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February 28, 2012
2 Min Read
Randy Mott, one of the tech industry's best-known CIOs for his work at Walmart, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard, has been named to lead General Motors' global IT operation. Mott will report to GM CEO Dan Akerson and be part of the automaker’s executive operations committee. Mott replaces Terry Kline, whom GM said left to pursue other opportunities. Kline had been CIO since 2009, when he took over for long-time CIO Ralph Szygenda upon his retirement. Mott's appointment raises one immediate question: How much will GM continue to rely on outsourcers for its IT operations?
[ Want more background about Randy Mott? Read 10 Lessons In IT Strategy From Ex-HP CIO Randy Mott. ]
GM historically has relied on IT outsourcing more than most any other company in the world. That legacy goes back to its ownership of EDS, which GM spun out into an independent IT outsourcing company, becoming its largest client. Beginning in 2006, GM spread out its outsourcing work, then valued at about $3 billion a year, among multiple outsourcing vendors.
At Walmart, Dell, and most recently HP, Mott’s IT organizations have relied heavily on staffers rather than outsourcers and contractors. At HP, Mott slashed overall IT payroll in large part by eliminating contractor positions.
Mott led a massive transformation of HP’s IT organization, consolidating its 85 worldwide data centers into six new, U.S.-based data centers. In addition to payroll cuts, Mott automated more of the IT operation in order to have staff spend more time on new development projects.
Mott had no shortage of critics at HP, where in addition to cost cutting he forced business units to justify and prioritize every IT investment with a formal process documenting the costs and benefits. Mott left HP last year as part of then-CEO Leo Apotheker's shakeup of the executive ranks. (Mott is a member of InformationWeek's editorial advisory board. InformationWeek named Mott its Chief Of The Year in 1997 for his work at Walmart.)
Changing GM's long-standing IT culture is a tall order, regardless of whether the operation remains heavily outsourced. But in a statement announcing the move, CEO Akerson emphasized Mott's experience driving change and improving IT operations: "With more than three decades of information technology experience, Randy has demonstrated his ability to transform global IT operations. His visionary leadership and focus on execution will strengthen GM’s decision-making, reduce risk and improve our global infrastructure, data management and application development."
More on Randy Mott and General Motors:
About the Author(s)
Chris Murphy is editor of InformationWeek and co-chair of the InformationWeek Conference. He has been covering technology leadership and CIO strategy issues for InformationWeek since 1999. Before that, he was editor of the Budapest Business Journal, a business newspaper in Hungary; and a daily newspaper reporter in Michigan, where he covered everything from crime to the car industry. Murphy studied economics and journalism at Michigan State University, has an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia, and has passed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams.
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