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Premier 100 IT Leader profile: Joseph Eckroth

Focusing on both big ideas and small accomplishments

February 25, 2013 06:00 AM ET

Computerworld - For Joseph Eckroth, success comes from thinking big while paying close attention to the little things.

Joseph Eckroth

As CIO at Hertz, Eckroth has successfully championed Express Rent, an innovative idea for self-service kiosks that had previously languished, says CTO Rob Moore. The technology combines self-service screens with a video link to a live call center representative who can walk customers through a 12-screen rental process. The kiosks became a big hit, enabling the company to provide extra virtual staff during busy times at airports and at other locations.

"Part of Joe's strength is the ability to communicate and persuade at all levels of the business. He gave us the critical mass to move forward," Moore says.

But Eckroth tries to remember that there's more to running a successful business than taking on big projects. He writes personal notes to staffers for even small accomplishments while making sure that individual users' concerns about PCs and applications don't get lost in the shuffle. "Don't minimize the small things, and never underestimate that personal frustration," he says.

Moore describes Eckroth as a "promoter of talent" who gives his staff visibility with the executives back at the company's Park Ridge, N.J., headquarters. "I'd been doing good work, but no one ever saw that until Joe came in and promoted it," he says. Eckroth also founded an innovation council to showcase IT team ideas, and later expanded it to include executives from other parts of the organization. "We've created a culture where IT is part of the mainstream," setting Hertz on course for a technology-centric future, Eckroth says.

Next: Return to the full list of 2013 honorees

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