Tom Rodden, Former SR. Vice President and CIO of Varian Medical Systems, On: Building and Merging Cultures, Leading a Billion-Dollar Integration From the C-Suite, and the Argument for Breadth of Knowledge Over Expertise

Tom Rodden

Tom Rodden is the former Senior Vice President and CIO of Varian Medical Systems. He has had a diverse and vast career that’s covered technology, IT leadership, and business operations. Tom spent nearly 15 years at Varian Medical Systems in various leadership positions, where he further honed his executive skills. He recently took the position of ERP Program Cutover Consultant at Seagate Technology, a global leader in mass data storage. Currently, Tom is also a Board Advisor for Cloudrek and Onymos Inc.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Tom Rodden’s experience at Varian and how he helped grow the company
  • Merging two companies with different cultures
  • How to plan a difficult acquisition so that the process goes smoothly
  • Institutionalizing cultural norms at a company
  • The key to unifying the objectives of a business and its employees
  • Moments in Tom’s career that gave him his perspective
  • Developing an international and cultured view of the world
  • How Tom’s broad experiences informed his leadership

In this episode…

Merging any two companies is a monumental task. There are the technical and logistical details to be considered, along with intangible factors like the company culture. What is designed to be a strategic benefit for both entities can quickly turn into a disaster if the process isn’t handled with care. So, what does a successful merger require? 

Tom Rodden is a proven executive who has worked with companies like GE, PwC, and Deloitte. He was also a major part of the Varian and Siemens merger, helping the employees adapt to new cultures and processes. His experience in technology and manufacturing has given him a unique approach to leadership — including what it takes to handle a smooth acquisition. Here’s what that approach looks like in action.

Dov Pollack has an insightful conversation with Tom Rodden, the former Senior Vice President and CIO of Varian Medical Systems, where they discuss leadership over the course of a merger. They start with the details of the two companies and how to help integrate the two different cultures. Then, the two go over the common problems that come with mergers, the importance of maintaining objectives, and more. Hear the rest by listening to this episode of the Next Wave Leadership podcast.

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