JP Morgan CIO Austin Adams to retire

Austin Adams, who gained attention in 2004 for canceling a mammoth outsourcing contract with IBM, is retiring as CIO of New York City-based JP Morgan Chase Adams will step down at the beginning of October.

For JP Morgan, the third-largest bank in America in terms of revenue behind Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America, the 63-year-old Adams oversees a US$7 billion annual technology budget and 19,000 IT staffers world-wide, though much of that is controlled by JP Morgan's lines of business.

He also sat on the 15-member operating committee at JP Morgan, which had US$1.01 trillion in assets at the end of 2005 according to the Federal Reserve.

His replacement is expected to be named before Oct. 1, said JP Morgan spokesman Tom Kelly.

Adams, whose departure was first announced internally in mid-July in a memo from CEO Jamie Dimon, is wrapping up a final technology integration project related to the June 2004 merger of JP Morgan and Chicago-based Bank One.

Adams, who joined JP Morgan from Bank One where he had also been CIO, is best known for terminating a seven-year, US$5 billion outsourcing contract with IBM in September 2004 that had been signed by his predecessor. The contract was considered the single largest IT outsourcing deal ever and was hailed at the time of its signing as a harbinger of future big deals.

But Adams was not impressed. "We believe managing our own technology infrastructure is best for the long-term growth and success of our company, as well as our shareholders," Adams said at the time.

Adams' move to bring JP Morgan's technology back in-house mirrors an earlier move he made at Bank One, where he terminated a large outsourcing deal with IBM and AT&T.

A 34-year IT veteran, Adams also served as CIO at First Union before its merger with Wachovia Bank.

Adams plans to return to his home in North Carolina and spend more time with his family, Kelly said.

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