by Martha Heller

New CIOs at Aerojet, Novartis, UnitedHealth, and more

Apr 13, 20094 mins

Craig Halterman writes that he is abandoning us Boston residents for the sunny climbs of Sacramento.  Craig is leaving his role as CIO of Axcelis Technologies in the semiconductor industry for the CIO spot at Aerojet, a space and defense contractor that specializes in missile and space propulsion, and defense and armaments. “The Aerojet opportunity allows me to do what I love: building a team and delivering results that bring overall value to a company,” Craig says. “Containment is often necessary, but far less suited to my ‘get it done’ focus.  I’m not sure of all that awaits me, but Aerojet has demonstrated throughout the recruitment process that they will give me the opportunity to help shape the company’s future.”

On January 19, Leon Schumacher succeeded Jim Barrington as Group CIO of Novartis. Leon joined Novartis from Arcelor Mittal in Chicago, where he held the position of CIO. Just prior to Leon’s joining Novartis, Ian Robertson, formerly at Wrigley in Chicago, joined as CIO of Novartis Consumer Health.

Ed Granger-Happ has added UK responsibilities to his plate and is now CIO over both Save the Children USA and Save the Children UK.  “My call to action for taking this expanded, global CIO role is the opportunity to build capacity in a lean organization by leveraging technology that converges on a narrower set of shared services that enables us to serve more children,” says Ed.

The wine enthusiasts among you will be interested to learn that John Trone, who has served as the CIO of Total Wine and More since 2004, will be leaving his position at the Maryland based beverage retailer to move to Colorado. “I will be continuing in a part-time consulting role and helping to transition my placement over the summer,” John says, “and looking for new endeavors in the upcoming year.”

In the government sector, John Johnson, GSA assistant commissioner of the Federal Acquisitions Service’s Integrated Technology Service, last week announced his retirement effective May 2. Succeeding John will be current FAS CIO Ed O’Hare. In his current role, O’Hare has been heavily involved with supporting the White House’s stimulus transparency web site and has helped with the planning of the new federal data site He will be handing off those responsibilities to Elizabeth Delnegro, who was named acting CIO at FAS.

The state of Missouri has a new CIO.  After an 18-year career at the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, Bill Bryan was appointed to the role of state CIO this January by newly elected Governor Jay Nixon.

Last month, Beth Overhuls left her job as VP of IT for 20th Century Fox and joined Warner Chappell Music, a division of Warner Music Group, as CIO.

Also in March, after serving as Director of E-Commerce and then VP of IS, Walter Kudman was promoted into the CIO role of packaging company Sealed Air.

Steve King, who has served as CIO at Harvard University, Emhart Corporation and the College of Holy Cross, joined Virtual, Inc. as CIO in February.

There has been quite a bit of change in the healthcare world, beginning with UnitedHealth Group.  Alistair Jacques recently became CIO of the Ovations business and Darrell Brooks became CIO of the UnitedHealth Technologies. Alistair was formerly with Cargill and Darrell was formerly with Target Corp.

Jerry Filler, former CIO of GMAC Insurance, is now the SVP and CTO of Medica Health Plans.

Also in healthcare, Michael O’Rourke recently took over as SVP and CIO at Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI). A veteran of the health care technology field, and an expert on electronic medical records for physicians, O’Rourke had served as interim-CIO since August 2007.

Thanks for tuning in; if my inbox is any indication, I’ll have many new placements to report next week. In the meantime, keep sending me news!


Martha Heller

Managing Director, IT Leadership Practice