When recruiters call CIO superstar Dennis Jones, he insists he’s done working full time for corporate America. “I don’t use the word retired,” says the 50-year-old Jones (right). “I’m self-directed.”
Just two heady years ago, Jones became the president of Commerce One. Everyone watched as the former FedEx IT chief put his noggin to the task of growing the beleaguered B2B provider (see “Dennis Jones’s Big Adventure,” at www.cio.com/printlinks). A year later, Jones resigned amidst another round of cutbacks at the Pleasanton, Calif.-based Commerce One.
Now he’s back home in Memphis, where he spends time with his cocker spaniel Freckles. In his spare time, he’s on the board of StorageTek, a $2 billion digital storage company based in Louisville, Colo. He’s also cooking up a nonprofit organization?the Friends and Faith Foundation?that will use tax-exempt bonds and tax credits to purchase affordable housing. Any profits will be siphoned into social organizations. The group of Memphis businesspeople involved in the project hopes to start purchasing real estate sometime this year.
Jones is adjusting to the slower pace. “It is a transition that you have to manage,” he says. “You have to accept the fact that you do have more time on your hands and a greater degree of flexibility, and you don’t have to be as hurried. I’m very satisfied and appreciative of the business career that I’ve had, and I feel like this is a time to give back my time and experience.” And if the right job offer came along?would he take it? Perhaps, he admits, but only if it was an extraordinary offer.