CIO's Next Move: Does COO Make Sense? - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
10/15/2007
04:59 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
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CIO's Next Move: Does COO Make Sense?

What's the next career move after CIO? Depends on what you want -- and what your organization needs.

What's the next career move after CIO? Depends on what you want -- and what your organization needs.A business-process outsourcer that specializes in customer-services operations by the name of Access Worldwide Communications in Arlington, Va., said today that it has promoted its CIO, J. Ted Jordan, to the position of executive VP and chief operating officer. The move was occasioned, apparently, by the departure of the company's current COO, Georges Andre, who left "in order to pursue other professional opportunities," according to a statement from the company.

According to the company's Web site, Jordan became CIO in 2002, and before that he was VP of IT for the company's teleservices operation. Jordan "pioneered the development of a multitiered client-server solution based on Internet technologies for the operation of communication centers," the company said. Jordan came to Access when it acquired his consulting company, Jordan Computer Specialists, in 1997.

"While with Access [Jordan] has demonstrated strong leadership, technical, and operational skills," said Shawkat Raslan, president and CEO of the company. That's not exactly effusive praise, but it's succinct and to the point.

Chief operating officer is increasingly looking like a next logical step for CIOs. That point was made in an article written for the "CIOs Uncensored" supplement in InformationWeek magazine by Mykolas Rambus, head of technology and special projects for Forbes Media. In the article, entitled "The Next Generation CIO," Rambus described high aspiring technology managers this way:

"Next-generation CIOs want to be more than their title implies. They want to have a business impact, delivering it via their requisite seat at the table, and with the help of capable executive cohorts, including the board of directors. They require customer exposure and the opportunity to understand customer needs firsthand."

Access Worldwide's Jordan seems to embody the attributes of the next-generation CIO and to have positioned himself to leverage those into a career-enhancing promotion.

What's next for you? And how can you leverage your best assets to position yourself for your next biggest opportunity? What's the next best move for a high-aspiring CIO?

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