Phyllis Michaelides spent 2003 ensuring that Textron’s 44,000 employees are who they say they are. As chief technologist of the $10 billion conglomerate, with divisions that include Bell Helicopter and Cessna, she deployed an ID management system that encompasses both authentication and authorization.
Although regulatory requirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley spurred the project, she wanted Textron to stay ahead of the curve. So she led the creation of an enterprisewide system that uses metadirectories and takes a unified, centralized approach to identity and policy management. But because Textron doesn’t impose a unified infrastructure, her greater challenge is determining where to best share technology. “Finding those core pieces is the most exciting part of my job,” says the two-time CTO 25 honoree.