Human Capital Group Taps CIO for Dean Foods

July 14, 2017 – The Human Capital Group has recruited David Bernard as senior vice president and chief information officer for Dean Foods. Steve Hayes, founder and senior partner, led the assignment.

Mr. Bernard joins Dean Foods from PepsiCo, where he most recently served as a member of their global executive IT leadership team and led the global research and development and sustainability IT business engagement team. In this role, he developed comprehensive strategies to drive business value, new product development, food quality and safety, lab technology, knowledge management and trade promotion management tools.

Ideal Fit

“David is a business person first, and an IT leader second,” said Mr. Hayes, of the Brentwood, TN-based recruitment and leadership consulting firm. “He has deep and proven experience supporting the sustainable growth of businesses through technology-based solutions.”

Ralph Scozzafava, chief executive officer at Dean Foods, described Mr. Bernard as a well-respected and proven leader. “David’s extensive global and domestic CIO and IT leadership experience in a publicly traded company, along with his significant background in emerging technologies and business innovation, make him an ideal fit for Dean Foods as we continue to focus on our strategic plan and building our capabilities,” he said.

Headquartered in Dallas, Dean Foods is a food and beverage company and the largest processor and direct-to-store distributor of fresh fluid milk and other dairy and dairy case products in the U.S.

Founded in 2000, the Human Capital Group also has offices in GA and SC, and affiliate offices in 33 countries worldwide.

CIO Recruiting

The chief information officer is considered among the most strategic roles in any organization. Executive search consultants who specialize in recruiting for the position say that the best CIOs can dramatically differentiate a company’s offering in the market, while a poorly performing one can be an organization’s single point of failure. These same recruiters, however, report that headhunting within the function remains tremendously challenging. A majority say that it is can be tough to find skilled, C-suite IT professionals.

All the same, CIO hiring and recruiting information technology teams are both on the riseNearly a quarter (22 percent) of U.S. CIOs plan to expand their IT teams, according to the Robert Half Technology “IT Hiring Forecast Trend Report.” It represents a three point rise from the beginning of last year and an eight percentage point jump from one year ago.

“Organizations are getting the go-ahead on more technology projects, prompting them to make strategic hires,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “However, technology leaders continue to struggle to find highly skilled talent in a market with low unemployment. They seek IT professionals with specialized skills, especially in the areas of cloud computing, data analytics, mobile strategies and cybersecurity.”

The CIO is enjoying unprecedented influence, and the role is being stretched in many directions, said Albert Ellis, Harvey Nash Group CEO. “From grappling with an increasing cyber security threat, to working with the board on innovation and digital transformation, CIOs in 2016 are dealing with a more varied range of challenges than ever before, many of which are far, far away from traditional IT,” said Mr. Ellis. “Adaptability, influencing skills and an ability to keep a clear head in uncertain times are becoming increasingly important business skills for today’s CIO.”

In recent months, a number of organizations have turned to executive search firms to help them find top flights CIOs. Here are a few of the top assignments tracked by Hunt Scanlon Media:

West Virginia University appointed Barbara Dawson as associate provost for information technology and CIO. The firm enlisted Next Generation Executive Search to fill this top IT role. Mary Beth Baker and Phil Goldstein, managing partners at Next Generation, led the assignment.

TillmanCarlson recruited Scott Cousins as CIO of Roadrunner Transportation Systems. Founder Rob Tillman and managing director Kelly Carlson led the assignment. Mr. Cousins is in charge of all information technology solutions and services at Roadrunner. Previously, he was CIO of KeHE Distributors.

Next Generation Executive Search has been retained by West Virginia University to lead its search for a CIO and associate provost for information technology. Managing partners Mary Beth Baker and Phil Goldstein are leading the assignment. The school said it is seeking an inspiring leader for the position who will provide a strong vision for its information technology services.

Quick Leonard Kieffer recruited Matthew Peddie as CIO of Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in Suffolk County, NY. Founder and CEO Roger Quick led the search. Mr. Peddie is a customer-facing, business-savvy, strategic-minded executive that brings to the position experience leading technology operations in a large, integrated health system.

DES Recruitment placed Ida Wainschel Cools as CIO of Eurasia Group. She becomes the first woman to hold the position as the organization continues to innovate and expand service offerings around geopolitical risk research and consulting. John Hodge, DES managing partner, led the assignment.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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