April 17, 2008
How long at current company? Three years as Freescale CIO
Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: Surviving--perhaps even thriving--10 years in the CIO job, including seven years as CIO of NCR.
Most important career influencer: One of the most influential people on my career was the VP of engineering for a major division of AT&T. This person had a huge impact on me during my first job out of school and gave me valuable advice, which I follow to this day. At the time, AT&T was a mammoth organization with many layers of bureaucracy. This executive told me: "About 80% of the people here actively prevent progress from occurring. You want to be in the 20% that drive progress."
Decision I wish I could do over: Early in my career, one of my managers instructed me to fire one of my employees. I didn't feel like it was the right decision, but I went along with it. It bothers me that I didn't advocate for the employee or what I felt was right.
The next big thing for my industry will be ... energy efficiency. It's the No. 1 challenge facing the engineering community, and semiconductors are at the heart of many energy-saving innovations. This is a huge opportunity for our industry, as are health- and safety-related technologies and rising demand for network bandwidth and pervasive connectivity.
Best advice for future CIOs: Maintain a balanced focus on the efficiency of IT as a business function and its effectiveness in driving value across all other business functions.
On The Job
IT budget (approximate): $200 million
Size of IT team: 500 internal employees, 350 dedicated contractors (offshore programmers)
Top three initiatives:
Migrating Freescale's supply chain planning operations from disparate, legacy, Cobol systems to a single, global instance of SAP.
Advanced Intelligence Manufacturing: A joint manufacturing-IT initiative that uses advanced IT to significantly improve manufacturing efficiency and boost gross margin.
An enterprise-wide data and analytics platform to enable faster and more informed business decision making. It combines factory, engineering, and business data into a single data warehouse for cross-domain analytics.
College/degree: Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Auburn University
Leisure activity: Golf
Best book read recently: A Random Walk Down Wall Street, by Burton G. Malkiel
Last vacation: Europe, including Scotland, Germany, and France
If I weren't a CIO I'd be ... I love being a CIO.
About the Author(s)
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