Seeking turnaround, CSC names new chief of North American public sector

Computer Sciences Corp.’s nearly $6 billion North American public sector business, facing a slowdown in U.S. federal spending, is expecting the broader company’s commercial experience to become increasingly valuable, according to the unit’s incoming chief.

David Zolet, the sector’s newly appointed president, said as part of a realignment of operations the group’s 25,000 employees will be “much more integrated into the bigger CSC than one may have observed in the past.”

As a result, he added, the unit will be able to better take advantage of CSC’s commercial expertise.

“The changes in the federal market or government market are going to create an environment where our clients are going to be much more welcoming — and even demanding — commercial best practices and commercial ways of saving money,” he said. “That opens the door for a company like CSC.”

As he takes over the reins from Jim Sheaffer — who is retiring after close to seven years running the North American public sector unit — Zolet said the group’s leadership will see further change. Zolet said he plans to promote some within the company and bring in others from outside.

Before joining CSC about two years ago, Zolet was vice president for systems integration at IBM and spent 26 years at Northrop Grumman, including as general manager of the Northrop IT unit’s enterprise infrastructure business group.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, Zolet will receive a salary of $475,000 for fiscal 2013, along with a target incentive worth up to about $520,000. He also received a long-term equity incentive award worth up to $950,000.

Earlier this year, CSC brought in Mike Lawrie as its new chief executive and president. He said last month that CSC — after recording a loss of more than $4.2 billion in fiscal 2012 — would cut $1 billion in costs and expenses over the next 12 to 18 months. Additionally, Lawrie said the company has implemented a new management compensation program and is looking at assets it might sell.

Last week, CSC also announced it has hired Gary Budzinski, senior vice president and general manager of HP’s technology services business unit, as president for global infrastructure services and Sunita Holzer, chief human resources officer of the Chubb Group of Insurance Cos., as chief human resources officer.

The hires are “a key step to executing the company’s turnaround strategy,” CSC said in its announcement.

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