The comings & goings of digital executives

My Digital Business newsletter has a section that covers the appointments & promotions & transitions of digital executives such as chief information officers, chief digital officers, and the like. I spend a tremendous amount of time collecting (and verifying) that information — and sometimes I’ve compiled more news items than I can comfortably fit in the newsletter. So here’s a collection of digital executive news that landed on the cutting-room floor:

Executive appointments, promotions, and transitions in corporate America

Workiva Inc., based in Ames, Iowa, named Julie Iskow as EVP & COO. She was previously CTO at Medidata Solutions Inc., and CIO at WageWorks Inc.

TreeHouse Foods Inc., in Oak Brook, Ill., hired Amit Philip as SVP & Chief Strategy Officer. He was most recently VP of Analytics & Insights at The Hershey Co.

OceanFirst Bank N.A., in Red Bank, N.J., appointed Karthik Sridharan as EVP & CIO, reporting to the CEO. He was a CTO at Citigroup.

Payments provider Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc., in Pleasanton, Calif., appointed Harel Kodesh as CTO. He previously was CTO at GE Digital and General Manager of Predix, GE’s operating system for the industrial Internet.

DriveWealth Technologies, a trading technology company based in Chatham, N.J., named Ryan Burke as CIO and Andrew Levine as Chief Integration Officer.

Cendyn, a hotel industry CRM vendor based in Boca Raton, Fla., named a new leadership team including Olga Peddie as Chief Digital Officer. Meanwhile, the company said Piers Hughes, the CIO, who will now lead R&D at Cendyn.

Southwest Airlines Co.’s SVP & CIO Kathleen Wayton announced the following promotions on her leadership team:

  • Tom Merritt to CTO, adding enterprise architecture to his existing infrastructure & services team
  • John Herlihy to Managing Director of Technical Operations
  • Jeff Jones to VP of Commercial & Customer Technology

CNO Financial Group, in Carmel, Ind., named Pat Casey as CTO — in charge of IT infrastructure — reporting to CIO Mike Mead.

Neovia Logistics Services LLC, in Irving, Texas., named Thomas Musgrave as CIO. He was previously CIO at Americold Logistics LLC.

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), based in Texas, has appointed Ian Bramson as Global Head of Cybersecurity. He will lead the development of a cybersecurity risk-reduction program for the maritime industry. Bramson was the Global Head of Cybersecurity Sales & Strategy at Siemens AG.

Hospitality technology group Monscierge LLC, based in Oklahoma City, named Laurent Idrac — former CIO at hotel group Accor SA — to its board of directors.

Michael Restuccia, SVP & CIO at Penn Medicine, has been named to the board of trustees of Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J.

Discovery Senior Living, in Bonita Springs, Fla., hired Bill Sciortino as COO. He had been COO — and CIO (in 2001-2003) — at Chicago-based Vi Living (Classic Residence Management LP).

Varsity Brands Holding Co. Inc., in Dallas, hired Justin Kentor as Chief of Strategy & Business Transformation, reporting to the CEO. He was head of Nike Inc.’s Digital Activity Commerce.

Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., elected Renita DiStefano, CIO at Seneca Gaming Corp., to the institute’s board of directors, according to The Buffalo News.

David Kelley was named CEO at Income Store, a division of Today’s Growth Consultant Inc. in Lancaster, Pa. Earlier in his career (2007-2011), he was CIO at TD Ameritrade.

More appointments & promotions: ▸ Chris Goggin, COO & CTO at Turn-Key Health, an Enclara Healthcare Inc. company in Philadelphia ▸ Joseph Bruhin, SVP & CIO at Breakthru Beverage Group LLC in New York ▸ Jakub Jurek, Chief Data Officer at Figure Technologies Inc. in San Francisco ▸ David Leuci, CIO at Energy Federation Inc. (EFI) in Boston ▸ Rob Scudiere, CTO at Fuze Inc. in Boston ▸ Alan Waldman, EVP of Product & Technology at Leaf Group Ltd. in Santa Monica, Calif. ▸ Alpna Doshi, Chief Digital Officer at Riverbed Technology Inc. in San Francisco ▸ Erin Lanuti, Chief Innovation Officer at Omnicom Public Relations Group in New York ▸ David (“Lerch”) Lerchbacher, Chief Data Officer at Digible Inc. in Denver ▸ Bill Case, CIO at WideOpenWest Inc. (WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone), in Denver ▸ Tan Truong, CIO at Vesta Corp., in Lake Oswego, Ore. ▸ Vincent David, Chief Data Officer at TickPick LLC in New York ▸ Mark Willis, Chief Information Security Officer at Bluescape in San Carlos, Calif. ▸ Steven Maienza, Chief Digital & Innovation Officer, at EBI Consulting (EnviroBusiness Inc.) in Burlington, Mass. ▸ Sharmila Sudhakar, VP of E-commerce for the Men’s Wearhouse unit of Tailored Brands Inc., in Fremont, Calif. ▸ Phil Ahad, Chief Digital Officer at ITWP (parent of Toluna, Harris Interactive Europe, and KuRunData), in Wilton, Conn. ▸ Michal Lewy-Harush, CIO at Tufin Software Technologies Ltd. in Boston ▸ Reed Smith, VP of Digital Strategy at Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock Inc. in Nashville ▸ Matthew Runyan, CIO at Springpoint Senior Living in Wall, N.J. ▸ Charles (Charlie) Turri, CIO at IT People Network (ITPN) in Aurora, Ill. ▸ John Tobison, CIO at eXp World Holdings Inc. (EXPI) in Bellingham, Wash. ▸ Michael Trumbo, CIO at InSight Telepsychiatry in Marlton, N.J. ▸ Robert (Rob) Janek, VP & CIO at CTB Inc. in Milford, Ind. ▸ JP Saini, CIO at SOS Security LLC in Parsippany, N.J. ▸ Jin Gwak, CIO at AmeriCU Credit Union in Rome, N.Y. ▸ Zane Burnett, Chief Digital Officer at Willis Allen Real Estate in La Jolla, Calif. ▸ Jeremy Wood, CTO at High Cotton (a document processing firm) near Birmingham, Ala. ▸ Rick Schooler, CIO at Lee Health in Fort Myers, Fla.

How top CIOs are winning the battle for IT talent in a competitive market

Screen Shot 2019-07-04 at 3.43.42 PMNone of the items on the CIO’s agenda for digital transformation will succeed without a staff that can help co-invent the future of the business. But many CIOs say that they have a hard time competing for scarce talent in a world where tech giants like Amazon and Google seem to get the first pick. It’s clear that CIOs will need to work harder, and spend more time, on attracting talent than ever before, but they may lack the bold strategies required for today’s difficult talent environment.

My latest IDC report, “CIO Practices for Winning the Battle for IT Talent” ($$$$) compiles the best ideas from several CIOs for dealing with the stiff competition for IT talent. These executives look beyond conventional recruitment strategies; develop deep partnerships with universities; work differently with their HR partners; and streamline the hiring process.

The report is based on interviews with CIOs Thomas (Tom) McKee Jr. (at Kennametal Inc.); Adam Noble (formerly at GAF); Joseph (Joe) F. Eckroth Jr. (at TE Connectivity Ltd.); and Scott Names (at Church Mutual Insurance Co.).

For example, Joe Eckroth is proud of how quickly his team can go from interviewing a great candidate to providing the offer letter (he calls it “speed-to-hire”). And Scott Names created a unique IT Scholars Program, which essentially pays 100% of college tuition for IT majors and then guarantees an IT job at Church Mutual upon graduation.

My conclusion: The winners in the IT talent wars will be the CIOs who take more aggressive and more creative approaches than just showing up at a few job fairs.

How to get started with AI and automation projects

Artificial intelligence technologies (broadly defined here, including machine learning and intelligent process automation) represent new territory for chief information officers. Traditional IT processes won’t work, and the technology isn’t mature, yet CIOs know they can’t wait on the sidelines while competitors plunge ahead seeking to disrupt their industry.

This IDC PeerScape ($$$$) — “Best Practices for Launching Artificial Intelligence Initiatives” — explores how several early adopters of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies got started on their journeys, in a field full of hype, risk, and (potentially) great business value. These pioneers developed a set of guidelines for how to pick the first applications for AI, how to balance in-house and external resources, and how to make sure they have the right quantity and quality of data to feed AI systems.

For this report, I interviewed Sherif Mityas chief experience officer at TGI Fridays Inc.; Rajeev Ronanki, chief digital officer at health insurer Anthem Inc.; and Tom Sheppard, CIO at Brake Parts Inc.

My conclusion: To launch their first AI projects, CIOs must become educators, evangelists, and coordinators of cross-functional teams.

How the CIO at CarMax is working on transforming the used-car market

CarMax-Test_Drives_DeliveredSometimes there’s synergy among my journalism ventures, where one activity feeds another. For example, I found out Stitch Fix Inc. was doing interesting things with its style-matching algorithms, wrote it up in my “Digital Business newsletter — and then interviewed their CTO for CIO Dive. Similarly, I covered CarMax Inc. in my newsletter, and then interviewed their CIO for CIO Dive.

It helps when you’re lining up a CIO interview if you already know they’re doing something worth writing about. At CarMax, the nation’s largest retailer of used cars, CIO Shamim Mohammad is helping the company roll out an omnichannel business model in which customers can buy 100% online, or start online and finish at the store, or vice versa. A key development was creating an online portal where customers and CarMax associates can see the current status of the transaction and collaborate to complete it. They’ll even deliver the car to your home or workplace for a test drive (that’s what the photo above shows).

Old IT procurement practices can’t match the fast pace of the digital economy

Screen Shot 2019-03-30 at 6.05.14 PM

My latest IDC PeerScape report ($$$$) describes how several CIOs are revamping IT procurement and vendor management to get in sync with a fast-paced digital economy. They’re dealing with more vendors (including startups) and more contracts, which are refreshed more often because of the quickening pace of technological change. Readers will notice some clear themes: fewer traditional RFPs, more proof-of-concept tests, and higher CIO expectations from the vendor relationship.

The advice from leading CIOs is this: Streamline the bureaucracy, automate the workflow, learn to deal with innovative startups, and demand more business value from your vendors.

These insights come from interviews with:

  • Greg Tacchetti, chief information & strategy officer at State Auto Insurance
  • Ken Piddington, CIO at SGR Energy Inc.
  • Niel Nickolaisen, CTO at O.C. Tanner
  • Raman Mehta, CIO at Visteon Corp.

Related: CIOs NOT working with startups are falling behind