Premier 100 IT Leader profile: Larry Pickett

As CIO at Purdue Pharma LP, Larry Pickett likes to have his head in the cloud, and it's going to save his company a projected $2.5 million over the next five years.

He's leading an effort to implement a private cloud infrastructure at Purdue Pharma, a privately held pharmaceutical company in Stamford, Conn. Pickett says that by using a grid-based, virtualized architecture, he expects huge improvements in his department's ability to quickly deploy business applications. The setup will also result in a marked improvement in systems performance and a more highly consolidated infrastructure.

The cloud infrastructure will support a new customer portal, providing interactive tools and information that Pickett expects will strengthen Pharma's relationship with its healthcare provider customers.

When it comes to managing his staff, Pickett believes that employees need to regularly expand their job scope through new challenges. Staff development is a key focus, he says, and rotating employees in and out of positions helps them develop a variety of skills and encourages them to move into areas "outside of their comfort zones."

If he had a motto, Pickett says it would be simply, "Every employee counts."

Bill Rutledge, president of executive search firm W.A. Rutledge & Associates, met Pickett about 20 years ago when he was an IT executive at GlaxoSmithKline. Rutledge says his friend's greatest attribute is not only his straight-shooter leadership style, but also his ability to know what competitors are doing and stay ahead of them. "It's common knowledge how well regarded he is in the industry," says Rutledge.

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