by Thomas Wailgum

How Barbra Cooper Came Up with a Plan to Save IS

Apr 15, 20051 min
Business IT Alignment

How IT changed its stripes without layoffs or great angst.

By late 2002, Barbra Cooper, CIO of Toyota Motor Sales USA, realized that if she wanted to win back the respect of the business, she would have to make some radical changes in the way IT worked with the business.

As the division information officer for Toyota Customer Services, Karen Nocket works closely with Bob Daly, group VP of Customer Services, to explain what IS is doing for the business side, and to help calm the waters when critical IS systems go down.

Cooper had developed something of a reputation for cleaning up other CIO’s messes. Now, she had to take a long look in the mirror and fix herself.

Toyota CFO Tracey Doi and Doug Beebe, the division information officer for finance, enjoy a particularly fruitful collaboration. They sometimes finish each other’s sentences, and there seems to be a layer of trust between them.

Not everyone has welcomed the revamped IS department with open arms. Many business executives still harbored resentments from when they were ignored in the past.