Off the Cuff With Winterthur US Holdings' CIO

Kathleen Rowe

TITLE: Senior vice president and CIO

COMPANY: Winterthur US Holdings Inc., Sun Prairie, Wis.

ANNUAL REVENUE: $1.5 billion in premiums

INDUSTRY SECTOR: Insurance

TIME IN JOB: 2.5 years

BEST ADVICE EVER RECEIVED: One doesn't always have to be right. Pick your battles.

FROM WHOM: The CIO at a credit information company.

BEST CIO DECISION EVER MADE: Hiring people who are smarter than I am to fill in my gaps.

BEST CAREER MOVE: I went to a large utility company that allowed me to work as a general manager rather than an IT person.

WORST JOB EVER HAD: Teaching piano to little kids. They didn't want to be there, but their mothers made them come.

IF YOU WEREN'T A CIO, YOU WOULD BE: A lawyer. I'm fascinated by the law, how it works, how it can be used and abused.

FAVORITE GUILTY PLEASURE:Playing FreeCell on my home PC.

BIGGEST CAREER INFLUENCE : My boss when I worked for Dominick's grocery stores. He was excellent at coaching and mentoring me. We operated as colleagues -- not as boss to staff. And yet I never forgot he was my boss.

LAST BUSINESS BOOK YOU READ: Competing in the Information Age, by Jerry Luftman

FAVORITE PASTIME: Outside of work? It's a toss-up between gardening and cooking.

BEST PERSONALITY TRAIT: Extremely inquisitive and curious.

This was first published in June 2005

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