Mr. Turrell was most recently director of the software division at Datacom, a strategic leadership role he held over a decade, contributing significantly to growth and expansion. Joining the IT services firm in 2002, he was initially appointed to lead the infrastructure division, with particular emphasis on building Datacom’s relationship with the government.
Prior to that, Mr. Turrell was partner and managing consultant at the PA Consulting Group for six years, working across London, Sydney and Auckland/Wellington. During this period, he led a series of high-impact IT transformation projects for clients including the London Futures Exchange and ANZ Bank.
“With an earlier career in IT and management consulting, Alastair’s commercial acumen, exceptional people skills and knowledge of the public sector position him well for success in this new role,” said the search firm.
Led by Grant Pryde and Guy Brew, Ichor draws on over 40 years of market insight and judgement, relationships and networks. Its principal focus is on chief executive, senior leadership / C-level, strategic specialist and governance search engagements.
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 in the market, while a poorly performing one can be an organization’s weakest link. Still, headhunting within the function remains challenging, and skilled C-suite IT professionals are among the toughest to find.
It only makes sense that CIO hiring and recruiting information technology teams are on the rise. Nearly 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.”
In recent months, a number of organizations have turned to executive search firms to help them find top flight CIOs. Here are a few of the top assignments tracked by Hunt Scanlon Media:
Major, Lindsey & Africa placed Matt Tader as CIO at AmLaw 200 firm Ice Miller. The assignment was led by partner Amanda K. Brady along with managing director Dustin Laws. “Matt’s strong record of developing and executing turnarounds involving significant change with processes, people and technology, ideally position him to drive process efficiencies […]” said Ms. Brady.
Howard Fischer Associates (HFA) has placed Nassar Nizami as chief information officer of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. Most recently, Mr. Nizami was vice president for information technology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Prior to that, he served in several senior IT roles at Yale New Haven Health System.
McDermott & Bull placed Eric Wilson as CIO with SAFE Credit Union, one of the largest credit unions in California. The search was led by Brandon Biegenzahn, president of the firm and co-chair of its financial institutions practice, along with associate principal consultant Michelle Davis and senior recruiting associate Shree Thakarar.
The Human Capital Group recruited David Bernard as senior vice president and CIO 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.
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.
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