Chuck Markarian has been at PACCAR for 18 years. During this time, he has held roles in security and IT. He became PACCAR’s first CISO in 2016.
As CISO, he has global responsibility for Information Security. This includes IT and OT security, and elements of product security. He is also responsible for Identity and Access Management and Facilities for PACCAR’s IT Headquarters.
Prior to PACCAR, he worked at BOEING and AT&T Wireless in various IT and security roles.
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Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.
I have always tried to be open to new opportunities, even if they didn't directly relate to whatever my current role was. That's how I ended up working in information security. I had no IT or Information Security training coming out of college.
I was hired at BOEING to test airplane components due to my math and science background. That led to working in the computing group, and that led to a role at ATTWS working as an IT Manager. After that, I had a higher level role as an IT Director, and from there, I took on an applications development team and later the Information Security team. In both cases, the roles came open and they were offered to me and again, I had no app or security background.
That security background took me to PACCAR. From there, the role expanded and morphed over time to various IT and Security roles, culminating in where I am now, PACCAR's first CISO. None of that would have happened, had I not been open to stretching myself and taking on roles that the company thought I was ready for, even if maybe I didn't at the time.
What is one of your guiding leadership principles?
Leave your ego at the door. You don't have to be the smartest person in the room. Listen to others, share your thoughts, and don't take offense if someone has a better idea. The more we are willing to work together and use everyone's strengths, the greater we become.
With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CISO role going in the next 1-2 years?
To continue to be successful, CISOs will need to become stronger business partners to the other C-Level roles. We need to be that today, but it will be even more critical in the future. Having a solid knowledge of security, but also of how the business, governance and legal works, will be critical for a CISO's success.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CISO?
Don't just focus on the technical skills. Your people skills will play a bigger role in getting you to the C-Level. You will likely move companies a few times to get there, so make sure you are networking with individuals at other companies. It's not always what you know, but who you know, that will help your career progress.
Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- I have been married for almost 35 years, have two sons, a daughter in-law and a granddaughter.
- I've been bungee jumping in Mexico over the Pacific Ocean.
- I enjoy wake surfing at our "retirement home" on Mason Lake.
What is the value of joining an Evanta community?
The networking! I have met several peers, now friends, through my involvement with Evanta. Those friendships are priceless and they go beyond the work environment. My wife and I have dinner with other CISOs and their spouses, we've traveled with them, we spend time at our vacation home with them. They are people who I can call if I have a security issue I want to bounce off of a trusted source. I would not be where I am today in my career without having those relationships. It's critical to your success.
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