by Martha Heller

The Antsy CIO

Dec 11, 2009

This the season of the antsy CIO

Tis the season of the antsy CIO. 

From many of the conversations I have had over the last few weeks, I have discovered a new job market trend:  CIOs who have worked hard to help their companies through these awful last 12 months are ready for a change. Gainfully employed, these CIOs want to take all that they’ve learned from the downturn, and all the energy they can muster up for the 2010, and apply it to a new playing field. For those of you currently on the market, this is both good and bad news. The good news is that these antsy CIOs leave openings in their wake; the bad news is that they join what is already a crowded job market.

On that note, I continue to see things improve.  The executive search industry is anticipating a stronger first quarter than in 2009, and my own search business is busier than it has been since November 08.  I am also receiving a wealth of emails from IT executives who have been on the market for more than 6 months and have landed themselves great new jobs.   These executives share a common trait: they diligently and methodically worked their networks, rather than waiting for recruiters to call. So, for those of you who grow weary of your job search, take heart! Your new position may be closer than you think….

Onto the news:

Quite a few companies have hired their first ever CIO. Among them:

NJVC, an IT solution provide to the U.S. Department of Defense, promoted Kevin Gustin to CIO – a new position in the company. He previously was principal engineer in the office of the chief technology officer. As principal engineer, Gustin was responsible for the NJVC corporate IT department. He was originally hired in 2006 as deputy director, enterprise solutions. Previously, Gustin was director of network development at the May Department Stores in St. Louis, where he managed the overall design and development of a data and video network with more than 1,000 locations.

Bell Partners has named Dhrubo Sircar as CIO, which is also a new position for the company. Prior to his three years with UDR, Sircar held a similar post with Wachovia Corporation, where he oversaw technology strategy associated with 26 mergers, along with many other similar business initiatives. 

Rhonda Winter is Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s first CIO. Prior to this role, Winter CIO at CIK Enterprises in Indianapolis from 2006-09 and as CIO for the Indianapolis Museum of Art from 2003-06. She served as managing director of information technology for the NCAA from 1998-2003.

Puneet Bhasin is Waste Management’s new CIO. Bhasin joins Waste Management from Monster Worldwide where he previously held roles of SVP, Global Product & Technology and CIO, North America. Previously, he was senior vice president with Putnam Investments. Prior to that position, he served as senior vice president and CIO for

Harriett Edelman, former CIO of Avon Products, is the newest member of our growing “CIOs who serve on boards” list. Edelman has recently joined the Board of Trustees of New York Blood Center (NYBC), which provides lifesaving blood, transfusion products and medical services to Greater New York’s 20 million residents via almost 200 hospitals, in addition to operating the world’s largest public cord blood bank and a significant medical research institute. 

Information services company Experian, has appointed Jim Fitzpatrick as Global CIO.  Fitzpatrick joins Experian from IT consulting firm Integnology Inc., where he served as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to this position, he was CIO at Intuit. 

Deltek, which provides enterprise applications software for project-focused businesses, appointed Deb Fitzgerald as its new CIO.  Fitzgerald has over 15 years of experience of technology leadership. Most recently, she was Vice President of Information Technologies at VeriSign, a provider of Internet infrastructure services. Prior to VeriSign, Fitzgerald was the Director of Professional Services at Artesia Technologies.

In my very favorite category of CIOs who have moved into GM roles, I am happy to report on two moves.

Byron Vielehr, former ICO of Dunn & Bradstreet, has been named President, Global Risk & Analytics. Vielehr has been with the company since 2005, and in addition to serving as its CIO, was most recently president, integration services.

Ric Villarreal, former CIO of temporary housing company, Oakwood, has been named president, and Marina Lubinsky, who was VP of IT, has succeeded him as CIO. Villarreal joined Oakwood in 1987 from Xerox Corporation, starting as the Director of Process Engineering and steadily progressing to become Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer in 2003. Lubinsky has successfully directed the system design and development of the company’s computer systems, resulting in increased reliability and significant cost savings.  Much of her work has been focused on delivering customer- facing applications which have helped the company effectively respond to market needs. 

Tech Data Corporation, and IT products distributor, announced that John Tonnison will assume the CIO role Feb. 1, 2010. Tonnison joined the company in 2001 and succeeds CIO Joseph Osbourn, who will retire June 30, 2010.

Mike Maslowski, CIO of  CenturyTel, (now CenturyLink) is retiring.  The company acquired Embarq in July and as part of that transaction, changed the management structure to have the CIO position reporting to a new CTO position that has responsibility for both IT and Engineering. The new CTO position has been filled with Dennis Huber from Embarq but a CIO has not yet been announced.   “I really enjoyed my work at CenturyTel but I’m ready for the next phase of my life,” says Maslowski who is heading with his wife to the Florida beaches as he considers his post-retirement life.

(I envy Mike.  My husband tells me I’m not retiring until I’m 75.)

As always, thanks to my friend Cathy Hotka for her CIO Movers & Shakers news from the retail world:

Peter Burrows is now CIO Emeritus and head of Enterprise Architecture for Adidas. His successor as Group CIO is Jan Brecht, who joined Adidas from Daimler.

Steve Dee, former CIO of J. Crew, is now CTO at, The umbrella company was established in August 2009 and has 220 stores, each devoted to a single product category. 

David Bergen, former CIO at Levi Strauss, is a management consultant for Blue Shield.

Happy Holidays everyone, and if you’re in the giving mood, send me news!


Martha Heller

Managing Director

ZRG Partners