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Succession Planning Helped New CIO Feel Right at Home

Let's extend a hearty welcome to Shawn Wilde, former director of worldwide operations at Trimble Navigation Ltd., who's now CIO. Wilde, 49, found himself well prepared for the job of IT chief at the $669 million maker of navigation systems and software, because he essentially operated as a mini-CIO before. That's critical for succession planning, he believes. "As director you should be holding your staff accountable for budgets, scheduling and staff development. Anything that is happening at the CIO level, the director should be mirroring," he says.

Still, he finds himself using different skills when broaching issues he's encountered before. For example, with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), as CIO it's about building relationships with external auditors, whereas before it was about how to execute SOX measures according to IT's strategic plan. In any case, the role suits Wilde well. Asked how he's enjoying his new job, Wilde says: "It's not quite being a kid in a candy store, but it's pretty close."

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