Mueller Water Products hired Robert Keefe as its new SVP and CIO. Keefe reports to Gregory Hyland, president and CEO of the Atlanta-based manufacturer of flow control products used for water distribution and treatment. Mueller Water Products’ new CIO has what appears, to me at least, to be an impressive background: He most recently worked for apparel manufacturer Russell Corp. as its corporate VP and CIO. Prior to Russell, he served as ConAgra Refrigerated Foods’ VP and CIO. Previously, he worked for Kraft Foods and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. He has an MBA, which he earned from Pace University.
Do you think Keefe’s background is impressive? I suppose it’s hard to evaluate without knowing how long he held his previous positions and what he accomplished in them. I guess I’m just impressed by the companies for which he’s worked: They’re big. Forgive me if I sound like an idiot. I’m just trying to give my perspective on this Robert Keefe fellow.
Offering a point of view on these announcements about CIOs that I post on Movers & Shakers is one of my biggest challenges. Writing compelling copy about people I’ve never met isn’t easy. I’m torn between upholding journalistic standards and going out on a limb and saying something provocative—sometimes at the expense of my subject—to increase my readership and inspire people to add their comments. Because I’m a professional journalist first and blogger second, I have be extremely careful when writing about people I don’t know and about their careers. I usually err on the side of caution and throw up a post that reads like regurgitated press releases sans vapid quotes. Sometimes I do throw caution to the wind and write what’s on my mind when I read about a particular CIO.
I find the best way for me to add my perspective is to comment on a particular situation, such as how merger and acquisition activity can affect a CIO’s job, rather than make a snide remark about a particular CIO. A CIO who gets squeezed out of a merger may provide the news hook for such commentary, and thus, I get to write about someone without really writing about them, if you catch my drift.
If you have ideas on how I can make Movers & Shakers more juicy, informative and reliable, let me know.