Interacting with the board

By Kim S. Nash  |  Posted 2007-08-13 Print this article Print

Leading CIOs tackle how to reward success, deal with corporate boards and know when to say, "no."

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What are your board's major concerns on IT projects? Tim Shack, PNC Financial Services
At PNC, interaction with the board is regular and frequent. In the fall, we had a full board meeting entirely on emerging-technology trends, and how PNC is competitively positioned in each business segment.

You know those Consumer Reports ratings--the little circles filled in all black or half black? We did those to assess where we think we are and how each business unit is positioned against trends in the industry 12 months and three years out. Where do we need to make investments to compete? It was a very, very detailed update with the board. I had all my major technology leaders--CIOs for various businesses, head of shared services infrastructure, our payment guru, people who we'd call leaders of e-commerce. We took them through a 3 1/2-hour meeting on what's happening.

Guy Battista, formerly of First Data, now president of Western Union Financial Services
At one of the board meetings every year, we would go through the upcoming budget. Any major project over a certain amount, the board had to approve. You did have to give regular updates. I remember we presented a major project that was very, very large and the board asked us to break it down into subcomponents and come back to them for funding on each component after we finished the previous one.

Roy Dunbar, MasterCard
Those projects may be featured in the business plan and reviewed once or twice a year by the board. Progress is updated, but in terms of the overall project plan, not just technology.

Next page: Using money to motivate employees

Senior Writer
Kim has covered the business of technology for 14 years, doing investigative work and writing about legal issues in the industry, including Microsoft Corp.'s antitrust trial. She has won numerous awards and has a B.S. degree in journalism from Boston University.

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