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5/26/2010
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CIO Profiles: In Their Own Words

IT leaders share their top priorities, biggest mistakes, and career dreams if they weren't a CIO.
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Of IntercontinentalExchange

CAREER TRACK
How long at current company: 14 years

Most important career influencer: Our CEO, Jeff Sprecher--the most brilliant business mind I've ever been around. He also had the confidence to let me run our technology from startup and through our most rapid periods of growth.

Career achievement I'm most proud of: The spring of 2005 was the most challenging time in my career, when we decided to move ICE Futures Europe's largely floor-based business to our electronic platform. The plan called for a transition to a new architecture in two years, including new high-performance servers, a new network design, low-latency middleware, a new software architecture, a high-speed matching engine, and hundreds of code optimizations. Today, the ICE platform can handle hundreds of thousands of transactions a second, and at 2.5 milliseconds, the average transaction time makes this the fastest commodities trading platform in the world.

Decision I wish I could do over: At one point, I selected a software product largely based on reputation because it was considered the best in the industry, and because it was what everyone else was using. We wasted a year of development time until we switched gears. Every vendor and product must be vetted, regardless of its past success and reputation.

ON THE JOB
IT budget: $30 million

Size of IT team: 250 employees

Top initiatives:
• We will expand products and services provided by our credit default swaps clearinghouses, ICE Trust and ICE Clear Europe.
• We'll also transition our ICE Clear Europe technology infrastructure away from a third-party vendor and onto our own technology.
• Recently enacted financial reform legislation will require reporting and registration of all over-the-counter derivatives trades at a central trade repository.

How I measure IT effectiveness: Our technology initiatives are aligned 100% with our business initiatives. If we execute our technology, then our business is successful.

VISION
The next big thing for my industry will be ... effectively navigating the emerging waves of mobile computing, social media, and financial regulation.

Best way for CIOs to cope with the economic downturn: Understand that, increasingly, technology isn't just a cost center-it's also essential for execution of your business.

The federal government's top tech priority should be ... the security of our networks, energy infrastructure, and other critical infrastructure from cyberterrorism.

Kids and tech careers: Technology is needed in every industry, and that provides you with many options. I also view technology as a creative endeavor.

PERSONAL
Colleges/degrees: University of Florida's College of Engineering, BSc degree

Leisure activities: Baseball; I play third base and manage an adult recreational baseball team

Business leader I'd like to have lunch with: Steve Jobs

Smartphone of choice: BlackBerry Tech vendor I respect most: Google co-founder Eric Schmidt

If I weren't a CTO, I'd be ... a high school baseball coach

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