Here's a development worth keeping an eye on: A growing number of regional banks have reshuffled jobs to give responsibility for both retail banking and technology to the same executive.
The list, while still short, includes Barnett Banks Inc. (Jon Palmer); First Tennessee National Corp. (John C. Kelly Jr.); and Pennsylvania's S&T Bancorp (Edward C. Hauck). Some other banks have recently made similar moves. For example, Linda K. Fabel, former head of technology at Magna Group, last year was named the St. Louis bank's top retail banking executive. And First Interstate's Dan Eitingon heads a new technology banking group that is responsible for information systems, marketing, and development of alternative delivery channels. (See story on page 12A.)
"I do think it's an interesting phenomenon," said Diogo Teixeira, president of the Tower Group, a consulting firm in Wellesley, Mass. "It sort of gets to the question of what is a (chief information officer)."
Mr. Teixeira said that users in business units are gaining more control over key technology decisions than the information systems area. It follows, then, that the role of a central chief information officer is no longer as clearly defined. Therefore, he said, it's natural that banks would establish a structure where the data processing area would report to an executive with broader responsibilities.