February 2, 2017 – Executive search firm TillmanCarlson has recruited Scott Cousins as chief information officer 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. He is responsible for digital transformation, working with senior leadership to deliver the digital capabilities required to better serve customers and employees across all touch points, including web and mobile.
“As RoadRunner grew, the company acquired a host of logistics and transportation management companies, therefore, the company needed a CIO who could develop an overall IT strategy that was aligned with the overall business growth,” said Ms. Carlson. In addition, she said, the CIO needed to lead the integration efforts and the adoption of a standard ERP to improve the transparency and efficiency of business performance.
“Lastly, the CIO needed to assess how best to run the business of IT, assessing the infrastructure, security and mobility environments and to leverage cloud and SaaS based solutions,” Ms. Carlson added.
Previously, Mr. Cousins was CIO of KeHE Distributors. During his tenure, he led a complete technology overhaul, including technology infrastructure, ERP/WMS implementation, web/mobile platforms and the integration of several large acquisitions. Mr. Cousins also served as CIO of NCH Marketing Services, senior vice president of IT at IndyMac Bank, and was an associate partner at Accenture.
“Scott had a proven track record as a sitting CIO, leading IT over many years at KeHe,” said Mr. Tillman. “His tenure included the integration of several companies that were acquired during his tenure. In addition, he drove the standardization of disparate platforms. More recently, he drove the migration of KeHe to the cloud and the adoption of digital and mobile applications.”
Roadrunner Transportation Systems is an asset-light transportation and supply chain solutions provider offering a full suite of services, including less-than-truckload, truckload, temperature-controlled, intermodal, expedited, and domestic and international air.
TillmanCarlson is an executive search and coaching firm led by its founders. Since launching the firm in 2002, Mr. Tillman and Ms. Carlson have conducted over 350 searches and coached hundreds of leaders. The firm is based in Chicago and specializes in recruiting and coaching CEOs, CFOs, and CIOs.
Ms. Carlson recently sat down and discussed the nuances of recruiting chief information officers with Hunt Scanlon Media editors. An excerpt of her comments follows.
Kelly, when seeking CIOs, where do you find the best talent?
As we conduct CIO searches, we actively track top talents that are in well regarded companies where a leader will have gained good divisional CIO leadership. Given our track record working with private equity and middle market companies, we also track experienced CIOs who have led significant transformations that have led to successful exits and value creation.
What is the best type of training for making top CIOs?
Top CIOs have a diversity of foundational experiences that prepare them for the role leading technology.
“In today’s environments, the best CIOs are business partners who can communicate the role of information technology investments with a direct correlation to the company’s business objectives.”
Those CIOs who have had the opportunity to lead development and infrastructure teams as well as had key rotations in corporate and divisional / regional / and business partner IT roles are extremely well suited to step into the CIO chair.
What traits and characteristics make up ideal CIOs?
In today’s environments, the best CIOs are business partners who can communicate the role of information technology investments with a direct correlation to the company’s business objectives. With the pace of change in technology, today’s CIOs need to have excellent communication skills, strong financial acumen and an ability to bridge the gap between the business and technology teams. Of course, it goes without saying that the CIO must ensure the company’s environments and data are secure and safe from the ongoing threats that face businesses today.
What are some other CIO searches your firm has completed?
We have completed several CIO searches recently. These include the CIO of Wencor (Warburg Pincus), the vice president IT for ExteNet, the CIO of Sears Hometown, and the chief data officer / CISO and VP enterprise architectures searches for Hub International.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media