As part of our CIO Sessions series, I interviewed Gideon Sasson, CIO at the financial services giant Charles Schwab. He has been with Schwab for 11 years, mostly in technology management, but he also did a three-year stint as president of Schwab’s Active Trader retail business.
Sasson talks openly about mistakes the company made during the dot-com bust, when he took on the Active Trader business, and the challenges in taking over as CIO at time when the company was going through major changes. He also discusses the five strategic objectives--productivity, simplification, business partner satisfaction, availability, employee engagement and development--for the IT organization and how it serves the business units:
Fundamentally I believe that the IT organization is a support organization that is subordinated to the business, now I don’t mean that we as a people are subordinate to the people who are running the business, but great companies serve clients and shareholders, and they know how to serve them together. They never compromise one to the other. And the place in which it happens is with the businesses, they create the client experience, they bring in the business, they create the revenue and the profit. We are here to work with them to serve the clients, and I think understand that hierarchy and creating an agenda that is focused on the business agenda not the IT agenda, is critical.
Check out other CIO Sessions interviews: