Editorial Viewpoint: The old man and the CIO

If you’re an avid reader of CIO Canada – and who isn’t – you probably noticed a change to the very page you’re reading, which took place last fall. For as long as CIO Canada had existed, an erudite chap name of John Pickett (a.k.a. J.P.) had used this space to opine on all things IT. But in September, he signed off on his column-writing duties to attend to myriad other pressing matters at the mother ship, IT World Canada.

It’s nice when good things happen to good people, and I’m happy to report that something very good has happened to John. Last month he received the Harvey Southam Award for lifetime achievement, the highest honour given by the Canadian Business Press. It’s a fitting tribute to a guy who’s been one of the true pioneers of Canadian IT publishing for over 20 years.

Many of you already know John from his frequent appearances at IT industry events, including our own “Frankly Speaking…” breakfasts, which he hosts with equal measures of charm, wit and intelligence. Or you know him through his editorials, which he wrote for this magazine for over a dozen years.

But here are a few things you probably don’t know. How about the fact that he was the bass guitarist and singer for a sixties British rock and roll band called the Exchequers, which had a Number One hit in Germany, played in the same Hamburg clubs as the Beatles, and opened for the Rolling Stones during a 1963 concert tour.

Way back in the early seventies, J.P came to Canada and worked as an IT professional, eventually becoming an IT exec like yourself, managing IT centres in the Bahamas for the Bank of Nova Scotia.

If you’ve been in this business long enough, you probably remember Direct Access, which became something of community newspaper for the Canadian IT industry in the mid-eighties. John was its editor, his first foray into IT publishing.

Speaking personally, I can tell you he barbeques a mean rack of ribs. And whenever there’s a karaoke machine around, he’s happy to demonstrate that his pipes haven’t rusted.

If you haven’t met him personally, say hello to him the next time you’re at an event together. I guarantee he’ll brighten up your day – the perfect tonic for whatever ails you.

Now John, about that raise…

Talk to me
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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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