Oberland Steps Up
When Greg Oberland takes the reins of Northwestern Mutual's (Milwaukee; $124 billion in assets) IT organization on Feb. 1, 2006, the senior vice president of information systems and CIO, who has a legal background, will continue the work of his predecessors - Walt Wojcik, originally an actuary, and Barbara Piehler, who has a degree in accounting - to transition IT away from its utility-model roots.
Oberland started his career at Northwestern Mutual 23 years ago as an attorney, but during the past decade or so he has "rubbed shoulders quite a bit with people on the technology side," he says. His corporate resume includes running a claims operation, a disability income property line, the company's life insurance underwriting function and, most recently, all of the carrier's insurance operations.
As CIO, Oberland says he'll focus on enterprise platforms and business process reengineering. "I see myself as being the owner of the corporate business process map," he says. "That's where we'll see synergies, leverage what we've already built and avoid building redundant technology."
Oberland also sees a need to focus on leadership development to support IT's further evolution. "I hope that the CIO who follows me will be someone who blends a good technology background with a solid business outlook," he says.
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