by Sarah Johnson

Q&A With Husband and Wife CIOs Lynn and Doug Caddell

Aug 15, 20012 mins

Lynn and Doug Caddell will celebrate their silver anniversary this fall, but they still talk like newlyweds. Highly technical newlyweds. Both husband and wife are CIOs whose respective companies are 2001 CIO-100 honorees. They spend weekdays apart: Doug works in the Milwaukee office of Brussels, Belgium-based law firm Foley & Lardner. Lynn works three miles from home at Yellow Technologies, which provides IT services to Yellow Freight System in Overland Park, Kan. CIO asked them what role their similar career paths play in their lives.

Do you discuss work at home?

Lynn: We keep work talk to a minimum. This is time dedicated to [our three] boys. We do discuss situations we are facing, but they typically deal with management, processes or people issues.

How do you manage living apart during the week?

Doug: Technology helps in this situation?between cell phones and e-mail we are always in touch.

Lynn: It works for us. It’s not for everyone. I think you have to be fairly secure in your relationship. We try not to do work on the weekends. We make time for the boys.

Doug: Weekends are sacred.

Do you think having the same position helps your marriage?

Doug: While our organizations are very different?Lynn’s being a Fortune 500 corporation and mine being a closely held law firm?we understand the details and underlying issues that the other faces. We understand why one of us is having a bad day. The elementary shop-talk is eliminated, and only the really interesting items or serious challenges are discussed.

So working in different industries also helps?

Lynn: I think the difference is the size and scope. When you’re with a Fortune 500 you have a bigger staff, variety, so what we do is different enough… Doug: …that we’re not competing with each other.

Lynn, what attracted you to Doug?

Lynn: Because he was in the Navy he was more mature, although he’s the same age as me. I looked for people with a little more depth and personality. You can thank me later, Honey.

How old are you?

Doug: [laughing] I’m 28, she’s 29…. No, we’re both 47, but I’m older by a month.

Lynn: And wiser by a month.

Doug: You’re the better looking one.