Auto Retailer - Chief Information Officer

About the company

With operations across North America, our client is among the largest, fastest growing and innovative automotive dealership groups in North America. With an obsession on superior customer experience, operational excellence and growth via acquisition our client is intent on becoming the largest, most profitable and diverse automotive retailer in North America and believes it is already the highest margin retailer of its size across the industry.

The business has been positioned by its Founder and CEO to leverage a growth by acquisition model while maintaining operational excellence and industry leading margins at all times. The business is currently generating over $1.0 billion in revenue.

Determined to be ‘best in class’ and with proven record of growth, our client now seeks a strategically oriented CIO who will leverage the latest digital practices and technologies to achieve the strategic aims and goals of the company.

The position will be based in the Greater Toronto Area.

Scope of Position

Reporting to the CEO, the CIO shall be responsible for developing and executing the information technology and information management vision for the company and ensuring that such technology and information management systems create and drive business value for the company.

Through a sound understanding and hands-on experience with the latest in cloud computing, data analytics, mobile computing, and collaboration platforms, the successful candidate will play a leading role in driving operational excellence and a ‘consumer first’ mindset.

Functional Tasks

Strategy and Planning

  • Ongoing assessment and updating of IT strategies as an enabler of overall business strategic plans, including the optimization of existing capabilities and the assessment of new technology enablers.
  • Partner with key stakeholders including the CEO and the ERP and Data Architecture Project Leader to assess, optimize and communicate the company’s long term systems/technology roadmap.
  • Develop annual IT operating plan aligned to the corporate goals and objectives.
  • Monitor and assess new technology platforms that have the potential to deliver value to the business.    


  • Develop/monitor IT performance scorecard to measure and communicate KPI’s and operational performance metrics that link directly to the annual operating plan commitments.
  • Develop and lead IT project teams to ensure on time, on budget, on scope delivery of planned commitments.
  • Establish and lead ongoing business review processes to provide high transparency to performance against agreed objectives for the IT function.
  • Communicate and manage the balancing of ongoing technology risks and opportunities to optimize business performance in the context of operational and strategic objectives.

Collaboration & Business Partnering

  • Partner with internal business and functional leaders to clarify business objectives, identify technology enablers and accelerate overall business performance against established goals and objectives.
  • Lead vendor relationships and contracting with all IT suppliers in order to optimize costs, quality and performance against established objectives.

Organization Development

  • Identify opportunities for improving processes and mentoring personnel to become high performers in their functional areas.

Competency Profile 

The competencies listed below define the role of Chief Information Officer:

Commercial Acumen
Applies appropriate commercial and financial principles. Understands situations in terms of costs, profits, added-value and return on investment. Appreciates the commercial impact of own work on the organization's total expenses and revenues. 

Results Orientation
Focuses strongly on achieving agreed upon outcomes and ensures that key objectives are met. Conveys a sense of urgency and drives issues to closure. Aims to improve upon past performance. Establishes aggressive personal targets and strives to achieve them. 

Strategic Approach
Develops a strategic plan to realize the vision. Revises strategy in light of changing circumstances. Takes a long-term view of organizational success. Works to clarify long term organizational goals. Able to stand back from immediate problems in order to focus on more far reaching ideas. 

Proactive; Seizes opportunities and acts upon them immediately.   Takes responsibility for own actions and addresses problems before asked.   

Team Skills
Helps to create a sense of team spirit and harmonious relations through cooperation and support. Balances personal goals with those of the team. Fosters collaboration among team members. 

Planning & Objective Setting
Systematic in approach to work. Produces action plans in which objectives are defined and steps for achieving them are clearly specified. Plans by breaking down large task into subtasks. Develops plans that anticipate obstacles. Is realistic about time-scales and builds in appropriate checkpoints, milestones and controls in order to ensure that desired results are realized. 

Makes an immediate positive impression upon others; Has presence and commands respect; Comes across with force and quickly establishes credibility.

Preferred Experience / Education

The following indicates specific industry, academic and functional experience/qualifications that are important to the successful achievement of the identified responsibilities:

  • Bachelor degree in Computer Science or Engineering combined with an MBA.  
  • 8-15 years of progressively increasing responsibility in technology with a minimum of 5 years of management experience.
  • Demonstrated success in building reliable and scalable infrastructure in a highly distributed multi-location environment.  
  • Experience in developing and managing ‘Big Data’ solutions.  
  • Experience architecting and implementing ‘best in class’, scalable data-driven customer service platforms.  
  • Demonstrated ability to conceptualize, launch and deliver multiple technology projects on time and within budget.
  • Demonstrated ability to partner with the business to deliver on business goals in a highly customer service oriented organization.
  • Ability to think creatively, conceptually and strategically, while maintaining a results-driven approach focused on solving business issues.
  • Broad-based business and technical acumen in all aspects of information technology including full technology life cycle, budget management, resource allocations, communication and social media platforms, network, hardware, software development and vendor/partner management.
  • An unwavering focus on data security and information risk management governance.
  • A bias for action, an intellectual curiosity and a burning desire to succeed.
  • Track record of dealing with issues of scaling and growth of founder-led  private enterprises.
  • Experience working in fast-paced, founder-led, dynamic environments.
  • An analytical, detail oriented, team player with a proactive, “own it, solve it” mindset.
  • The ability to put value creation into perspective and know what makes the business tick.

Remuneration & Benefits 

  • Highly competitive compensation package to the successful candidate.

If interested, please contact:

Sal Rocco                                                                                           
StoneWood Group, Toronto                       
Bus: 416-365-9494 Ext. 233