The Eckerd Roster

By Edward Cone  |  Posted 2003-06-01 Print this article Print

Retailing is getting cutthroat. In major metropolitan areas, direct rivals are opening up shop across the street, daring the other to blink and pull up stakes. Among neighborhood pharmacy chains, Eckerd is now in a fight for its life, as Walgreens threate

The Eckerd Roster

INSIDERS Wayne Harris
Chief Executive Officer
Grocery industry veteran took the reins as Eckerd was starting to look like an also-ran in drugstore business. To catch up to powerhouse Walgreens, he bet big on CIO Ken Petersen and his new I.T. department.

Dennis Miller
Chief Financial Officer
Pressed for cash to spend on new stores and marketing, Miller looked for ways to cut Eckerd's high selling, general and administrative expenses. He identified as expendable an increasingly expensive contract with IBM Global Services.

Ken Petersen
Chief Information Officer
He "bet his career" that he could run Eckerd's information technology better than IBM. The former J.C. Penney executive then led the rapid rebuilding of Eckerd's technology department, took over the development of a major supply-chain software project in midstream, and staffed the organization from scratch.

Todd Hale
Young exec in charge of Eckerd's critical supply-chain project had to keep project on track as technology operations were brought back in-house. Hale started the project with contract workers and is finishing it with coworkers.

James Garoutsos
Another Penney veteran, he helped figure out exactly what IBM did on a day-to-day basis, and how Eckerd would go about doing it.


David V. Evans
Former Chief Inforation Officer, J.C. Penney
Until he retired at the start of 2001, Evans consulted with Petersen on ways the parent company could help its drug store subsidiary. Considers services contracts "a roach motel" that most companies would be unable to escape from, and gives Petersen a lot of credit for paying off the bill and checking out.

Jerry E. Rothmeyer
Former Vice President of Information Technology, Eckerd
Rothmeyer spent 17 years with Eckerd, leaving shortly after J.C. Penney acquired the company in 1997. Presided over the hiring of IBM, which he maintains was a necessary step to allow the cash-strapped company to afford necessary technology upgrades.

Ken Banks
Former Marketing Vice President, Eckerd
In 1993, he believed IBM would allow Eckerd to become a technology leader. Today, he still thinks the contract paid off in the short run and wonders whether the goals that went unmet were the fault of IBM or of Eckerd management for failing to demand more from the vendor.

David Vranicar
Client Executive Officer, Retek
Vranicar sold Eckerd on Retek's supply chain and store management software and helped define the set of modules it would take advantage of. He also arranged for Retek technical staff to customize the software to meet chain drug store requirements.

Regina Hunt
Senior Project Lead, Change Management Coordinator, Technical Education Consultants
Starting with the inception of the Quantum Leap project in 1999, Hunt spent more than two years working with Eckerd on documentation and training for its new inventory management and store operations systems.

You can contact these individuals via e-mail through baseline@ziffdavis.com and we will forward your requests to them.

Senior Writer and author of the Know It All blog

Ed Cone has worked as a contributing editor at Wired, a staff writer at Forbes, a senior writer for Ziff Davis with Baseline and Interactive Week, and as a freelancer based in Paris and then North Carolina for a wide variety of magazines and papers including the International Herald Tribune, Texas Monthly, and Playboy. He writes an opinion column in his hometown paper, the Greensboro News & Record, and publishes the semi-popular EdCone.com weblog. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa, two kids, and a dog.

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