Fiona Balfour Leaves Telstra

Australian news sites are reporting the sudden “resignation” of Telstra CIO Fiona Balfour. According to The Australian Financial Review, the high-profile Aussie CIO left the company after just 10 months on the job “due to an internal dispute…over control of the company’s $A1.5 billion IT transformation project.” The Australian noted that Balfour’s departure coincided with a bug in the company’s web site which has prevented customers from being able to pay their bills online since Monday morning. The daily also reported that Balfour’s now former boss, COO Greg Winn, tapped an American, Tom Lamming, to fill the CIO post until Telstra finds a replacement. Lamming has served as Winn’s IT advisor for a year and a half. Something about this whole changing of the IT guard at Telstra smells really fishy to me.

Majesco Entertainment hired a former CIO of Marvel comics to serve as its new vice president of operations. Gui Karyo most recently worked for the Edison, N.J.-based video game publisher as a consultant for six months.  Previously, Karyo was Marvel Entertainment’s president of publishing, EVP of operations and CIO.

Thomas (TJ) Aruffo joined beverage maker Cott Corp. as its new chief information and shared services officer yesterday. The press release announcing Aruffo’s hire stated that Cott is banking on the strategic use of IT to reduce costs, improve customer service and manufacturing operations and spark innovation. Because technology is taking on an increased focus inside the company, Aruffo reports to CEO Brent Willis and is a member of the management committee. Aruffo most recently worked for AmerisourceBergin as a divisional CIO. Prior to the pharmaceutical company, he was CIO and vice president of energy services for NiSource and held IT leadership positions for Fidelity Investments, Prudential Insurance Company and other Fortune 500s.

Shawn Farshchi, a former CIO who recently joined Coremetrics as its COO, was appointed to SupportSoft’s board of directors.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) tapped Robert Scherer as its new CIO. Scherer joins the NTSB from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing where he was deputy CIO. Prior to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, he worked for the U.S. Secret Service for 16 years in its Information Resources Management division.

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