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Cheryl Smith

Cheryl Smith is an information technology expert and experienced business leader.

She has senior executive experience as a CIO in the airline, energy, health care, telecommunications, manufacturing, and consulting industries, and with federal agencies.  She specializes in providing Interim IT leadership and crisis management support to companies that want to take their IT (people, processes, technologies) to strategic competitive levels, or for companies facing a major “one-time” IT-related events, such as a large corporate acquisition or divesture.  She has been responsible for the successful turnaround and completion of critical IT projects for organizations around the world.  Most recently she was the EVP and Interim CIO of WestJet Airlines, the 2nd largest Canadian airline, responsible for transforming the company’s IT applications, operations, and infrastructure into one of the most technologically advanced in the airline industry.  She also was the Interim CIO for Cendant, responsible for the design of the breakup of that corporation’s IT capabilities to support 4 separate publicly traded companies at the time of divesture. She has held positions as the global CIO at McKesson Corp., the CIO for KeySpan Energy which acquired 4 major energy companies during her tenure, and the VP for Strategic Systems at Verizon. She was the CEO of a technology startup,, which offered Broadband over Power Line (BPL) networks for low cost, high speed broadband for commercial sale in rural areas, and to large electric companies for SmartGrid applications. Ms. Smith’s area of expertise is successfully applying technology to critical business problems and or ensuring that they provide the ROI as committed. She is a key industry “go to” person when an organization is faced with a particularly challenging IT crisis or need—major corporate mergers and acquisitions (4 companies in 4 years at KeySpan) or divestures ($20B corporate split at Cendant); massive organic corporate growth ($40B in 4 years at McKesson); strategic system ‘saves’ (system for 1.3M employees at the NHS in the UK, major customer billing system at Verizon). She is the co-founder of the CIO Institute, a certificate program for senior IT leaders that is taught at 10 major US universities and business schools, and is currently working on a leadership program for frontline IT leaders. She holds both bachelor and master degrees from the Pennsylvania State University.