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Jim O'Sullivan

I recently sat down with Virginia Bartlett, chief privacy and security officer at IMS Health, to get her insight about the privacy profession. After six months at the company, Virginia's advice for newly appointed privacy officers is twofold. First, the relationships within your organization — from top to bottom — are most important. You need to build relationships for the long term. She added, "Remember that people make the policy work."

Second, whatever you build or create must be "organic, natural to the business and for the people who use it."

Bartlett also said that, over the course of her career, she has learned three valuable lessons:

  • it is important to quantify results;
  • much can be solved by Six Sigma-style process mapping; and,
  • an internal audit can be your greatest ally in providing senior management assurance.

Privacy Professional Developments

Sun Microsystems

Michelle Finneran Dennedy was appointed to the newly created position of chief privacy officer at Sun Microsystems in August 2003. She joined Sun in 2000 as a member of the Marketing and Brands legal team. In that role, Dennedy was responsible for a variety of legal issues, including, intellectual property, unfair competition, e-commerce, and data privacy. She also cofounded Sun's internal Privacy Council, an organization dedicated to promoting and promulgating a cohesive practice throughout the organization to protect Sun's relationships with its customers and employees. She received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1996 and previously served as a patent litigator in both the New York and Palo Alto offices of Fish & Neave.

Countrywide Financial Corporation

Christine Frye was appointed the company's chief privacy officer in April 2003. The company said Frye will be responsible for guiding Countrywide's consumer privacy policies and information practices. She previously held the position of chief privacy officer for Experian's eMarketing Services group. Prior to Experian, Frye was chief privacy officer at 24/7 Media, where she was responsible for directing company education on privacy, maintaining global companywide privacy policies, and enhancing operating procedures to ensure compliance.

IMS Health

Virginia "Ginny" Bartlett was appointed the company's chief privacy officer in March 2003. She previously held the position of director, corporate governance—privacy office for Prudential Insurance Company of America. Prior to Prudential, Bartlett was senior general manager and director—government and public affairs at Sony Electronics, where she was responsible for policy, government affairs, and integrity. She implemented the company's corporate privacy compliance program three years before FTC began overseeing Web site policies.

Jim O'Sullivan is the founder of Spencer Stuart's Chief Privacy Officer Practice and the author of Lessons in Privacy — The Increasingly Strategic Role of the Chief Privacy Officer. He is also a core member of Spencer Stuart's Technology, Communications and Media Practice. Throughout his executive search career, he has specialized in conducting senior management searches for national and international clients. A graduate of King's College, he earned his JD degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law. He can be reached at work: (203) 326-3703, mobile: (203) 801-8041 or josullivan@spencerstuart.com


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