ADT taps former telecom exec as new CIO

In the newly created position, Kathleen McLean will use IT strategy to support business operations
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Monday, June 24, 2013

BOCA RATON, Fla.—The ADT Corp. recently created a new position—that of chief information officer—and has appointed a former telecom executive to the position.

Kathleen McLean, the company’s new senior vice president and CIO, started her new job June 3 and is in charge of developing and executing the company’s information technology strategy in support of its business operations, the company said. McLean—who most recently was EVP, chief revenue officer and CIO for FairPoint Communications and previously spent nearly 12 years in leadership positions at Verizon—reports directly to CEO Naren Gursahaney.

McLean told Security Systems News that “creating a CIO-level position and having it report to the CEO” is new for ADT, which is based here.

But she said exciting technological advancements in the industry now make the time ripe for such a move. “The confluence of new applications, home automation security [and] advances in telecommunications technology … brings the CIO role from the back office to the front office,” McLean said.

She said her role is “broader than what people traditionally think of as in-house IT support.” While she will be responsible for traditional IT functions such as data center operations, desktop support and enterprise resource planning (ERP), McLean also will work on “business-process optimization” and the use of information technology both for in-house functions and for service delivery to customers.

In addition, she said, she’ll oversee “electronic commerce and how our customers electronically interact with us.” And McLean will work in conjunction with the product development team as well, because software and telecommunications networks are a vital part “of the services we bring to market.”

Gursahaney said in a prepared statement: “An efficient and effective systems platform is critical to our ability to successfully deliver best-in-class service and customer experience. Kathleen’s addition to our team positions us extremely well to take our systems and technology capabilities to the next level.”

McLean has more than 30 years of business and strategic technology leadership experience.

She told SSN that about half of that time was in the telecommunications industry, which she said prepared for her new role because “there are a lot of parallels” between that industry and the security industry.

For example, she said, the industries both run “operating networks, whether they’re monitoring networks here in the security world or telecommunications networks.” Their business models are also similar, she said, with customer care centers and employees working in the field and people’s homes.

She said she was drawn to ADT because of the company’s “commitment to the customer first.”