, a global provider of semiconductor devices, as the company’s first ever chief information officer. After spending time as a technology leader at other technology-centric companies like Broadcom, AMD, and Cisco, Schulze found an opportunity that it seemed he had been preparing for throughout his career. He had been an IT executive who had worked well in companies where even members of the Finance or HR teams had technology backgrounds, and was able to make the case for the value that IT could create on behalf of the enterprise.

Prior to starting his job, he delved deeply into all strategic collateral he could, and got to know more about the company and its culture. Once on the job, he spent time with his new colleagues across the enterprise.  Since then, he has changed the organization structure such that IT is closer to the other business functions, and has developed a dedicated business intelligence and data team, as he believe these are areas of substantial opportunity for IT and for Micron Technology more generally. He also notes security as an area of increased investment, as he hopes to develop true thought leadership on his team in this critical area.

Click here for the full article

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Eric Sigurdson, co-leader of the Information Officers practice at Russell Reynolds Associates

Eric Sigurdson co-leads the Information Officers practice at Russell Reynolds Associates. In his nearly 20 years as a recruiter, he has diagnosed what sets successful IT leaders apart from those who do not succeed. in this interview, he notes that IT leaders must first understand the culture of the organization before attempting to transform the IT function. He also speaks about the rising trend of CIOs coming from other functional areas, the increased appreciation of IT from the rest of the company and the board, among several other topics.

Click here for the full article

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Linda Clement-Holmes, Chief Information Officer of Proctor & Gamble

Like many executives at Procter & Gamble, Linda Clement-Holmes has had a wide array of responsibilities at the $76 billion Cincinnati, Ohio-based consumer packaged goods company. She has been the chief diversity officer, the senior vice president of global business services, and the global information & decision solutions officer. This is emblematic of the way in which P&G thinks about talent management. Once a rising star has been identified, provide them both depth and breadth of experience. When Clement-Holmes became CIO, she had been groomed for years for this post, and came to it with a much deeper understanding of how value is created within her enterprise than most new CIOs.

Clement-Holmes managed a rare feat for a new CIO, as well, as she was already a board member of a multi-billion dollar public company, Cincinnati Financial Corporation,before she became chief information officer. For those who might wish to follow in her footsteps, she attributes not only the diversity of her experiences within P&G, but also her willingness to spend time on non-profit boards in preparing her for her for-profit board experience. Clement-Holmes goes on to describe the substance of her first IT strategy as CIO, the methods she has used to encourage future female leaders in IT and beyond, and the technology trends that particularly excite her.

Click here to read the full article

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Dick Daniels, Chief Information Officer of Kaiser Permanente

In early 2015, when Dick Daniels took on the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Kaiser Permanente, he did so on an interim basis. He had been a senior vice president with the company since 2008, and as such, was a known commodity. As he notes in the interview herein, he did not feel pressure as such to focus on quick-wins, or to make dramatic changes to the IT strategy or priorities. Things were not broken, but there were strengths to continue to leverage. One of those is innovation. Kaiser Permanente has a center for innovation, and IT plays a significant role in all aspects of the Center, referred to as the Garfield Center. Daniels highlights the role IT plays, along with the other disciplines that come together to make the Garfield Center effective. Daniels’ contributions to the enterprise secured him the full-time CIO position after his brief stint as an interim.

Click here to read the full article

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David Bray, Chief Information Officer of the Federal Communications Commission

When David Bray joined the Federal Communications Commission in 2013, it had had roughly nine CIOs in eight years. Clearly something new needed to happen. Though Bray was still in his 30s, he had been in government for more than half his life, as his government service began at the age of 15. The IT department had a significant need to modernize. Bray recognized that cloud computing and “as-a-service” technology represented a significant opportunity to modernize the FCC’s technology portfolio.

At the same time, in less than two years, he has gone from zero to more than 142,000 Twitter followers. He has creatively leveraged that and other networks he has created for inspiration for new ideas, to test ideas, and to help others. In this interview, he shares the details of his career journey, the transformation he has led at the FCC, the way in which he sees his job as part venture capitalist, the benefits of being social, and a variety of other topics.

Click here to read the full article

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Robert Webb, Chief Information Technology Officer of Etihad Aviation Group

Etihad Aviation Group is the fastest growing airline company on earth.  Etihad Airways has grown into a multi-billion dollar behemoth, and the Aviation Group has grown tremendously through its equity investments into the likes of Alitalia, Jet Airways, Air Berlin, Air Serbia, and a host of other airlines. Robert Webb is the Chief Information Technology Officer of Etihad Aviation Group, and many of the synergies that are believed to be at the heart of making the equity partnerships work will happen through better use of shared systems, technology vendors, and the like. At the same time, Webb has a large vision for enhancing the Group’s guests’ experience through better data analytics among other things.

Click here to read the full article

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Steve Betts, CIO of Health Care Service Corporation

Health Care Service Corporation is the largest customer owned health insurer in the U.S. and the fourth largest overall, operating through the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in five states: Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Most are more familiar with Blue Cross Blue Shield than with HCSC, and they do go to market as Blue Cross Blue Shield in those five states. Like so many healthcare companies, HCSC is a company that has had a lot of change exacted upon it, whether through state and federal regulation, the changing practices and needs of customers, or dynamics of the competitive landscape. Steve Betts joined the company as the senior vice president and chief information officer, responsible for all aspects of technology. He is as a part of the senior leadership, responsible for reflecting the impact that technology is having and will increasingly have in the future of healthcare and HCSC. His role as an outsider to the industry but a long-time user of it has been to his advantage as he has contemplated customer experience enhancing innovations, as he notes in my interview herein.

Click here to read the full article

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Jim Dubois, CIO of Microsoft

As chief information officer of Microsoft, Jim Dubois has one of the largest CIO roles in the world. A long-time veteran of the company, he held a wide array of positions around the world, and was the company’s chief information security officer prior to being asked to become CIO. When he was promoted, initially it was as the interim-CIO. The company sought candidates externally while giving Dubois a shot at the permanent role. As he notes herein, he did not believe he would get the permanent role, but he chose not to operate as though he was an interim. He charged ahead, focusing on revamping IT’s processes to help the enterprise increase productivity and business velocity. In doing so more readily than even he believed was possible, first he proved to himself that he could be the permanent CIO, and then he proved it to the company. Dubois operates IT as customer one for Microsoft, leveraging the company’s products and services at scale, providing feedback to colleagues on what works well and what could be improved in the offering, and acting as an advocate for CIO customers of the company.

Click here to read the full article

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Martha Poulter, CIO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Martha Poulter joined Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide just over a year ago after spending 19 years with General Electric, most of it in the financial services side of GE. Her final stop was as CIO of GE Capital. Switching companies and industries is a challenge for most executives, but given how strong GE’s culture is, some executives find it difficult to operate in a new culture, especially one that differs substantially from GE’s metrics-driven, up or out culture. Sensitive to the need to bring her strengths of experience while deferring to the successes of the team she was inheriting at Starwood, Poulter began her tenure at the company listening more than pontificating. She internalized the strategy that the team was already operating against, and chose to keep most of it, agreeing with the logic of it, by and large.  Therefore, she has spent more time capitalizing on the strengths that she found, and was pleased to see that a culture of innovation was already in place, though she has pushed it to an even greater degree.  She is now spearheading initiatives related to mobile check-in, development of apps that work with wearables, and further investigating opportunities related to the Internet of Things, all of which we discuss herein.

Click here to read the full article

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Serge Leduc, CIO of Canadian National Railway

Serge Leduc has been the chief information officer of Canadian National Railway for roughly a year and a half. In that time, he has engaged in a transformation of the function, and has facilitated the implementation of the technology to enable the Internet of Things at the railway. This is one of several changes he is enacting that he discusses in the interview below that describe how he and his team are making the railway more reliable and safer. Among other insights of note, he highlights his time as a consultant to developing an analytical mindset and problem solver’s mentality.  He has attempted to instill this same thinking in his team.

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Tom Murphy, CIO of the University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania Vice President of IT and University Chief Information Officer Tom Murphy has held the CIO role at a number of leading companies, including AmerisourceBergen, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Omni Hotels, and Davita Healthcare Partners.  He has been elected to CIO Magazine’s prestigious CIO Hall of Fame in 2010. The move to become a university CIO was unusual, as many CIOs of universities grow up in the university setting. Having been an influential executive at a number of massive corporations, he has needed his skills as an influencer all the more at Penn, where different schools such as the Medical School, the Wharton School of Business, and the Law School each have CIOs with their own imperatives and budgets.

Murphy’s background is unusual in that he was an English major as an undergraduate, and has no formal training in engineering or IT disciplines other than what he has learned on the job. As a result, his ability to communicate in written form in addition to his strong oral communications skills have proven to be a recipe for success.  Herein, Murphy shares the steps he undertook in the first 100 days of his time at Penn.

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Stewart McCutcheon, Chief Information Officer of Ecolab

>Ecolab is an example of a business-to-business leader that you may not know. They are a $15 billion colossus that provides cleaning and sanitizing products and programs, as well as pest elimination, equipment maintenance and repair services primarily to customers in the food service, food and beverage processing, hospitality, healthcare, government, and education, retail, textile care, commercial facilities management and vehicle wash sectors. It has been one of the best performing companies in the US stock market over the past decade. Roughly three years ago, the company acquired Nalco, a leader in water treatment company. Nalco’s Chief Information & Productivity Officer was Stewart McCutcheon. McCutcheon has been the COO and CEO of a technology firm prior to joining Nalco, and as a result, he has brought an unusually broad perspective to the CIO role. The value he had created from his “CIO-plus” position at Nalco was one of the chief reasons he was one of the Nalco leaders to take a “chief” role at Ecolab despite coming from the acquired entity. Even in the early days of the integration, McCutcheon and his team focused on being a source of innovation to the company becoming involved in Ecolab’s efforts in the Internet of Things, for example, as he details in my interview with him.

Click here to read the full article

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Doug Tracy, CIO of the Computer Sciences Corporation

Doug Tracy is an IT transformation specialist. He has had three IT executive posts in a row that required major transformations, at Rolls Royce, at Dana Holdings, and in his current post as Chief Information Officer of Computer Sciences Corporation. Befitting an executive who has a master’s degree in software development and management, an MBA, and who spent time as a consultant for Boston Consulting Group, a significant portion of the transformations that Tracy has overseen has focused on making his IT department be bigger sources of value creation on behalf of the enterprise. At CSC, this has meant introducing a “Customer Zero” strategy, in which CSC IT leverages the product and service offering of the company, in many cases before they are introduced to true customers. In so doing, it has woven IT more firmly into the broader fabric of the company, and positioned the department to be a strategic partner in honing the product and service offering.  He also created an Applied Innovation team, so named because he seeks to apply the innovations that are derived from the Technology Office of the company, as well as from vendor partners that he engages.  This has meant that just as he has had to focus on rendering IT more efficient, he has also had a number of levers to pull in developing new innovations within IT and for broader use across CSC.

Click here to read the full article.

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Charlie Feld, CEO of the Feld Group Institute

Charlie Feld was one of the first outstanding CIOs in corporate America, as he rose to the top of the IT function at Frito-Lay. As Feld overcame the early challenges of the post, and developed a mature IT department, he found that he longed for the challenge of the early days once again. He elected to found his own firm, The Feld Group. It would provide temporary CIO services for behemoths like Southwest Airlines, Delta, and BNSF.  Feld’s influence was felt across a variety of industries, and he has become an eminence gris of the IT community. He was one of the earliest inductees in CIO magazine’s CIO Hall of Fame, in recognition of his superior contribution to the IT field.

Along the way, many Feld Group employees went on to become CIOs at the companies that they consulted to, and therefore, Charlie Feld’s influence in the world of IT can be measured not from his own significant contribution, but also from the contribution of the many leaders who he spawned.

I recently spoke with Charlie about the importance of the first 100 days of one’s tenure, the need to get results early while creating a strong foundation that can be built upon.  Given the number of first 100 days he has navigated with his clients, there is perhaps no better person to talk about the CIO’s first 100 days as Feld.

Click here to read the full article.

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Stephen Gold, SVP and CIO of CVS Caremark

Stephen Gold has one of the best resumes in IT. He has been the CIO of a number of major companies including Avaya, GSI Commerce, Merck, and Medco Health Solutions. His combination of healthcare, technology, and eCommerce experience have all been leveraged upon joining $127 billion revenue CVS Caremark as its senior vice president and chief information officer in July 2012. Having made a number of prominent transitions in his career, he has codified some practical insights on how to ensure one’s transition to a new role is as productive as possible. The strategy that he put in place early in his tenure at CVS Caremark is laudable for its clarity and the degree to which it suggests that IT will be a prominent driver of value to the pharmaceutical retail and health services behemoth that currently ranks as the 12th largest publicly traded company in the United States. CVS Caremark operates in an industry that is in flux, and Gold sees technology at the heart of much of that change and the associated opportunities that the change will continue to create.

Click here to read the full article.

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Mike Lucas, Global CIO of Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells is one of the largest law firms in the world, but until two years ago, the firm had not had a global CIO. Given the increasingly complex data and security needs, Michael Lucas was installed as global CIO in July of 2012. Since that time, Mike has assembled a global team, developed a unified IT strategy, and helped establish a innovative IT program to ensure that the firm’s attorneys and its varied customers have the information they need when they need it.  Herein, Mike describes the way in which he set himself up for success in the first 100 days at the firm.

Click here to read the full article.

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Jamie Miller, SVP & CIO of General Electric

Jamie Miller runs information technology for one of the most complex and admired companies in the world: General Electric. One would think that the CIO of such a company would have a deep technical background, perhaps having an advanced degree in an engineering discipline along with multiple stints as CIO previously.  Miller’s resume may not have these items on it, but she has something that IT departments increasingly need: financial expertise. IT used to be a part of Finance in many companies, as some of the earliest technologies developed at big companies was technology applied to the general ledger, accounting systems more generally, and the like.  Likewise, when technology was taught at busienss schools, it was often a sub-set of the accounting department. It is perhaps ironic that a growing number of CIOs have grown up through the Finance function.  Miller has leveraged her background to make IT more transparent and accountable, and ever more cognizant of the value that it delivers to the enterprise.  CIOs with or without financial backgrounds should follow her lead.

Click here to read the full article.

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Dale Danilewitz, CIO of AmerisourceBergen

When Dale Danilewitz became the Global CIO of $88 billion revenue AmerisourceBergen, he had a mandate to exert greater influence from the center in an organization that had traditionally allowed the business units to operate autonomously. This was part of a greater “Power of One” initiative that CEO Steve Collis introduced, but it still would be a tremendous undertaking for the new technology chief. Danilewitz had an advantage, however in that he was once one of the business unit IT leaders, and as such understood the likely angst that such a cultural change would cause. Therefore, in his first 100 days on the job, Danilewitz had discussions with each of his former peer business unit CIOs, explained the rationale for the change, the value that they should derive, while also drawing lessons from each of them to ensure that the needs of each business unit were not ignored in a rush to do things more commonly across the enterprise. As a result, he has helped spearhead the greater unity across the company, identified areas where it was possible to achieve economies of scale, whether from vendors or in leveraging processes more fully, and generally leveraged pockets of excellence more broadly across the organization, as he describes in this interview that I recently conducted with him.

Click here to read the full article.

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Kim Hammonds, CIO and Co-Head Technology & Operations at Deutsche Bank

The chief information officer role is a complicated one for anyone who holds the title. It is even more complicated for an executive who is new to an industry, as he or she needs to learn a new company and industry, while also learning about the people, processes, and technologies that the IT department are responsible for. When she joined Deutsche Bank in November 2013, Kim Hammonds added to this complexity, as she not only joined financial behemoth, Deutsche Bank, her first foray in financial services, but she also added the responsibilities as Co-Head of Technology and Operations for the bank while also moving to the UK from the United States.

Click here to read the full article.

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Jason Molfetas, CIO of Amtrak

In 2012, Jason Molfetas joined the Amtrak family as the Chief Information Officer (CIO). Prior to joining Amtrak, Mr. Molfetas had no direct experience in this particular industry, but he was very much familiar with the complexities of running IT in a diverse business environment.  Mr. Molfetas’ was able to quickly get up to speed by reviewing the company’s corporate strategy, studying the Amtrak organization charts, reviewing information about his staff and more importantly, meeting with key business leader to learn the Amtrak business practices. In his first 100 days, he did as much listening as he did talking; recognizing that the path to a new strategy would come through insights garnered from his colleagues both within and outside of IT as well as from vendor partners and Amtrak customers. He has made transparent communications the hallmark of his leadership, and has since changed the IT culture to one that is more empowered, accountable, and transparent, while also ensuring that it is closely aligned to the needs of Amtrak customers.

Click here to read the full article.

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Martha Heller, President of Heller Search Associates

Martha Heller is the President of Heller Search Associates, and the author of The CIO Paradox: Battling the Contradictions of IT Leadership. In addition to placing a number of high profile IT executives, she also writes about hers and many other placements for CIO Magazine together with advice for chief information officers everywhere.  She has developed a strong personal brand, and has helped improve the personal brands of IT executives who have adopted some of her methods. In light of this experience, I recently caught up with Martha to engage her on the topic of the CIO’s First 100 Days. Since she is often in touch with CIOs before they get their jobs, and then stays in touch as their tenures progress, she offers some interesting insights into how CIOs should prioritize their activities early in their tenures to ensure that executive recruiters are not called back in for a replacement soon thereafter.

Click here to read the full article.

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Randy Krotowski, VP and CIO of Caterpillar

When Randy Krotowski learned that Caterpillar was looking for a new CIO, he had just come to the conclusion with his wife that he would end his career with Chevron, a company that he had been gainfully employed by for 29 years. He had had a diverse array of experiences at the energy giant, and thoroughly enjoyed the work. He listened to the details of the new opportunity not thinking that he really could be convinced. The more he listened, the more interested he became, until he ultimately joined the company in February of 2012. It had been a while since his first 100 days with a new company, but Krotowski recognized that his newness meant that he needed to get out and meet other leaders, learn more about the supply chain of the company, draw parallels between his old employer and his new one in order to generate creative insights, and to get some quick wins under his belt. In this interview I recently conducted with Krotowski, he talks about what he has done well, as well as what he would do differently if he had the chance to do things over.

Click here to read the full article.

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Bill Krivoshik, SVP and CIO of Time Warner

Bill Krivoshik has been a CIO since the mid-1990s, with stints at such esteemed companies as GE Capital, AIG, Citigroup, Thomson Financial, and Marsh & McLennan. He has been the global chief information officer multiple times over, and has been the first to hold that title at multiple companies to boot. He has each of those distinctions at Time Warner, a company he joined just over two years ago. Krivoshik says that the key to a successful first 100 days and beyond is to focus on building relationships at the new company, develop quick-wins for the rest of the organization, and to contemplate people, process, and technologies changes early in one’s tenure, among other insights he shares herein.

Click here to read the full article.

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Ken Piddington, CIO of Global Partners LP

When Ken Piddington joined Global Partners as the firm’s first-ever chief information officer four years ago, the Waltham, MA-based energy supply business was already a major corporation with revenues of roughly $6 billion, yet the company had thrived without the benefit of a CIO. Leadership realized that it had reached a tipping point in its business where information technology needed to be managed much more strategically than it had been previously.  In the years since, revenues have tripled to nearly $18 billion. Recognizing that the company’s growth would be fueled by acquisitions, he built a playbook to ensure that IT could respond efficiently to support those acquisitions. He also variabilized the cost structure of IT to a much greater extent using cloud technologies and an ecosystem of vendor partners so that he could support the growth of the company seamlessly.  Where many IT departments can become victims of a company’s success, with systems and hardware that is not flexible enough to grow quickly in an efficient manner, this was an objective of Piddington’s from the outset.

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Kevin Hart, EVP and CTO of Cox Communications

When Kevin Hart joined Cox Communications as its CTO in April 2011, he had the ideal profile for an IT executive.  He had earned an undergraduate degree in engineering, and later got an MBA. He had spent considerable time as a consultant, solving problems for a wide array of businesses and executives, and then was a CIO multiple times over at companies like Clearwire Corporation and Level 3.  Ever the problem solver, Hart viewed his new challenge with Cox Communications as a series of opportunities to harvest, and he took a methodical approach to acquiring knowledge about his new company and its industry, built solid relationships with his fellow business executives, assessed and made relevant changes to his team to ensure that it was built for speed, and then set up metrics to prove progress was being made.  The approach that Hart details herein is a recipe for success, and it is no wonder that he has achieved it in the two and one half years since he started.

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Kimberley Stevenson, VP and CIO of Intel

Kim Stevenson has one of the biggest jobs in information technology. As CIO of Intel, she leads a diverse team of technologists within a company that is historically known to be a paragon of technology innovation. When she took her current post nearly two years ago, she had been part of the IT leadership team already. Yet, as a new CIO she needed to develop a new relationship with her peers among the division heads and the broader leadership team. She found that leaders outside of IT were quite happy with IT, but she came to a surprising conclusion: they were not expecting enough of the IT department. As Stevenson notes herein, she realized that if Intel was going to succeed in increasing the pace of innovation, IT needed to be more of a contributor to that innovation. Her first 100 days in her job were critical in setting a new tone and culture within IT; it is a path that is not for the faint of heart, but the accomplishments of her team are evidence enough that it is a path worth emulating.

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Marc Saffer, CIO of J.Crew

J.Crew’s brand seems much larger than its roughly $2 billion in revenue would suggest. One of the reasons the 30 year old retailer seems larger is that it has always leveraged catalog and Internet channels creatively in addition to its store presence. That said, its information technology was deemed as being in need of an update when the current chief information officer, Marc Saffer, joined the company three and a half years ago. That much was clear to him after a long interview process. Once he joined, much of what he did in the early stages went against typical practices for CIOs who are new to a company and who find themselves leading a department in need of transformation. Saffer has been a CIO at four major retailers, and his experience has given him confidence that his approach yields results. Instead of moving fast in developing his plans, he moved deliberately, working with colleagues across divisions to ensure his decisions would gain the buy-in of his colleagues in IT and his peers outside of the department. He was also respectful of the plans of his predecessor, not quickly tearing them up and building an entirely new plan, recognizing that it might alienate some key colleagues if he were so insensitive. He also waited to make decisions on staff changes in lieu of quickly firing some members and replacing them with colleagues from his past. He made sure he knew each of them well before judging them. He has been rewarded for deliberating in this fashion with a successful tenure to date, and loyal colleagues within and outside of the IT department.

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Jay Ferro, CIO of American Cancer Society

Jay Ferro joined the American Cancer Society with a very personal connection to the disease.  He lost his wife to cervical cancer in early 2007. She had, in many ways been his inspiration to become a CIO, as she was his cheerleader, and someone on whom he could lean as he pursued an MBA while working full-time. He established a foundation in her honor called Priscilla’s Promise. Despite his connection to the disease, he did not actively seek this opportunity. He had been a CIO twice over, once at a division of AIG, and later at AdCare Health Systems. When he was approached to join the team, he had many of the preconceptions (and as he later learned, they were truly misconceptions) about non-profit organizations and their ability to drive value efficiently.

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Brook Colangelo, Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

When Brook Colangelo joined Boston-based education and trade publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, earlier this year, he did so after having spent almost his entire career in government and non-profit companies. He had worked with the American Red Cross before garnering his first post as chief information officer for the Democratic National Convention Committee. Colangelo went on to be President Barack Obama’s first White House chief information officer. What he found in that role was an organization in need of an IT transformation, and that is exactly what he led there. With Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Colangelo realized he was joining an industry that was in need of transformation, but he was pleased to find that he joined a leadership team beyond IT that had deep technology expertise, and that did not kid itself that times were changing. Among his many insights from his first 100 days in his current role, Colangelo speaks about his mandate to “break some eggs”, challenging traditional ways of thinking, and trying new things. Colangelo used his status as an outsider to his advantage, using it as a reason to take extra meetings and to ask deeper questions. What he found was that some of the prime lessons he learned at his time at the White House applied in the private sector, but that it also pays to join an organization with an open mind.

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Stuart McGuigan, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Johnson & Johnson

When Stuart McGuigan began his tenure at Johnson & Johnson, he had already been the CIO at CVS Caremark and at Liberty Mutual. A leader with a master’s degree in cognitive sciences from Yale, McGuigan thinks more than the average leader about how the mind works, and thus how to motivate people.  As he notes in my interview with him, learning the culture of an organization is the first order of business for a new leader. Only then can the appropriate changes be made during the window of change afforded a new executive during the early days of his tenure.

McGuigan found that Johnson & Johnson’s culture was neatly codified, and that people truly lived the values set forth more than 70 years ago. Moreover, the focus on accountability and transparency of staff, even encouraging employees to “complain” when there are needs that are unmet worked well with McGuigan’s own leadership style, which is to have anyone, anywhere put their hands up when help is needed or where an issue has been identified so that the fastest path to resolving that issue can be identified.  Although McGuigan has roughly 4,000 IT staff around the world, he has stimulated a greater degree of collaboration, and has continued to improve the operation during his tenure. He offers thoughts here on the thing she did in his first 100 days to set the stage for this success.

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The CIO’s Reputation Is Cemented in the First 100 Days

We have one chance to make a first impression. This axiom applies best in the professional arena where one’s reputation can be cemented within a few short weeks of joining a company. The Chief Information Officer was once a rather transient position. For years, it was among the “c-level” executive with the shortest or near shortest average tenure. The reasons for this were manifold including the fact that the average c-level executive (almost all of whom outranked the CIO) did not clearly understand technology, and it was easy to choose the CIO as a scapegoat if things were amiss within the company generally or within IT more specifically. Given the fact that so much that is managed by the IT leader can be esoteric in the minds of other business executives within the company, it is essential to push hard in one’s first 100 days to build relationships, to communicate a plan, and to track progress against that plan.

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