IT Leadership Changes at Chevron, Weyerhaeser and more

Plus: Promotions at Ferrellgas Partners, Alaska Air, KePRO and more.

Chevron announced IT leadership changes on April 14, spurred by the retirement of two executives. Melody Meyer, the vice president of Chevron's Gulf of Mexico business unit, was named president of Chevron Energy Technology (ETC), and Louie Ehrlich was moved upstream to become president of Chevron Information Technology and CIO. Meyer replaces Mark Puckett while Ehrlich succeeds Gary Masada. Both appointments are effective June 1, 2008.

Fast food chain El Pollo Loco is clucking over its hire of Allison Watanabe as its new vice president of IT. She's responsible for implementing new technology that will support the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based company's growth from 391 units to 441. Watanabe most recently served as CIO of BowTie Inc., a publisher of pet magazines. Prior to BowTie, she held senior management positions with Friend Communications, Canon U.S.A., Toshiba America Electronic Components and Rockwell International. Watanabe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and an MBA from the University of La Verne in La Verne, California.

Bob Feghali joined marketing and media company SpaFinder as its first CIO on April 1, 2008. Feghali most recently served as vice president of business development and CIO of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a position he held for 11 years. Feghali led the creation of ANSI's e-commerce operation and search engine for standards. While at ANSI, he chaired ISO's IT Strategy Implementation Group. Prior to ANSI, he was IT director at a division of Schlumberger and CIO of Memtek Products.

Jennifer Boren was promoted to vice president of information technology at propane distributor Ferrellgas Partners on April 14. She had been serving as the Overland Park, KS-based company's director of IT technical services since she joined in 2006. In her new role, Boren is responsible for all Ferrellgas's IT and the company's supply division that supports its retail locations. One of her top projects is the development and implementation of an enterprise technology platform that brings together CRM and mobile technologies to improve routing, supply and asset management.

Domain name registrar Network Solutions added Kamalesh Dwivedi to its leadership team as SVP and CIO. (Former MasterCard CIO Roy Dunbar is CEO of Network Solutions.) Dwivedi oversees operations, engineering, enterprise data services and program management. He joins the Herndon, Va.-based company from business process outsourcing provider TeleTech Holdings, where he was CIO. Prior to TeleTech, Dwivendi was VP and CIO of manufacturer ADC Telecommunications. Previously, he was CIO of Scientific-Atlanta. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kanpur, India and a master's degree in engineering from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada.)

Exide Technologies moved Erach Balsara into the CIO role. Balsara had been serving as the lead-acid battery company's vice president of human resources strategy and development. He replaces Carlos Cabrera, who is leaving Exide, and reports to President and CEO Gordon Ulsh. Before Balsara stepped into the CIO role on April 14, the IT function had reported into the finance organization. Ulsh said in the press release announcing Balsara's appointment to CIO that he changed the reporting structure to weave IT "more tightly" into the business "allowing for closer collaboration on business development and strategy implementation."

Geeks On Call promoted its chief IT geek, href="" mce_href="" target="_blank" title="Richard Artese Geeks on Call press release">Richard Artese, to EVP and COO. Artese had been serving as the IT solutions provider's VP and CIO, a position he moved into in December 2005. He joined the company, which serves small businesses and residential customers, in May 2005 as its director of technology. He previously held management roles with IT consulting firms, and he also served as PR firm Porter Novelli's CIO from 1998 to 2001.

Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS) promoted several executives earlier this month. Nobuo Fukazawa, TABS' SVP of strategic business planning, was named assistant chairman and also made CIO. Fukazawa maintains responsibility for business planning. Denise O'Donnell was promoted to vice president of IT. (For information on the benefits of taking on additional roles, read the article How CIOs Can Benefit from Having Dual Roles.)

Kris Kutchera has achieved new heights at Alaska Air . Earlier this month, she was named vice president of IT and strategy management. In her new, dual role, Kutchera is in charge of IT applications in addition to the company's project management office and its process improvement group. She joined Alaska Air in May 2005 as managing director of IT applications. Kutchera holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin and is enrolled in an executive MBA program from the University of Washington.

Former Dell CIO Susan Sheskey was appointed to the board of StoredIQ , a provider of electronic discovery technology. Sheskey left Dell in August 2007 after a 12-year career as a vice president inside the IT department. She was named Dell's cIO in 2005. Prior to Dell, she worked for Ameritech and Ohio Bell.

Technology Research Corp . hired a former CIO as its vice president of operations. Brad Freeman joined the manufacturer of electrical safety products on April 4 from R2 Technology, where he was vice president of global supply chain, operations, customer service and information technology. Prior to R2, Freeman worked for Siemens Medical Solutions' ultrasound division as CIO and vice president of global supply chain development and strategic purchasing. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Florida State University.

Craig Haught joined Hitachi Global Storage Technologies as its CIO. He reports to the CFO, Steve Milligan. Haught comes to the San Jose, Calif.-based hard disk maker from semiconductor equipment manufacturer Cymer where he served as CIO. Previously, he was CIO at another data storage company, Terastor. Haught has also held IT leadership roles at Applied Materials and Sun Microsystems.

KePRO CIO Chris Bouvier promoted two of his IT directors to senior positions. Meghan Harris, corporate director of analytical resources and development, was named vice president of informatics and reporting. Joe Swartz was appointed vice president of IT service management. He most recently served as director of IT service management for the Harrisburg, Penn.-based medical management firm. For more information on Harris and Swartz, see the press release KePRO issued announcing their promotions.

The Vietnam Veterans of America named its national secretary, Barry Hagge, CIO. Hagge has been a member of the VVA since 1988 and has served as chair of its National Constitution Committee and as treasurer and EVP of the VVA's Pennsylvania State Council. He served in Vietnam on the USS Galveston in 1965 and in the Naval Support Activity Danang on the YFU-60 in 1966 and 1967. Hagge currenty works in the banking industry as a manager of information security and compliance.

Weyerhaeuser appointed Kevin Shearer to succeed Susan Mersereau, who is retiring from the forest products company, in the CIO role on May 1. Shearer, 52, currently serves as vice president of IT business operations, a position he's held since 2007. In his new role, he will report to the COO, Richard Hanson. Shearer joined Weyerhaeuser in 1980. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from Washington State University.

Bob DeRodes is stepping down from his position as EVP and CIO of The Home Depot at the end of the year. Former CEO Bob Nardelli hired him in February 2002 to revamp the retailer's IT, which at the time was largely home grown. DeRodes is credited with building the company's current IT infrastructure, upgrading its point of sale systems in stores and implementing SAP finance. Home Depot also introduced self-checkout on DeRodes' watch. For more on DeRodes' retirement from Home Depot, read Home Depot, Dana Holding Corp., to Lose CIOs.

Bruce Carver joined Cummins on April 21 as its VP and CIO. He reports to Tom Linebarger, EVP and president of the manufacturer's Power Generation business. Carver, 47, fills the position Gail Farnsley vacated in February (she left to take a job with Purdue University). Carver most recently worked for Dana Holding Corp., where he had been VP and CIO since September 2004. Prior to Dana, Carver was a divisional CIO at PepsiCo from 2000 to 2004. He also previously served as CIO of Reynolds and Reynolds.

Long Island, NY-based IT solutions provider Future Tech Enterprise hired Bill Kohler as its CIO. Kohler most recently worked for Cablevision as its senior director of IT. Previously, he served as senior director of IT and acting CIO at BBDO Advertising in NYC, senior director of IT at Golden Books and senior manager of presentations at Lehman Brothers.

Rick Treese begins a new job as CTO of , which is owned by 11 of the largest investment banks on Wall Street and which is putting togehter web platforms for the investment community. He joins from Advantstar. Previously, Treese worked for Goldman Sachs.

Kathy Starkoff starts a new job as CIO of Ohio State University on June 16. Starkoff most recently served as CTO of Limited Brands, a position she held for six years. She was responsible for application development, enterprise system design and risk management at the Fortune 300 retailer.

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