The Rise of the Business-Savvy CIO

Rent-A-Center, America’s largest rent-to-own company, has appointed Angela Yochem as CIO and senior vice president for information technology, reporting to CFO Guy Constant. Previously, Yochem served as CIO at BDP International, a privately-held, multi-billion dollar company that provides global transportation and logistics solutions. Earlier in her career, Yochem held leadership positions with organizations such as AstraZeneca, Dell, Bank of America and SunTrust. She is serving as an Independent Director on the board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.

Yochem has predicted her move, as well as her business growth-related new responsibilities such as expanding the customer base and developing a rich e-commerce platform, in “View from the Front Lines: Predictions for 2016 From 8 Technology Executives.” She talked about the rising importance of CIOs to the business in general and board of directors in particular:  “In 2016, we'll see more boardroom response to the increasing importance of technology to their business strategies, products, and customer interactions. This is due as much to the operational risk element of cyber security as it is to the realization that the people creating technology for the company have a disproportional influence and impact on the company's future.”

There is growing demand for business-savvy CIOs like Yochem. According to a recent survey from Harvey Nash and KPMG, 63% of chief executive officers are focusing their CIOs on IT projects that make money for the business. That compares to 37% of CEOs who want their CIOs to prioritize projects that save money. Since 2013, there has been a 30% drop in boards asking CIOs to focus on saving money. And 55% of CIOs believe their career in the next five years will be outside of IT, up from 48% last year.

In other recent appointments and career moves:

Kimberly-Clark has appointed Suja Chandrasekaran as CIO, reporting to CFO Maria Henry. Previously, Chandrasekaran was global chief technology officer and chief data officer at Wal-Mart Stores and before that she has held IT leadership positions at Timberland Co., PepsiCo Inc. and Nestle.

Barclays has appointed Mark Ashton-Rigby as Group CIO. Previously, Ashton-Rigby was CIO for corporate and investment banking at J.P Morgan Chase & Co., head of banking technology at UBS, and has spent 13 years in various technology roles at Deutsche Bank.

Adobe Systems Inc. has appointed Cynthia Stoddard as senior vice president and CIO, reporting to executive vice president and CTO Abhay Parasnis.  Stoddard has more than 25 years of experience in technology and software development. Most recently, she was senior vice president and CIO at NetApp, and has held leadership positions at Safeway Inc. and APL Limited.

Valley National Bank in Wayne, N.J., has appointed Robert Bardusch as CIO, reporting to COO Peter Crocitto. Previously, Bardusch was CIO at MVB Bank and CIO at PNC Financial Service Group Inc.

Standard Chartered has appointed Cheri McGuire as chief information security officer, reporting to Group Chief Information Officer Michael Gorriz. Previously, McGuire was vice president of global government affairs and cybersecurity policy at Symantec.

ADT Corp has appointed Donald Young as CIO chief information officer of home security company ADT Corp., according to recent company filings. Previously, Young was Protection 1 Alarm Monitoring Inc.’s chief operation officer, CIO and senior vice president.

Zendesk has appointed Tom Keiser as its first CIO. Previously, Keiser was former CIO at the Gap and CIO at L Brands, owner of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works.

Toys ‘R’ Us has appointed Phil Newmoyer as CIO. Previously, Newmoyer was CIO and a senior vice president at Serta Simmons Bedding LLC and a principal at management consulting firm WGroup.

Aperture Group LLC has appointed Lance Braunstein as CIO. Previously, he was managing director and global head of investment banking technology at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and managing director at Morgan Stanley, where he was responsible for infrastructure and development organizations in the bank’s wealth management division.

S&P Global has appointed Krishna Nathan as CIO, reporting to CEO Douglas L. Peterson. Previously, Nathan was vice president with IBM Research, where he was vice president of systems and oversaw research activity and strategy for next-generation data centers, cognitive systems design and other technologies.


Kaleida Health has appointed Cletis Earle as vice president and CIO.

Imprivata has appointed Aaron Miri as CIO.

Syncordia has appointed Andy Tran as CTO.

Elekta has promoted John Lapré to CTO.

Cornell University has promoted David Lifka to Vice President of Information Technology.

Assurant has appointed Ajay Waghray as CTO.

Proto Labs has appointed Richard Baker as CTO.

Social Solutions has promoted Benny Melumad to CTO.

American Stock Transfer & Trust Company has appointed Chris Jutkiewicz as CTO.

Spreemo has appointed Andreas Turanski as CTO.

Deep Run Security Services has appointed Scott Toth as CTO.

Brigham and Women`s Hospital has promoted Adam Landman to CIO.