- The New York Times has hired its first female CIO, Cindy Taibi, according to blog post by CTO Nick Rockwell. A 37-year veteran of the media company, Taibi has worked as a developer, regional media group overseer, systems architect and international infrastructure leader and also co-led the Times' Women in Technology Group. As CIO and senior VP, she will assume responsibility for corporate infrastructure, enterprise productivity tools and critical applications and systems, according to Rockwell.
- This is the first time in four years the company will have both a CIO and CTO. The Times is in the final leg of an 18-month cloud migration and serverless computing project, and most applications and services have now moved from its data centers to Amazon Web Services or Google cloud platforms, reports The Wall Street Journal.
- The move to serverless and cloud computing was important for the company given the marriage of content and technology and the need for quick application deployments, Rockwell told the Journal. The Times will maintain two small data centers for workloads that couldn't move to the cloud.
Even in 2018, more often than not the appointment of a female CIO is the first for an organization. In September, only 83 CIOs from Fortune 500 companies were women, an improvement on 75 the year before, according to Boardroom Insiders. A 10% year-over-year improvement in leadership gender parity is lackluster, but the promotion of every new female CIO like Taibi puts a crack in the glass ceiling.
Taibi's promotion comes at an important stage in the Times' digital transformation and the evolution of the CIO position. The Times, like many other media and entertainment companies, has to cater to consumers on a variety of platforms, accommodating the transition from print to mobile.
But to ensure the delivery and continuity of products across digital platforms, a business needs to have strong infrastructure in place.
For many media companies, this means moving from a physical footprint with data centers to a digital one in the cloud, just like the Times. And with more digital endpoints to gather information about readers, analytics and AI functions in the cloud are transforming businesses' customer relationships.
For CIOs, this means a shift in responsibilities from buying Office, Outlook and hardware and changing ERP systems every few years, according to Rockwell. The CIO plays a pivotal role impacting how the entire company works and whether it sinks or swims in digital transformation.