CLIENT

The leading global provider of risk management and asset protection software servicing the automotive industry and the property insurance marketplace.

POSITION TITLE

Chief Technology Officer – U.S. Platforms Group (FILLED)

DESCRIPTION

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Chief Technology Officer is responsible for determining how technology is developed and deployed to implement key components of the firm’s domestic growth strategy. This executive must have a strong technology vision, along with the practical ability and experience to design, build and run complex systems and manage a large organization. The USCTO must have the ability to develop new strategies and move technologies forward rapidly, as well as ensure the talent and infrastructure are in place to support these actions. This technology leader must effectively balance the investment of time, resources and capital in new product research and innovation while satisfying the legacy and ongoing systems requirements of the firm’s major US business units.

Initially, the USCTO will establish the current and future direction of technology solutions with initial scope of responsibility for three primary lines of business (platforms): Claims, Valuation and Dealer, and Parts. The technology team supporting these business units consists of more than 400 full-time personnel.

The USCTO is the senior-most technology executive in the U.S. and subsequent to achieving the near-term business objectives will broaden scope across additional wholly-owned assets.

OBJECTIVES

  1. Bring Product Innovations to Market – rapidly prototype new solutions, leveraging the unique data assets across the firm’s U.S. and global platforms to deliver essential, high-ROI solutions to customers and constantly re-position the company at a competitive advantage.
  2. Modernize Engineering Team Skills and Infrastructure – Re-calibrate teams for rapid results and commercial delivery; complete the migration of legacy platforms, to reduce dependency on high-maintenance requirements and redeploy resources toward mobile platforms and agile product development.
  3. Increase Efficiency in Product Development & Delivery – Align teams across multiple units for the benefit of the customer first. Create and lead a Technology Governance Council to prioritize and drive decision-making on technology stack, build vs. buy, product lifecycle and related resource allocations.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES

Enable growth strategy – deliver innovative, commercially successful offerings in support of the growth strategy; provide reliable technical assessments of potential mergers and acquisitions; build a world-class product engineering culture in a technology-driven business

Demonstrate leadership – rally the engineering organization towards the long-term technical goals of the company; inspire outsiders to join the engineering organization and assist in the sourcing and identification of such talent; establish and maintain a culture that will enable the recruitment and retention of top technical talent

Advise COO – predict and stay ahead of any technical inflection points that might significantly affect the company; advise the COO (and CEO/CFO) on the long-term technical strategic direction of the company and where to, or not to, make large strategic technical investments; provide the COO with viable alternatives for the technical direction of the company and provide sufficient information for decision-making

Build out or leverage existing IT infrastructure – make the most of existing technology assets wherever and whenever possible; play an integral part in acquisition strategy and integration; implement organizational models and practices designed to search out and apply the best technologies available across the enterprise

Identify and exploit new technologies – monitor and seek out new technologies and assess their potential application to current and future products and services; evaluate and identify appropriate technology platforms for delivering current and future products and services; access and deploy advanced technologies within existing lines or toward the development of new businesses; oversee the selection, planning and execution of internal research, development and innovation initiatives

Integrate new technologies – direct all aspects of the planning, development and implementation of current and future enterprise systems, and manage their ongoing operation, maintenance and performance; develop an advanced and sustainable technology architecture capable of adapting to a rapid pace of change

Leverage technology across business units – encourage transformational technology thinking across all products and services; collaborate with business unit leaders to assess and recommend technologies that support enterprise-wide objectives while meeting the ongoing requirements of individual lines of business

Engineering and product development – manage day-to-day tactical delivery; work closely with line management to ensure that the overall development direction is aligned with the company’s strategic technical vision; influence the prioritization of resources across large strategic technical investments, and oversee daily execution against those plans and priorities

Develop long-term technical strategy – must effectively hold, develop, articulate, and continually evolve the company’s strategic technical direction; responsible for making sure the company continues to have the best technology offering in an evolving and competitive space

Drive sales – contribute technology expertise to business development and sales; translate technical details into real customer advantages that are superior to those of competing products; partner with the sales organization to effectively close customer accounts; support the sales organization by building strong relationships with peers at strategic customer accounts; participate in customer meetings; speak with authority about the market; listen to customer needs; quickly understand their issues; and give good advice on the company’s products to the customers

Reduce waste – develop technology product strategies, development methodologies and technical architectures that push toward best-in-class levels of spend; plan and manage annual operating and capital budgets for procurement, staffing and operations

Business development and partnerships – support the business development team in strategic partner engagements and maintain good relationships with peers at these organizations; provide technical due diligence of partner technologies and acquisition targets to make sure they properly fit with the company’s platforms, offerings, and culture; track technology startups in the same space, and assess their prospects; identify possible acquisition targets, expertise gaps, best practices, which companies have the best technical teams, etc.; represent the company at select technical associations to re-enforce the company’s presence and voice with partners; forecast impact of new partner technology on the long-term technological roadmap for the company; predict long-term competitive trends due to the constant shifts in the market

Enhance client relationships – provide clients and sales development personnel with sound guidance and leadership on business decisions involving technology; participate in professional networks, industry and academic groups where there are opportunities to build the company’s reputation as a technology leader and strengthen relationships with customers and external partners

Enhance communications and collaboration – work in close collaboration with senior corporate and business unit leadership to find opportunities and anticipate future technology requirements; implement organizational practices that create a positive mindset, reinforce important cultural values, attract top technology talent and keep it

Marketing – serve as public face of technology for the company; inspire/excite people internally around the long-term vision of the company; evangelize the company vision and technical direction through conferences, speaking engagements, and press/media/analyst activities; maintain good relationships with designated key industry analysts; speak with authority about market needs, be credible with customers, and articulate advanced concepts and their value to a variety of audiences; support the marketing team in building a large active community around the company’s products; social engagement marketing through Twitter, blog posts, articles/whitepapers, etc.

COMPETENCIES ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESS
Category Competency Experience
Agility Change Leadership Implements needed change while maintaining the cohesion of the organization and meeting short-term operational goals and remaining fully cognizant of long-term strategic goals.
  Global Outlook Is comfortable in a world of evaporating borders and lowered barriers to entry; continually exposes self to new ideas and environments. Experienced and comfortable with engaging, collaborating, managing, and/or leading globally distributed teams.
  Organizational Perspicacity The ability to have ready insight into the complexity of global organizations – whether internal or external (i.e. customers, suppliers, etc.) and able to use that insight to lead without formal authority or hierarchies; effectively manages in complex organizational environments.
Strategic Orientation Visionary/Transformational Leadership Creates long-term goals that inspire others; demonstrates innovative thinking; plots a path from the present to the future and understands and recognizes what must change to get there.
Business Acumen and Analytics Thoroughly understands business models, financials, and the competitive terrain; rigorously analyzes complex business challenges.
Strategic Planning Translates vision and analysis into a workable, long-term plan that achieves goals.
  Courage Makes well-considered decisions without regard to initial popularity, but rather personal conviction, searing insight, data integrity, and the ability to put the interests of the organization ahead of oneself.
Performance Orientation Execution and Operational Excellence  Gets things done; continually improves operational efficiency and effectiveness.
  Commercial Acumen Works backward from the end user and market environment and adds value accordingly.
  Delivering for Results Relentlessly focuses on results; keeps score and aligns efforts with business objectives.
People Leadership, Relationships and Influence  Communication Skills Communicates clearly and effectively; facilitates collaboration; seeks to learn from others. Well-versed listening skills and tends to listen more than s/he speaks.
  Negotiation and Influence Gets others to buy into a vision; quickly earns credibility; protects interests and grasps opportunities while creating win-win situations and maintaining a reputation of fairness.
Partnering and Relationship Building Works effectively with leaders of internal business units and external organizations; designs and manages multi-organizational initiatives; demonstrates empathy for others’ views.
People Leadership Attracts, develops, engages, and retains the best talent for the organization; inspires and motivates teams to achieve extraordinary results.

SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

  • Minimum of 10 years of progressive technology leadership experience in development and product evolution of enterprise software applications serving mission-critical operating requirements of Fortune 1000 to Fortune 50 clients.
  • Minimum of 5 years of recent experience, in software development or product marketing, with a market-leading and/or disruptive technology innovator. Alternately, in-house technologists from leading/innovative insurance carriers like Progressive, Allstate, etc.; or auto manufacturers with complex software platforms created for their supplier ecosystems like BMW, Audi, etc.
  • Experience leading an organization of at least 250 indirect reports and at least 5 direct reports.
  • Minimum of 10 years software development methodology experience with at least 5 recent years of experience with Agile methodology.
  • Bachelor’s degree in liberal arts major such as English, Social Sciences, Humanities, etc. or classical undergraduate education in an Engineering discipline.
  • Master’s degree in Software Engineering, MBA in Information Technology, Master of Information Technology, or other related degree.