Friday, April 19, 2024

Executive Profile:Thor Wallace

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Thor Wallace

Thor Wallace – CIO, Cybex International Inc., Medway, Mass.

Title: CIO

Company: Cybex International, Inc.

Location: Medway, Mass.

Industry: Fitness equipment manufacturer

Educational background:

  • B.S., Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • M.A., Accounting, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland

    Years in IT: 16 years


  • 1999 – present, VP-CIO, Cybex International, Inc.
  • 1993 – 1999, VP of information systems, Kronos Inc., Waltham, Mass.
  • 1983 – 1993, senior manager, Ernst & Young, Management Consulting, Boston and San Jose, Calif.

    Career advice: As an IT professional, it’s vital to lead your organization by taking advantage of today’s technology. Today it’s the Internet. Tomorrow, who knows what it will be? Our job is to understand and deploy these technologies to improve the organization.

    Best career advice ever received: One of my favorite professors in college told me that when implementing systems, I must consider the risks of that change. It’s useful to consider two factors in deciding whether or not to make a change: the maturity of the system and the scale of the system. If a product is very new, for instance, but the scale of the system is limited, the decision may be to implement despite the risks of the system not performing since the impact is limited. However, if a product is new and the scale of the system is significant, the decision would be not to implement. His advice was, “When implementing systems: Never be the first, never be the biggest.”

    Career challenge: Implementing e-commerce — Cybex needed to develop an e-commerce strategy that reflected its current business model while providing new capabilities that could distinguish it from the competition.

    Solution: We implemented a business-to-business site that provides customers with the ability to track orders, order equipment and spare parts, and troubleshoot technical problems 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Specifically, Cybex selected Peoplesoft, Inc.’s eStore product since it provides seamless integration with our Peoplesoft ERP system, exposing the information contained in our business backbone to our customers with the convenience of the Internet.

    Last two books read: The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass; and Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance by Larry Downes and Chunka Mui

    Family: Wife Melissa

    Last vacation: Family vacation to Spain

    Hobbies: Tennis, skiing and scuba diving

    Favorite quote, saying or philosophy: “…like all things in nature that spring up and grow quickly, states that come hastily into being cannot have proper roots and branches; so the first adverse weather destroys them, unless, as I have said, those who so suddenly become princes have the rare ability to learn quickly how to preserve what fortune has dropped in their laps and begin to lay those foundations which others have laid before becoming princes.” -from The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli

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