February 7, 2008
The high-end retailer says it will do without the position for the time being. No CIO? Say it ain't so!Bill Franks, longtime CIO of Saks Inc., retired at the end of last month, according to a short news item on the Web site of Women's Wear Daily's WWD.com, the fashion publication. Franks is known in particular for his implementation of point-of-sale technology and success with e-commerce.
The news item also said this: Saks will not immediately replace Franks, who joined Saks in 2000 after 11 years with Neiman Marcus. Executive VP Mike Rodgers will oversee IT and operations. Two things to note here: First, the lack of urgency around filling the CIO position. That speaks to the notion that some -- not a lot, but more than a few -- companies are bypassing the CIO position and handing the strategic leadership of IT to other executives, or executives with other titles. Second, that IT and operations are being combined. This is a trend we're seeing more and more -- the CIO, or the person in charge of IT, also taking control of operations and services within an organization. Hard-charging, forward-thinking CIOs like Procter & Gamble's Filippo Passerini have embraced this trend and used it to define their careers.
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