CIO Profiles: Vincent Melvin Of Arrow Electronics - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation

CIO Profiles: Vincent Melvin Of Arrow Electronics

This CIO is focused on business intelligence as a way to gain an advantage in the market.

Career Track

Vincent Melvin CIO, Arrow Electronics

Vincent Melvin
CIO, Arrow Electronics

How long at current company: Six years at this electronics distribution company.

Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: I've always tried to make sure that the IT organization knew its role as enabling and supporting the company's business goals. When the IT organization is truly aligned with the business, the partnership can be a game changer.

Most important career influencer: My mentor when I first joined IBM, Carla Pariser. She made sure that I had opportunities to learn, and I was able to watch how she managed relationships with executives and customers. This helped me understand what it took to be successful and how important customer relationships are.

Decision I wish I could do over: Years ago, I was involved in a large-scale divestiture deal with a big customer, and we committed to take on a logistics capability that we didn't have the systems in place to handle. The time frame was too tight--but rather than risk the deal, I signed up for commitments that couldn't be delivered on. The effort and energy to address these challenges we created impacted the customer and the team.

On The Job

Size of IT team: 800 globally

Top initiatives:

  • Mobility--anything, anywhere, anytime access. We need to support how our employees want to use our systems through a multitude of devices and with seamless access.
  • Continued ERP rollout. We'll be deploying a core set of systems globally. This is the foundation or common language for the company so we operate more consistently on a global scale.
  • Business intelligence. We're interested in how we can make decisions earlier that can impact our performance. If we can determine what's happening with a particular technology or market even marginally quicker than others, we can act and gain an advantage.


One thing I'm looking to do better: We need to be more flexible and effective in supporting how users want to access and use our systems and data. Technology isn't the problem; figuring out how to effectively manage the breadth of technology and pace of change is.

What the federal government's top tech priorities should be: Security and improving education through technology. We can teach our children better and much less expensively.


Title: CIO

Degrees: Trinity College, BS in physics; Carnegie Mellon, MSIA

Leisure activities: Golf, but I never get to play; and basketball, but my knees are shot

Best book read recently: Beginning Lua Programming (yes, really)

Last vacation: Went to New York City to see Bruce Springsteen for a long weekend

If I weren't CIO, I'd ... start a small, technology-oriented company

Ranked No. 61 in the 2011 InformationWeek 500

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