Wal-Mart last week named Linda Dillman as its new CIO. Dillman had been VP of international systems development. She replaces Kevin Turner, who was tapped to replace Tom Grimm, president and CEO of the discount retailer's Sam's Club wholesale division, who's retiring. Dillman, 46, joined Wal-Mart in 1991 and has worked on application development projects for Wal-Mart's in-store systems, its Retail Link supply-chain system, and its data warehouse, among others. Turner, who started at Wal-Mart as an hourly employee, had been CIO since 2000, when he replaced Randy Mott, who left to become CIO of Dell.
One day after the Justice Department cleared its acquisition by eBay, PayPal, the Internet payment company, said last week it had reached an agreement with the New York State Attorney General's office to stop online gambling sites from using its service by Sept. 1. New York's attorney general has been investigating the online gambling industry. EBay had already indicated it would nix PayPal's online gambling business, which the company says is about 8% of its payment volume, once the acquisition is completed, but that isn't expected until the fourth quarter. PayPal also said it agreed to pay New York $200,000 "to cover the Attorney General's cost of investigation," according to a statement.
Speaking of online leisure activities, more than half of employees surveyed by Websense, an Internet-monitoring software company, said they would give up their morning coffee rather than their access to the Web. And a quarter feel they're addicted to, or compulsive about, accessing the Internet. Those are results of Websense's second annual Web@Work survey, for which Harris Interactive queried 305 Internet-connected employees and 250 directors and human-resources managers at companies with 25 to 38,000 employees. Besides E-mail, the most addictive online activity is shopping, and 37% of employees admit to accessing shopping or auction sites at work. Only 36% of companies employ Internet-monitoring software, and of those, only 20% block online shopping sites. In contrast, 78% block Internet porn, and 47% block online gambling.
BEA Systems, the application server vendor, said last week that Matthew Green, president of worldwide sales, was retiring to spend time with his family and "pursue his hobbies," according to a spokeswoman. BEA also said it had hired Olivier Helleboid as its new VP of product development. Both moves are part of a management restructuring by co-founder Alfred Chuang, who became CEO when co-founder and longtime leader William Coleman stepped down earlier this year. Helleboid comes to BEA from Rainfinity, a network software vendor, and before that he spent 18 years at Hewlett-Packard, where he helped develop the OpenView systems-management product. Chuang will oversee sales until a replacement is found for Green.
Professional sports hasn't been known for cutting-edge information technology, but that may be changing. The Seattle Seahawks' new $400 million, 72,000-seat football stadium features an IP network developed by Avaya Communications that integrates voice, LAN data, and high-definition TV signals. Earlier this year, the NBA began using a wireless system based on the BlackBerry personal information manager developed by Research In Motion that provides 500 league executives and officials with E-mail capabilities and access to scores and statistics of games in progress as well as box scores featuring a player's points, rebounds, and assists. Cellbucks is marketing a wireless system that lets baseball fans order hot dogs and beer via their cell phones and have the food and drink delivered to their seats. The system is in use at the stadiums of three minor-league teams--the Bowie Baysox, the Buffalo Bisons, and the Charleston Riverdogs--and will be available at others soon.
Can fans order up a settlement to the baseball strike? Will NBA executives get the message on lowering ticket prices? And can the Seattle Seahawks integrate their new quarterback? Send your playoff picks, or an industry tip, to email@example.com or phone 516-562-5326. If you want to talk about Internet monitoring, management restructuring, or convergence, meet me at InformationWeek.com's Listening Post: informationweek.com/forum/johnsoat.
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.