TD Bank: VP Engineering

March 21, 2009

Toronto Dominion Bank is looking for a Vice President, Engineering:

Vice Presidents (VP) at TD Bank Financial Group are strategic, responsible and accountable members of the Bank’s leadership team. Collectively, these roles contribute significantly to the overall reputation of TD as an excellent investment, a highly customer focused organization, a top employer and an exemplary corporate citizen. Executives set the ethical, organizational and performance standard for the teams they lead and exemplify how an effective performance and development culture functions day to day. A VP is expected to guide his/her team, collaborating as appropriate with TD partners, to deliver superior results in both the short and long term.

Reporting to the SVP of Infrastructure the VP, Engineering is accountable for the design, build test, and implementation of the banks data center based technology infrastructure. The position is responsible for the development and implementation of technical business strategies in cooperation and alignment with our business partners. The position holds overall responsibility to ensure robust infrastructure solutions are in place to ensure optimal service and security for all customers and partners. The department is made up of over 500 IT professionals.

Lead the overall Engineering team across various functional areas which include: Servers, Mainframe, Operating Systems, Storage, Database, Security Technologies, Directories, Middleware, Email/Collaboration Infrastructure, IT Tools Engineering as well as Infrastructure Project Management, Dev/Test Environment Support and Production Acceptance Testing.
Contribute to the creation of a North America organization ensuring talent workforce and succession management is in place to support TD’s NA growth goals and to win in the war for talent within the technology industry.
Effectively manage an operating budget in excess of $ 215mm as well as a pipeline of projects focused on quality, time to market and cost effectiveness.
As a member of the Infrastructure Senior Executive Team, continuously optimize the technology capability of the bank, guide infrastructure priorities, improve our organizational capability and manage the risk profile of the bank’s IT infrastructure.

The Good
It’s a very, very senior role at a very $35B market cap bank.  An operating budget of $215M.  A lot of responsibility.

The Bad
Well, for starters, I’m guessing that many of you couldn’t get this job if they really, really wanted it.  I’m pretty sure I couldn’t.

What’s Missing?
A ton of things.  But, to be honest, for a leadership position this senior at such a big company, that’s to be expected.  If you’re interested in the position and have the experience to stand a chance, then you’ll want to have detailed conversations with TD about the challenges, the team, the role, and so forth.

Although banks haven’t been doing that well in the last year, Canadian banks seem to be relatively healthy still.  It’s probably still a challenging time, but challenge can also mean opportunity.

The Location
A senior position at TD Bank probably means Bay street, financial district, the TD Tower.  I’m just guessing.

In Summary
Probably most of you don’t qualify for the position.  I’m guessing TD Bank is really only going to seriously consider people in VP/Director positions at relatively large companies already, and it probably wouldn’t hurt to have a connection at TD Bank.


Unspecified: VP of Technology

August 20, 2008

An unspecified “web page authoring and deployment” company is looking for a VP of Technology:

After several years of development and beta testing we have recently launched the application to considerable fanfare. We are preparing for a new phase with some extensive financing. We have a small team. Your role will be to assist in the construction of the web and desktop application teams, as well as product development. You will manage Canadian technology operations, along with two-senior Managers reporting to you. This position reports to the president and CEO.

We are looking for a senior Internet savvy technology player that has a relatively high-profile in the industry and is presentable at a client and board level.

The Good
Well, VP of Technology is a pretty senior role, at least on paper.  And if they’re correct about “about to embarass long-standing industry leaders” and “recently launched the application to considerable fanfare”, this could be an interesting time to get on board with this particular company.

The Bad
First and foremost, $100k doesn’t sound like much for a VP role to me (there are development jobs above that pay bracket); unless the equity’s pretty significant, this could be the deal-breaker for potential VP candidates, particularly people who are already in a VP role making significantly more.

Secondly, there’s just not a lot of information — who’s this company, are they really all they’re trying to portray?  (Probably not, but how close are they?)  Where are they located?  What’s the likely upside on that equity?  If they really had so much fanfare, how come some quick google searches don’t give me a likely company?  etc.

Also, this VP of Sales and Marketing position is so similar (obviously the same company/poster) that it makes me wonder if this is even legit.

In Summary
Given the salary, I think the right person for this job is probably someone with the right skills and presentation they’re looking for but not enough experience to currently hold a VP of Technology position.  Someone who wants to move on up.  I’m not convinced that that’s what they’re looking for, but I’m not sure what else they’re likely to get.  If that sounds like you, I guess there’s no harm in talking to them.

TD Bank: AVP, Software Engineering

June 29, 2008

TD Bank Financial Group is looking for an AVP,  Software Engineering:

Reporting to the VP, Engineering the successful candidate will oversee an annual plan of approximately $50mm and a team of 143 FTEs spread across five campuses: Scarborough, Mississauga, London, Toronto and Lewiston, Maine.

The role is accountable for leading the teams in Security, Directory, Software Engineering and Database and ensures this North American team is aligned with ITS strategic initiatives.

The Good
TD Bank is a big, well-known financial institution.  Assistant Vice-President for a bank is a pretty senior role, and the size of the budget and team is significant.

The Bad
The usual dearth of information.  What’s the compensation like for an AVP at TD Bank?  Is the location the TD HQ downtown, or something else?  What are the travel expectations, given the distributed team?

Your mileage may vary when it comes to working in a financial institution, even in Canada, in the wake of sub-prime.  It’s also likely to be a very corporate environment.

There isn’t going to be very much actual technology.  At this level, you’re mostly about managing people and contracts and budgets, and not so much about the technology.  Sure, it’s important to have some understanding about the technology that you can get a sense of strategic direction and do an effective job of managing the people who’re going to have to work more closely with the technology, but you’re not that likely to fire up an IDE, even to review someone else’s code.

But then, if you were looking for that sort of thing, you probably stopped reading after “TD Bank: AVP,” because what else would you expect?

In Conclusion
To be honest, anyone who thinks they have have a shot at the job and is at all interested should probably look into it in more detail.  Positions this senior at this big a company don’t come around every hour, so it’s worth a quick look to see if there’s a fit.