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CIO Profiles: Yuvi Kochar, CTO And VP Of Technology For The Washington Post Co.

Print media businesses will transform to be primarily digital with consumers receiving information when, how, and where they want it, Kochar predicts.
Career Track

Yuvi Kochar, CTO and VP of Technology, The Washington Post Co.

YUVI KOCHAR
CTO and VP of Technology, The Washington Post Co.

How long at current Job? Six years

Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: Designing, developing, and operating a software-as-a-service multitenant recruitment automation solution at BrassRing (now Kenexa). We supported the recruitment process at more than 50 Fortune 500 companies on a single instance of the software. BrassRing earned a number of prestigious industry awards for the product, including two consecutive Software & Information Industry Association Codie Awards, in 2004 and 2005, for "Best Human Resources Product."

Most important career influencers: D.G. Mahajan at Tata Unisys in Bombay, India, was my first boss and successfully awakened the geek in me. He led one of the first PC software product development teams in India, which I was lucky to be a part of. I learned to understand the art of motivating and managing a group of very young and innovative engineers. Also, Ralph Terkowitz, my Washington Post predecessor, educated me on why the Internet was such a big deal and on leveraging the Web to deliver real business value.

Decision I wish I could do over: I've had a dream career and would love to relive it without changing a thing.

Vision
Advice for future CIOs: Understand the business and align technology initiatives with it. Talk the language of the business and not technology. It's all about making the business more efficient and nimble. Innovation is the only sustainable competitive advantage.

The next big thing for my industry will be: Print media businesses will transform to be primarily digital with consumers receiving the information when they need it and how and where they want it. However, the industry is still figuring out what a viable business model will look like in the digital world. On the education front--The Washington Post owns Kaplan--online will become a more significant portion of our business, though brick-and-mortar schools will survive and evolve for a long time.

View on offshore outsourcing: I started working on significant off-shore outsourcing engagements in 1994. If done right, it can be of great value. It's imperative that the customer organization is correctly staffed to manage an offshore vendor and communicate, communicate, communicate!

On The Job

IT budget (approximate): $10 million (corporate only)

Size of IT team: 20 plus outsourced infrastructure and application management service

Top three initiatives:

  • Evolve our digital media business (online and mobile) to replace the lost revenue on the print side.
  • Continue to expand shared IT services to reduce tech costs across our business units. We're building a shared technology service to support our back-office processes in a common and best-practice way.
  • Build a cross-company collaboration platform, preferably leveraging open source technologies.
Personal

Colleges/degrees: Bachelor's in electrical engineering (honors), University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India

Leisure activities: Travel around the world

Best book read recently: Wikinomics, by Anthony D. Williams

Smartphone of choice: BlackBerry Bold and iPhone

Personal blog: Yuvi Kochar On Tech

If I weren't a CTO, I'd be ... the CEO of a small, innovative technology company.

Editor's Choice
Mary E. Shacklett, President of Transworld Data
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer