You are an experienced and well-respected member of the Chevron human resources organization and are frequently asked for advice on personnel matters. So you are not surprised when you receive a call from a member of the IT organization staff asking your opinion on two candidates to fill an open position as IT decision maker in the Upstream business unit.
An IT decision maker fills a key role-working with the Upstream business sponsor to tailor an IT strategic plan for the business unit and helping to identify and evaluate which potential projects should be staffed and resourced. The IT decision maker must have a good understanding of how Chevron operates and an appreciation for how IT can move the organization ahead. You are familiar with both candidates-Kendall Adair and Bud Fox from working with each of them on a couple of brief special projects.
Kendall spent her first 10 years working on oil crews in her native Australia, the Congo, Kazakhstan, and Argentina. It was during this time that she earned an online bachelor of science in geology from the University of Florida. When Chevron began to pilot its global mission control centers five years ago, Kendall was recruited to help define the business requirements and evaluate various prototypes. Once the first mission control center was complete, she was selected to be the operations manager. Kendall’s leadership and performance have been outstanding, although she is well known for her frequent outbursts in meetings as she argues strongly for her point of view.
Bud Fox has risen quickly through the ranks during his 10 years at Chevron. His education includes undergraduate degrees in both computer science and geological and environmental sciences from Stanford (he graduated with honors) and an MBA from Harvard. Bud has led a number of IT projects in the areas of leak detection using modeling technology and the use of high-powered computers and analytics to evaluate seismic data. He is well regarded for his sound and deliberate decision making.
Ken Wilson, the business sponsor for the Upstream business unit for the past three years, is the person with whom the new IT decision maker will work most closely. His background is strictly finance, with no real field experience. However, he is a genius at working with the right people to determine the economic feasibility of various projects. He has an easy going management style and people find it easy to collaborate with him.
Which candidate would you recommend and why?