The CIO Hall of Fame: 20 IT Leaders of Accomplishment

Meet the 20 CIOs whose influence and accomplishments have earned them a plaque in CIO's Hall of Fame.

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The Early Adopter

Michael Prince

VP and CTO (and former CIO), Burlington Coat Factory

“We [used open source] because it looked excellent to us and it was the most affordable thing to do. People were nurtured and listened to, and we encouraged people to be knowledgeable in things that were emerging.”

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20/20 Honoree: Michael Prince

Brought in Unix boxes as early as mid-1980s when Unix was used only in science and academia...in the early 1980s introduced TCP/IP networking and server-based e-mail to facilitate communication between employees and store managers (while most retailers were still using the postal system and the phone)...utilized storage area networks in the mid-1990s to enable access to disk storage using fiber-switched networks, reducing costs and improving network reliability...brought radio frequency devices into Burlington’s stores, which came equipped with a bar code scanner, keyboard and screen, allowing retail workers greater mobility and productivity.... Pioneered Linux in the corporate space as early as 1998 to cut support costs and promote ease of use for retail employees operating on a thin-desktop client.... Improved connection speeds by implementing satellite networks when everyone else used dial-up.... One of the first to deploy Oracle Relational Database in 1987, revolutionizing how business data was handled.

Unpopular cost efficiencies drove Prince to become the king of early adoption. And it was his technical staff—empowered by Prince—who pushed these technologies. In fact, the Linux decision was driven in large part by college interns who championed the open-source operating system’s capabilities.

The Consolidator

Rebecca Rhoads

VP and CIO, Raytheon

“To prepare for the role of CIO, one needs to reach for the projects and assignments that are way outside of their comfort zone. The growth and the rewards from those diverse, broad and difficult assignments are fantastic.”

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Mitigated more than $50 million in risk by applying rigorous controls, rates and a new business model for IT when she became Raytheon CIO in 2001....

Responsible for post-merger consolidation and integration with Hughes Electronics, TI and E-Systems, for which Raytheon was honored with a CIO 100 Award in 2002...core component of the integration was Rhoads’s elimination of more than 2,800 legacy systems and deployment of a common ERP architecture by 2004...established a common process and proprietary Sox control environment across all businesses in 2005...deployed rigorous security mechanisms through privacy and information assurance initiatives across the company in 2007.

Rhoads did not begin her career in IT. In 1997, after years in electrical engineering, she felt the world was undergoing a “tectonic shift” in technology and she wanted to be a part of it. Rhoads set her sights on the CIO position and worked her way up the ladder until she got there.

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