Wal-Mart's New CIO Says He'll Back RFID

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 04-13-2006
Suppliers and RFID vendors alike can breathe a sigh of relief.

Wal-Mart Stores' new CIO, Rollin Ford, said in an in-house CIO Summit on April 13 that he plans to stand behind the RFID technology march at Wal-Mart, much to the same degree his predecessor did.

Ford, the former executive vice president of logistics and supply chain at Wal-Mart, replaced Linda Dillman in the top IT spot earlier in April.

Dillman is now the executive vice president of risk management and benefits administration at Wal-Mart.

The management changes are part of a standard executive level shake-up that the company's founder put in place as an exercise in cross training.

Dillman is largely credited with galvanizing the RFID industry—one that had lain fallow for a decade previously.

In 2003, under her guidance, Wal-Mart issued a mandate to its top 100 suppliers that they RFID-enable their goods coming into two of Wal-Mart's distribution centers by the following year.

That mandate, along with others from the Department of Defense and retailers like Albertsons, spawned a development movement among vendors as well—in hardware, software and standards setting activities.

"Like Linda, I view RFID as a strategy that offers tremendous competitive advantage," said Ford, in Bentonville, Ark., at the company's CIO Summit. "There will be no slowing down."

To read more about Dillman's reassignment, click here.

Ford said he is committed to the same technology Dillman championed, including the EPC Gen 2 standard which was ratified last year and implemented in commercial products this year.

Ford said the company is moving ahead with plans to phase out Gen 1 technology on June 30.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Wal-Mart's New CIO Says He'll Back RFID