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InformationWeek's IT Chief Of The Year: Bank Of America's Cathy Bessant

Bessant leads BofA's 100,000-person technology and operations group as the bank scraps back from financial and regulatory disaster. Her formula: steady, reliable performance over glitz.

At the bottom of the job market circa 2002, IT pros who had left Wall Street to chase dot-com riches adopted a new rallying cry: "B2B," short in this case for "back to banking." The implication? Even if financial services wasn't the hottest industry for ambitious technologists, it sure was stable.

Dial ahead a dozen years, and "back to banking" is taking on a slightly different meaning. What's back following the industry's own inglorious excesses, illegal practices, and subsequent collapse is a return to IT basics: standardized architectures and streamlined applications; a commitment to regulatory compliance and information security; and more calculated, customer-focused innovation. That approach may be short on the wow factor, but it sure makes business sense in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

The editors at InformationWeek got to thinking about the financial sectors when we started evaluating candidates for our 2014 Chief of the Year, the CIO or other IT executive who we think embodies what's good and right at the highest levels of the profession. In past years, we tended to pick chiefs at the forefront of technology innovation and business transformation -- Amazon.com CTO Werner Vogels, for instance, or then-Starbucks CIO and digital business leader Stephen Gillett. But what about someone who oversees the unglamorous heavy lifting at a top bank or investment company?

[Click here to read the full story on InformationWeek]

Rob Preston currently serves as VP and editor in chief of InformationWeek, where he oversees the editorial content and direction of its various website, digital magazine, Webcast, live and virtual event, and other products. Rob has 25 years of experience in high-tech ... View Full Bio

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