Staples Takes Schwab Exec For Its CIOStaples Takes Schwab Exec For Its CIO
A shuffle brings Paul Gaffney over from Schwab.
November 8, 2001
Staples Inc. is reorganizing its IT leadership, hiring Charles Schwab & Co. senior VP Paul Gaffney as its CIO. Current Staples CIO Brian Light will take the reins of StaplesDirect.com, the $11 billion office-supply retailer's online and catalog division. The job swaps will occur in January, according to Staples.
"There are big opportunities to radically improve supply-chain efficiencies, as well as improve multichannel operations," Gaffney says of his new post. He also will help return the company's focus to small-business customers. Gaffney has been a senior executive at Schwab Technology for three years. There he oversaw the $7 billion firm's technology strategy, including successful E-business initiatives that some industry experts say has given Schwab an edge over other discount brokers. Still, Gaffney's new gig at Staples might give him a feeling of deja vu. Prior to joining Schwab, he had held top posts in Office Depot's IT department. In fact, during his 1995-to-1999 stint there, he helped the office-supply seller develop its successful online-business model. Gaffney says there's no hard feelings with his old boss and mentor, Office Depot CIO Bill Seltzer. Seltzer, a nominee for InformationWeek Chief Of The Year 1999, was one of the first to call and congratulate Gaffney, he says. Separately, Schwab recently reshuffled its IT-exec deck. Geoff Penney, formerly an executive VP of Schwab, has been promoted to CIO. He will report to his predecessor, Dawn Lepore, an InformationWeek Chief Of The Year for 2000, who now is vice chairman of technology and administration. Calls to Office Depot weren't returned.
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