by Martha Heller

New CIOs at Kellogg, National Semiconductor, the Federal Government and more

Mar 30, 20093 mins

Last fall, I wrote a column about CIOs who are now CEOs of technology companies. The column featured Mike Kistner, who had parlayed a career as a hospitality CIO into the role of President and CEO of Pegasus Solutions, a technology provider to the hospitality industry. Last week, Pegasus announced that Mike has now also been named chairman of the Board of Directors of Pegasus. Is this the beginning of another new trend?

Also this month, Sue Kozik, who has had a rich background as CIO of companies like TIAA-CREF and Lucent Technologies, joined OGE Energy Corp. in Oklahoma City as the company’s Executive Information Strategist.  “It is a great opportunity to combine my IT and business skills on the company’s most important strategic initiative – a program called Smart Power,” Sue says. “I’ve learned a great deal in a short period of time about how technology plays a key role in the utility industry.” The Smart Power project equips consumers with real time digital meters and in-home touch screen information panels to allow them to track and manage their electricity usage.

National Semiconductor announced last week that Julie Wong has been promoted to into the CIO role after serving the company since 1988.  Formerly National’s director of Information Services Wong will be responsible for all aspects of IS including managing effective operation of day-to-day systems and developing and executing future system strategies and innovations.

And turning quickly to Washington, Obama has named another federal CIO, this one to the Office of Director of National Intelligence.  Priscilla Guthrie, currently IT director for the Institute for Defense Analyses, is charged with helping the intelligence agencies information sharing.

The Kellogg Company has a new CIO. Brian Rice, formerly global services information officer for General Motors and CIO of Asia Pacific for Mars, left the wonderful world of automotive to return to the consumer products industry in February.

Also in February, Bob Grawien, who as VP of Enterprise Architecture at Schneider National, was a CIO Ones to Watch winner, was named CIO at School Specialty, an educational resources firm.  Bob is yet another smart CIO who has recognized that education is a great business to be in right now.

Last month, VITAS Innovative Hospice Care announced that Christopher Rieder, formerly CIO of PAREXEL, has been named CIO.

Last December, Rick Davidson, left the CIO role at Manpower for a director position in the Enterprise Improvement practice at AlixPartners, a financial and IT restructuring firm. Rick is a part of a growing trend of CIOs who have decided that now is a great time to give the consulting world a try.

And on the public sector side of the same coin, Dan Mintz, former CIO at the Department of Transportation, has just joined CSC as CTO in the company’s Civil & Health Services Group practice.

And finally, I have another entry in my growing list of CIOs who have taken on the COO role. Peter Seremetis, formerly CIO of Reuters America, became COO of the North American business for Lloyd’s of London in October. In addition to the fact that Peter has spent plenty of time in non-IT parts of the business, he also attributes his ability to function as a COO on his “ability to listen and influence” – skills that certainly served him well as CIO.

Whether you believe we have finally hit bottom or are still on the way down, there is activity on the market!  Take heart and keep networking!

Thanks again for sending me news. Until next week…

Martha Heller

Managing Director, IT Leadership Practice

ZRG Partners