What Microsoft needs from its next CIO

scottstuart.jpgStuart Scott should have been a role model for IT professionals. Instead he may have just taken the industry’s highest-profile fall from grace.

Microsoft will probably never divulge the reasons it fired Scott (right), its CIO since late 2005, unless he bothers to sue them for wrongful dismissal. Given that he was already on a leave of absence while an investigation was being conducted, that doesn’t seem very likely. The vague allusions to violating corporate policies is meaningless, and hopefully represents an isolated case at Microsoft. Scott’s sudden departure, however, puts a lot of pressure on the company to find a successor whose achievements will eclipse the notoriety it gained by dismissing him.

Of course, being in charge of technology leadership at the world’s largest software firm would be daunting enough, but Microsoft has spent the last several years trying to pitch corporate enterprises on the idea of transforming themselves into a “people-ready business.” It’s a vision fleshed out on the company Web site with such clich

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