Often, taking on a new CIO position means a charge to turn a company upside down, but that's not the case with former Aon CIO June Drewry's new assignment at Chubb & Son (Warren, N.J.). Having stepped in after the retirement of Chuck McCaig last October, Drewry says a primary focus of her job will be to develop the team below to prepare a new CIO to take over in the not-too-distant future.
"What Chubb is asking of me is further people development as well as whatever alignment needs to continue to happen as the company decides on different strategic paths," Drewry says. She notes that Chubb "has some wonderful in-house candidates for the position."
Among Drewry's other challenges will be to see through the ongoing transition of the management of Chubb's infrastructure to outsourcing provider ACS (Dallas). Drewry will also face what she describes as "hacking away out our legacy systems and refreshing them so that they're flexible and adept at meeting future needs." In large measure, she adds, Chubb's systems are ahead of the curve, but "we have to work hard to maintain that position because people catch up."
To a great extent it is the high quality of Chubb's technology organization that makes its CIO position so challenging, according to Drewry. "It's much more difficult because you have to be careful not to break something that was working," she comments. "This is probably the biggest challenge of my career."
Nevertheless, Drewry says she feels very comfortable playing what she calls a "transitional" role. "It's liberating knowing that you're not a kid banking your entire career, when you have to be careful about every step you take," she observes.
The Chubb CIO job also presents Drewry with a unique opportunity for satisfaction beyond those typical to top technology positions. "A lot of us can talk about things we've done in our careersimplemented this, turned that around, set up a new business model here or therebut I've always felt if you touch one life and change it positively there's a reason to be there," she muses. "I have a huge opportunity now to touch a lot of lives."
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio