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CIO career trajectory: Leaving chemistry for the ‘information business’

CIO career trajectory: Leaving chemistry for the ‘information business’

How Steve Rubinow of Thomson Reuters started as a university professor with a PhD in chemistry, and moved to a succession of business technology executive roles in food manufacturing, car rental and finance.

He recalls his graduate adviser eating a peanut butter sandwich every day for lunch. When he asked why, the latter replied because it was what he wanted to do.

“That started me thinking about other things I can do,” says Rubinow. Since then, every time he feels his job has reached a “plateau”, he seeks another challenge.

“If I get too comfortable, it means I am not learning,” he explains. “Even if I could do this for the next 10 years, I need to go to the next level.”

If I get too comfortable, it means I am not learning.

Steve Rubinow, Thomson Reuters

As to working across industries, Rubinow says the key is understanding the general principles that apply in each industry. “I will study and understand as much as I can appreciate in a short time.

"From the first moment I walk in, I can certainly say I am knowledgeable, I can understand technology and how it might be applied in this particular situation.”

Rubinow also has the advantage of providing “additional fresh perspective” to the executive team. “I am able to often present new ideas to what they are used to hearing.”

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Tags risk managementchange managementCareer managementcareertransformationSteve RubinowCIO-plus

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