By Peter High. Published on Forbes
When Gary Reiner was the chief information officer of General Electric for parts of two decades, ending in 2010, he had an unusual purview in that role even for today. He led mergers & acquisitions, sourcing, IT, operations, and quality teams for the company. Armed with an MBA from Harvard University, and having spent time as a partner at the consultancy, Boston Consulting Group, he brought an unusual degree of business savvy to the role of CIO.
Since then, Reiner has made the unusual leap from CIO to venture capital, joining the growth equity firm, General Atlantic immediately after his tenure at General Electric. In that role, he has joined the boards of a number high growth companies (Box, Mu Sigma, Appirio, SnapAv), while also joining the boards of mature companies such as Citigroup and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Thus he has a deep well of knowledge of what the buyers of enterprise technology (CIOs) want in the technology they seek, and he also can advise mature companies on how to borrow some of the magic of start-ups while counseling start-ups on how to mature as they grow.
Reiner also sees the CIO role maturing, as well. He believes it will become more strategic as software continues to eat the world, and in fact, he believes that the rapid production of software at scale will become increasingly important among CIOs, as well. In this interview, he offers a wealth of recommendations for CIOs, offered from the various experiences he has had in the world of technology.
To listen to an unabridged audio version of this interview, please visit this link.
Peter High: You are an Operating Partner at General Atlantic [GA] and part of their Resources Group. Could you talk about your purview in that role?
Gary Reiner: My responsibility is to look at technology companies where technology is the strategy and to become an advocate internally to partner with them. In many cases, if we do partner with them, I stay involved by joining the board to try to help them grow. We are a growth-oriented private equity firm, that is our mantra, and therefore what I try to do is centered around helping them grow faster than they otherwise would.
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