by Meridith Levinson

New CIOs at Constellation Brands, Unisys, the IRS and more

Sep 22, 20064 mins

A slew of press releases announcing CIO hires hit the news wires this past week. Among them…

David Watterson can drink to his new job as CIO of Constellation Brands, which produces and markets such alcoholic bevies as Corona Extra and St. Pauli Girl. He reports to Constellation President and COO Robert Sands.  Watterson, 45, joins the Fairport, NY-based beverage company from Martin Marietta Materials in Raleigh, N.C. where he most recently served as VP and CIO.

Kevin Kern
Two CIO announcements came out of Unisys: First, current CIO John Carrow is moving into a new role with the Blue Bell, Penn.-based outsourcing provider.  Carrow is now vice president of strategic client development. Replacing Carrow as CIO is Kevin Kern (pictured at left). Kern most recently served as CIO at embattled software provider CA.  Kudos to Kern for a nice rebound from CA. 

Bear Stearns expanded its CIO’s role.  Peter Cherasia, who also serves as co-head of the company’s Equity Analytics and Systematic Trading group, will now be in charge of all operations and technology for the firm.  He reports to EVP and CFO Samuel Molinaro.

Thomas Flanagan
Thomas Flanagan (at right) was promoted from VP of information systems to CIO at biotech firm Amgen. He’s succeeding Hassan Dayem in the CIO role; Dayem is retiring after four years with the Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based company. Flanagan joined Amgen in June 2004 and has been in charge of global ERP since Feb. 2005.  For more information on the backgrounds of the two gents, see the press release announcing Flanagan’s promotion.

Val Collins
Darden Restaurants piled more work on its SVP and CIO Val Collins’ (at left) plate. On December 1, 2006, Collins, 47, will take on the additional role of corporate controller for the Orlando, Fla.-based company that operates Olive Garden and other restaurant chains.  Collins takes over the corporate controller responsibilities from Brad Richmond, who is also taking on a new role on December 1. Richmond will become CFO following the retirement of Linda Dimopoulos, who was the company’s CIO before her promotion to CFO in December 2002.  

Collins is no stranger to the world of corporate controllers.  After joining Darden’s Red Lobster chain in 1985 as its manager of accounting systems, she held several positions in accounting, finance and technology, including controller for both Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Collins was named CIO in January 2003 after Dimopoulos’ promotion to CFO. In her new role, she will continue to serve as a member of the Darden’s operating team.

Blue Shield of California hired a Charles Schwab exec as its new VP of IT, applications and services. Roger Neaves will oversee the development and enhancement of application systems and online tools for consumers and healthcare providers.  He reports to Blue Shield of Cali’s SVP and CIO Elinor MacKinnon, who moved into her current role in November 2005. At Schwab, Neaves was SVP of global technology responsible for technical services and data center operations.

Brad Sidwell left the CIO ranks to take a job with a vendor in a sales-y role.  Sidwell joined Aderant, which provides business and financial management software for professional services firms, as its vice president of practice solutions. As such, he’ll lead Aderant’s global pre-sales consulting organization and will be in charge of improving how the company works with professional services firms throughout the sales cycle. Sidwell comes to the Atlanta-based company from the law firm of Troutman Sanders where he was CIO.  (NOTE: In my upcoming On the Move column for the November 1, 2006 issue of CIO, I’m writing about CIOs joining technology companies and why “moving over to the dark side” might not be such a bad idea.)

Richard Spires is the latest glutton for punishment to step into the CIO role at the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and preside over the organization’s bedeviled modernization effort. Spires, who’s worked for the IRS since early 2004, is the IRS’s fifth CIO in 10 years.  He replaces Todd Grams, who left the IRS last June.  Previous IRS CIOs include Art Gonzalez (technically Gonzalez was acting CIO after Grams left), John Reece, Paul Cosgraveand Arthur Gross