Don't do something that's "good for your career" if it really isn't a good fit for you, Herbalife's CIO advises.
Mark Schissel Senior VP & CIO, Herbalife
How long at current company: Three years at Herbalife, which makes and sells nutrition, weight loss, and skin-care products.
Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: Developing and implementing an environment at Herbalife that's stable, scalable, and agile enough to handle Herbalife's changing business needs. This includes systems such as our global ERP and e-commerce platforms, but also people and processes that are key in ensuring that we align our technology with overall business strategies.
Decision I wish I could do over: Early in my career, I accepted a job offer because I thought it would be "good for my career," even though I didn't feel it was a great fit for me personally. I quickly realized that success and career fulfillment are impossible if you're not passionate about what you do.
Most important career influencers: My parents, who sacrificed to make sure that I had every opportunity to become successful in whatever path in life I chose.
On The Job
IT budget: $90 million
Size of IT team: Approximately 325 to 375 employees and contractors, depending on the current project portfolio.
How I measure IT effectiveness: We measure the effectivess of our day-to-day operational support as well as project delivery. We set service-level objectives for operational support that are measured and shared with our internal customers. Our project proposals require a clear business case that outlines the ROI and how the initiative will align with our business strategies. And we leverage metrics and a project dashboard to measure the effectiveness of project delivery.
Best way to cope with the economic downturn: Stay ahead by striving to find ways to operate more efficiently and focusing on initiatives that drive the greatest business benefits. Efficiencies are often found by modifying a business process, and that requires someone who understands the business and not just the technology being used.
Kids and tech careers: I steer my kids toward becoming comfortable with technology in general because it's such an integral piece of our lives. But I'll leave their career choices to wherever their passion takes them.
Favorite sport: Football
Favorite president: Franklin D. Roosevelt--he had a dramatic impact on our military, economy, and foreign policy during a time in which all three areas were under extreme duress
Business pet peeve: People who focus on pointing out problems but never have a proposed solution in mind
If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... a high school coach and teacher
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