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CIO Profiles: Frank A. Morelli Of Movado

Don’t wait to make tough people decisions, this CIO says.

Senior VP of Global Business Processes & CIO, Movado Group

Career Track

How long at Movado Group: About six and a half years at this watchmaker.

Career accomplishment I’m most proud of: I’m honored to have been a part of a number of global transformational changes in business processes and integrated systems at Movado and Colgate-Palmolive. Bringing in large-scale initiatives within budget — and with real subsequent, positive change — is truly rewarding.

Decision I wish I could do over: The decisions I’d most like to do over are those in which I didn’t rely on prior lessons learned and instead allowed fear or pride to drive me to seek a compromise to keep things moving. Almost every one of those experiences had a common denominator: people. The decisions centered on either waiting too long to let someone go or giving the benefit of the doubt to someone when experience told me I shouldn’t.

On The Job

Top initiatives:

  • Replacing our outlet stores’ systems. This initiative involves both in-store systems as well as a cloud-based offering that we’re tightly integrating to our global ERP system.
  • Expanding our e-commerce presence. This initiative involves adding brands and geography to our e-commerce platforms as well as expanding consumer capabilities with online repair and service experiences.

Vision

How I give my team room to innovate: We have defined project work and support activities that are aligned with corporate priorities, but we allow team members the opportunity to propose initiatives — be they experiments or innovations — as long as they can make a case for how they align with the overall corporate vision.

One thing I’m looking to do better: We’re a small global group supporting a fairly sizable IT footprint, so the one thing we want to do better is cross-train people. This isn’t always easy because of some deep skill requirements. That said, we have a few people assigned to initiatives that take them beyond their areas of expertise to help them learn and grow.

What I need from tech vendors: First, they need to listen to customer requirements. Beyond that, they need to come forward with more clarity and honesty instead of marketing hype.

Most overrated IT movement: Cloud computing is overrated right now, but I do believe it will evolve and replace a significant share of on-site solutions. The analogy I like to use goes back to a time in history when manufacturers needed to generate their own power. Once the infrastructure was in place, there were standards — consistency in delivery, security and affordability — and people migrated to utilities. It was clearly the better choice.

Personal

Leisure activities: Family gatherings and showing my Chevrolet Corvettes, a 1966 C2 Convertible and 1999 C5 Coupe

Favorite musicians: Eric Clapton and Cream

Favorite app: Cor.kz, a wine app

First job: Clerk in a supermarket

Person I’d most like to have lunch with: Jesus Christ

If I weren’t a CIO, I’d be … a dentist, an electrician, an auto mechanic or an aging member of a touring rock band

Ranked No. 13 in the 2012 InformationWeek 500

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