By Kim S. Nash  |  Posted 2005-02-01 Print this article Print

The first global chief information officer of the $9.1 billion auto parts supplier attacked his job as if it was a critical technology project. Here's how Bruce Carver spent his first 100 days.

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Oct. 1: Burns approves Carver's proposed staff organization early in the month. Carver will have eight directors—junior CIOs for areas such as operations, governance and the two main Dana manufacturing divisions. Then come 25 to 30 global managers for areas such as data centers or financial applications, followed by other managers.

Oct. 11: Posts job of director of technology operations. He wants someone with experience supporting scattered facilities from a single location. The person will oversee data centers, networking, e-mail, disaster recovery and help-desk services. In effect, 300 internal workers and a $60 million budget.

Because it's a new position for Dana, Carver seeks feedback on the idea from 20 fellow CIOs he knows at other companies that are doing similar consolidations. Most advise Carver to look outside Dana for someone who would "not have any focus on how we got to where we are," he says.

By Oct. 12: Initial tally of technology spending is $97 million, with the biggest offices reporting in.

Oct. 20: Carver tells Burns he must take Asia-Pacific out of his 90-day scope. He "just didn't have a week to give" to evaluate systems in Hong Kong, China, Japan and other countries. Carver will look at Asia in 2005.

Mid-October: Carver travels to Ohio, Michigan and other locations to talk about how the new organization will be structured. He also holds an all-hands Webcast, to introduce himself to several hundred technologists he hasn't yet met.

When asked about possible job cuts, Carver acknowledges that he thinks the 700-member staff will be smaller in two years, but says it's too early to tell how much. The "prized" staff in the new group will be project managers, business analysts, software architects and people sharp in managing vendor and customer relationships. Such jobs require knowledge of Dana's business strategy. He sees commodity areas such as help-desk operations probably being handled by contractors.

Begins meetings with Dana's top suppliers—IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and Mapics, a manufacturing software vendor in Alpharetta, Ga. Each company gets 2.5 hours to hear about his plans to centralize.

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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