At Last, A Homegrown CIO - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
4/22/2008
11:38 AM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
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At Last, A Homegrown CIO

Weyerhaeuser's new CIO comes from within, proving some companies aren't afraid to put an in-house IT veteran in the top technology spot.

Weyerhaeuser's new CIO comes from within, proving some companies aren't afraid to put an in-house IT veteran in the top technology spot.After I wrote a blog about engine-maker Cummins bringing in a new CIO from outside the company, a long discussion ensued about the relative merits of hiring a CIO from the outside versus promoting from within. Feelings ran high on both sides, with the outsider crowd generally pointing to the advantages of change and a new perspective in the IT organization, while the insider crowd touted continuity and the positive effects of rewarding loyalty and hard work.

Weyerhaeuser's new CIO, Kevin Shearer, has worked for Weyerhaeuser for a long time, according to a statement by the company.

Shearer has served as VP of IT business operations since 2007. He joined Weyerhaeuser in 1980 and has held numerous information technology positions for Timberlands, corporate support, and wood products. Shearer also has held IT leadership positions during the integration of the New Zealand, Cavenham, MacMillan Bloedel, Willamette, and Trus-Joist acquisitions.

Shearer, 52, will report to the company's COO, Richard Hanson.

Weyerhaeuser's previous CIO, Susan Mersereau, is retiring. I interviewed Mersereau back in November and wrote a blog about her viewpoint that women make good IT managers, especially now, when communication and collaboration skills are particularly valued. That blog also generated a heated discussion.

So, is Weyerhaeuser doing the right thing by promoting an experienced and loyal insider? Or is it missing an opportunity to expand the company's IT horizons?

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