Tuesday, August 01, 2006

FELD: CIO Decisions applauds our failures

Fred alerted Mohamed, Iraj, Perry, and me to an article in CIO Decisions "magazine" that interviewed FELD's darling new CIO NEAL (all caps).

[Click on the pictures to enlarge the actual article]

That's certainly true for Neal Guernsey, vice president and CIO of Feld Entertainment Inc., the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice. Guernsey says he was hired because he can work as a peer among C-level executives. "I'm bringing something to the table from every job I've had," says Guernsey, who, like 62% of CIOs surveyed, has more than 20 years of IT experience.

At 53, CIO Neal Guernsey arrived at Feld Entertainment a little more than a year ago. "I decided I didn't want to work for another high-tech company," Guernsey says. "I'd rather take everything I had learned and apply it to a midmarket company." Like many CIOs, Guernsey was brought in to create change quickly, and he has replaced nearly half of a 30-member IT staff over the past 12 months. "I can see myself in this job for at least five years," Guernsey says. "My title is VP and CIO. So they are counting on me to provide guidance and to understand their business goals. There is no way that I am going to get everything done in this job that I want to do in 18 months."

Huh. That's some revisionist history right there. I'm pretty sure I did all the heavy lifting in that reorg, so I had Meredith look over my letter to the editor before I sent it off:


While many IT professionals covet "the C title", it doesn't carry nearly the weight in companies where it does not fall in the same reporting structure as other "C titles". Don't forget, a title doesn't cost a company anything.

As the former Director of Packaged Applications for FELD Entertainment, I was tapped by NEAL (all caps) Guernsey to help architect the sweeping change he made in such a short period of time. While we had a contingency for such a large turnover, I can assure you that the attrition that FELD experienced in their IT department was not by design.

I always find these benchmark articles interesting, particularly if it can help a Senior IT Professional reach their full salary and title potential. I'm sure the rest will fall into place eventually.

FELD Entertainment: I miss that place like AIDS.

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