Merging the CIO and CTO Roles

Joining the movement to appoint a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) with responsibility for both IT operations and R&D activities (see, for example, Nordstrom’s recent announcement and the promotion of Faisal Masud at Staples), Iron Mountain Inc. has appointed its first CTO, Fidelma Russo, asking her to manage IT as well as product and services development. Russo will serve as a member of Iron Mountain’s senior executive team, reporting to President and CEO William L. Meaney. Russo “will provide the leadership, vision and roadmap for how technology can further strengthen the company’s current and future product offerings, service delivery and overall business,” the company said in a statement. Previously, Russo was senior vice president and general manager for Dell EMC Enterprise Storage and Software business. Prior to EMC, she was Chief Operating Officer for Sepaton/HDS, a provider of storage and software products and services. Russo has also held senior business and technology leadership roles at HP, Sun Microsystems/Oracle, Data General Corporation and Digital Equipment Corporation.

The change in title from CIO to CTO—and the expanded responsibilities—may help in lengthening the tenure of the newly appointed executives. Recruiting firm Korn Ferry reports, based on its analysis for 1,000 U.S. companies by revenues, that the average CIO tenure is 4.3 years, notably shorter than that of CEOs, who average 8 years, as well as CFOs, who stay in the job for 5.1 years. CIOs in the consumer, energy, and professional services sectors have the longest average tenure, and CIOs in industrial services have the shortest, according to Korn Ferry.

In other recent appointments and career moves:

Alaska Airlines has appointed Charu Jain as vice president and CIO, reporting to Brandon Pedersen, executive vice president of finance and CFO. Previously, Jain has led the IBM Global Business Services team helping American Airlines integrate its IT systems, and before that she has worked for 20 years at United Airlines. Most recently as senior managing director of airline operations technology and technology. Jain replaces Veresh Sita, who left the company late last year to become chief digital officer at United Arab Emirates real estate developer Emaar Properties.

Mortgage-software firm Ellie Mae Inc. has appointed John Abel as senior vice president and CIO, reporting to Peter Hirsch, executive vice president of Technology and Operations. Previously, Abel was Senior Vice President of IT at Hitachi Data Systems and before that he has held executive roles at Symantec, JDS Uniphase, KPMG Consulting and British Nuclear Fuels plc.

Pizza chain Papa John's International, Inc. has appointed Mike Nettles as senior vice president and Chief Information and Digital Officer (CIDO), reporting to Steve Ritchie, President and Chief Operating Officer. Previuosly, Nettles was vice president of Enterprise Architecture and IT Strategy at Panera Bread Company.

Alorica has appointed Jonathan Merrell as CIO, reporting to Andy Lee, Chairman and CEO. Previously, Merrell was Vice President of Systems and Engineering at Ingram Micro and Vice President of Product Management and Business Development at CBS Interactive.


Lenovo (US) has promoted Arthur Hu from Vice President, Corporate Business Transformation & IT Strategy to CIO.

Green Cloud Technologies has appointed Dan TImko as CIO.

Blue Valley Schools has appointed Brian Daley as CIO.

London, England-based Invesco Perpetual has appointed Manjit Singh as Technical Information Security Officer.

Hendricks Regional Health has promoted Jessica Cornelius from Director, Information Systems to CIO.

Republic Services has appointed Anthony DeCanti as CIO.

Reinsurance Group of America has promoted Suzy Scanlon from Senior Vice President, Information Technology to Executive Vice President & CIO

First Hawaiian Bank has promoted Derek Baughman from Senior VP, IT Division Manager CIO.

Antwerp, Belgium-based Argenta has appointed Geert Van Hove as CIO.