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Chief Information Officer

Department: Information Technology
Status: Full Time
Location: Watsonville, CA


West Marine seeks to recruit a new Chief Information Officer (CIO) who will be part of the company’s senior staff and responsible for leading all technology for the company. The new CIO will report to the chief financial officer and lead a team of 80 professionals, mostly located in Watsonville, CA. This individual’s primary responsibility will be to further develop the IT strategy, drive innovation, and assess and build a stable information technology platform that allows for transformation and growth. At this point, a prioritization and governance model needs to be built, along with a stronger project and process management orientation to closely align with business priorities.

Information technology (IT) is a critical success factor in helping West Marine continue to serve its customers. Today, the technology platform is a mix of package and custom software, including Micros (POS), Hybris for eCommerce (recently replatformed from Websphere), with the primary data center being located at our offices in Watsonville, though the company is making increased use of Rackspace.. The new CIO will need to assess the viability of the current platform, as well as the underlying infrastructure, and develop a technology roadmap that supports growth, as well as the expansion into soft goods.

The new CIO also will be tasked with building an omni-channel strategy, which includes web, stores and mobile, while creating the technology platform in support of the business strategy. The overall technology platform will need to be integrated with inventory and order management systems, providing a single view of the customer, while utilizing underlying analytics to provide the leadership team greater insight to the business.

  • Serve as a member of the West Marine senior staff and provide expert counsel and guidance on technology and business issues to peer executives across a full range of business strategy and operations issues.
  • Develop West Marine’s short- and long-term IT strategy and portfolio roadmap to ensure that it incorporates the needs of internal and external customers within the required time frame by proactively gaining agreement on IT opportunities, requirements and priorities.
  • Participate in and contribute to the development of the overall business strategy, and provide thought leadership on the linkage of IT with the business.
  • Identify, evaluate and select new and emerging technologies that can be assimilated within the company to improve work processes and competitiveness, and position the company for rapid growth.
  • Develop a keen understanding of the business environment and technology requirements necessary to support the business while operating in a low-cost environment.
  • Hire, develop, appraise, reward, discipline and retain a highly qualified IT professional staff. Motivate and mentor IT management and staff. Lead by example through appropriate participation and involvement in, and oversight of, all IT activities. Plan and provide continuity and succession for all IT management and critical positions, including the Chief Information Officer.
  • Deliver the highest possible standards of performance in customer service across a broad business constituency.


  • A minimum of 15 years of experience in IT, including experience as the CIO or leading a key portion of the IT organization in a growth-oriented, multi-channel retail organization that is recognized for its best-in-class systems and an omni-channel environment. Retail industry experience is considered ideal, but our client also will consider outstanding executives with other relevant industry experience, such as consumer products.
  • The ideal candidate will have a strong business orientation and appropriate technical skills, and a demonstrated track record of creating a vision and gaining buy-in for it. Must develop and execute plans, and continue to reinvent and evolve systems in a cost-constrained environment.
  • Candidates should also offer a proven record of strategic planning, functional transformation, change creation and management, and budget and resource management.
  • Demonstrated people development skills. Capable of retaining critical senior leadership while supplementing with new skills from inside and outside of the organization.
  • A bachelor’s degree, ideally in business, information systems or a related field is required. An advanced degree would enhance the candidate’s qualifications, but is not a requirement


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