Taking the Lead

By Edward Cone Print this article Print

Four up-and-coming IT professionals show that innovative leadership needn't come from the corporate suite.

Since the beginning of the decade, the ranks of IT management in the U.S. have swelled by 75 percent, to more than 400,000 men and women. Many of these managers are low- and mid-level administrators, a mostly faceless lot who carry out policies and processes established from above. A few, however, stand out from the throng. They don't wait to be told what to do; they exploit their know-how and savvy to create new value for their organizations. What follows are the stories of four IT professionals who demonstrate that innovative leadership can come from the middle of the organization, not just the top. Don't be surprised if each of these inventive IT pros climbs to the top rung of the corporate ladder.

Sandy Aronson, director of IT at the Harvard Medical School–Partners Healthcare Center for Genetics and Genomics, uses his expertise in science and technology to help doctors understand the nuances of the human genome.

Brennon Marcano, Prudential Financial software systems specialist, spearheads a program that prepares talented but disadvantaged youth for careers in IT.

Jun Ying, global IT director for Coca-Cola's Web platform, bridges the generation gap while helping the beverage giant get closer to its customers through new Web 2.0 technologies.

Max Mancini, eBay's senior director for platform and innovation, taps new ideas from business partners and employees across the firm that are reshaping the rules of e-commerce.

This article was originally published on 2007-04-06
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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