07 Jan Technology executive Rick Davidson leaves Manpower
Milwaukee, Wis. – Rick Davidson, who has served as senior vice president of global information services for Manpower, Inc. for the past six years, has left the global staffing and recruitment firm to pursue entrepreneurial interests.
Davidson confirmed his departure, which was effective at the end of 2008, and said Denis Edwards would succeed him as the company’s top information officer. Edwards joined Manpower in July of 2007, and has been groomed to take over, Davidson said. “This is something that I’ve been planning and something I coordinated with my boss [Jeffrey A. Joerres], the CEO of the company,” he said.
Davidson, who turned 50 last year, said he has been looking for a new career direction, and noted that his tenure at Manpower has lasted twice as long as the average CIO tenure. Prior to joining Manpower, he had worked at the Feld Group as acting global CIO for Manpower as part of a consulting agreement.
The Arizona State graduate also served as senior vice president and chief information officer at Case New Holland Global, formed with the merger of Case Corp. and New Holland N.V., and as vice president of global information services for Haworth, Inc., the global furniture manaufacturer.
Davidson, who once joked about his IT authority being “galactic,” joined Manpower in 2003, just as the organization made the overhaul of IT operations one of its five key strategic initiatives. The consolidation and standardization of IT systems ended a period in which the company had 64 autonomous IT operations around the world, with each one pursuing its own agenda, according to a 2006 article in Silicon.com.
While the project produced efficiencies for the company, Davidson cited information technology’s role in delivering business value as his primary accomplishment. Before his departure, Manpower also was working to develop social computing tools that are scheduled to be launched early this year.
Manpower has 400,000 customers and 1,200 IT workers among its 5,000 employees worldwide, and more than 4,000 offices around the world. It reports $20.5 billion in annual sales.
Davidson, who said he would talk about his entrepreneurial plans at a later date, leaves the Milwaukee-based Manpower on good terms. During his tenure, he visited many of the 72 countries that Manpower has operations in, and has said he was blessed to work for a company that is not afraid to spend money on technology. Manpower’s annual IT budget is well over $200 million.
“Manpower is a really strong company,” he said. “I enjoyed the time I spent there.”
Edwards will serve as global chief information officer after serving as vice president of global solutions and delivery at Manpower. His previous stops have included stints as global vice president of enterprise architecture at Cadbury Schweppes, vice president and chief technology officer at the software firm DSM, and vice president of information technology strategy and chief architect for Marriott International.
His specialities include IT strategy, enterprise architecture, and software development. He has bachelor of science degrees in computer information systems from Nova Southeastern University, and in computer science from Southeastern University, and an MS IT certificate from the University of Maryland.