Stay up-to-date with the latest UK CIO and senior IT executive appointments with our revamped and relaunched UK Movers & Shakers noticeboard.
The world of the UK CIO is a dynamic one. It’s not unusual to find tech leaders seeking new and challenging roles to which they can bring their experience and digital transformation vision to fruition.Here, we bring you all the relevant announcements from the movers and shakers of the CIO UK community.
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Matthew Gould, the former CEO of NHSX, left NHS England and Improvement at the end of April.
Before the brand was retired in the recent merger with NHS Digital, Gould was the CEO of NHSX – the transformation unit set up by the former secretary of state Matt Hancock in 2019 to accelerate digital innovation in health and social care.
“The work that our teams have done together the past three years have been the most important in my career,” he said in a statement. “We have changed the trajectory of the NHS and social care, helped both through the pandemic, and touched millions of lives through the changes we have brought.”
Gould, the former director-general of digital and media at the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), said he was particularly proud of a Digital Aspirant programme now in 194 NHS Trusts, the NHS Datastore and Shared Care Record Programme and CIPHA helping NHS use data to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and a new partnership with Microsoft which is said to have saved the NHS over £300 million.
StepChange CIO Lorna Allan will join the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust as its CDIO later this year.
On LinkedIn, she described the move as an opportunity to join “when there is such demand for NHS services, and tremendous opportunities to leverage digital solutions to improve accessibility for communities.”
She will report to CEO of the Northern Care Alliance, Owen Williams. A starting date had not been finalised but was likely to fall in mid-September. Allan leaves StepChange after three years in the role, during which she has looked to transform both front- and back-end IT systems at the charity, the largest debt advice non-profit in the UK. She modernised the charity’s debt management platform Pulse and introduced its COVID-19 Repayment Plan to allow clients to interact with the charity through various channels rather than solely through its call centre. To drive this, Allan looked to low-code platforms as well as RPA to improve how information is shared with creditors and had last year been reviewing the possibility of using electronic signatures to speed up internal processes.
StepChange is now advertising for a new CTIO who will report to the CEO and is expected to become the “go-to person for all technology, change and process matters related to services provisioning, delivery and client satisfaction in an increasingly digital world”.
Matt Ballantine, CIO at RHP Group, has left the organisation after two-and-a-half years and will start as engagement manager at IT consultancy and service provider Equal Experts in June.
“After two-and-a-half fascinating years, in which we have launched a website, a data strategy, a whole transformation programme, and a new core business systems platform, it’s time for me to head to pastures new,” he said on social media.
“The time I’ve been at RHP Group has been great, working to build a wonderful team and change the way in which technology and change are approached in the organisation. Along with all of the wonderful people I’ve worked with internally and externally, we have also built strong technology partnerships with Great State and Esuasive.”
Wayne Parkes, the Chief Digital, Data and Technology Officer at the Police Digital Service, has left the organisation to pursue a career in consultancy.
Parkes had been in the full-time position since April 2021, having had a part-time director role since September 2018. The technology executive has in the past been program director at the National Enabling Programmes initiative, chair of the National Police Technology Council (NPTC) and CIO at Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police.
“The last four years have been epic in so many ways and feel we have delivered so much; the National Enabling Programmes (a programme of the Police Digital Service), the first National Policing Digital Strategy, a re-formed National Police Technology Council, the transformation of PICTco to the Police Digital Service, built (building) a new relationship with Home Office DDaT/PPPT, the National DDaT Standards platform for policing, and most importantly set some great foundations for the future of Policetech and delivery of world-class digital services to make policing more efficient and effective and protect the communities we serve,” he said on LinkedIn.
“I am doing a bit of independent consultancy and continuing with mentoring and just seeing where things go and what comes along.”
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust CIO Shauna McMahon has taken on the same responsibility for the Hull University Teachings Hospitals NHS Trust.
McMahon has been CIO at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole since October 2020 and had formerly been director of transformation at NHS South, Central and West as well as CIO at the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.
“I am looking forward to working with fabulously talented colleagues at both locations,” she said on LinkedIn. McMahon told CIO UK she’s enticed by the opportunity to create one Humber Acute Digital Services team that would support the two Trusts, and improve clinical and patient experiences. I want to see digital use in healthcare really be seen as critical as heat & lights. It becomes a necessity for business.”
She reports to the CEO of both Trusts and says her immediate priorities are to bring two teams together, join up and consolidate the digital environment and find ways that digital can help deliver against business objectives. There’s also a focus on joining up to have one EPR for both Trusts, working on clinical pathways for care processes and a move to paperless records and updating older corporate systems.
Chris Reynolds has become the CIO at Tees, Esk, and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV). Reynolds is an experienced healthcare IT professional, having previously been director of informatics at the Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, CIO at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and associate director of BI at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Reynolds said the attraction of the role was an interesting position split across two integrated care systems, the hiring of a new CITO, and the opportunity to return to the North East, where he studied for his undergraduate degree. He will report to the executive director of finance estates and information and says he will have three core priorities ahead: cybersecurity, the implementation of the Trust’s digital strategy, and integrated care system alignment.
Kaveh Pourteymour has left Neptune Energy to set up a new management consultancy. The new organisation will support CIOs on challenges as varied as formulating digital strategy and building the right operating model to improving supplier relationships and digital culture.
“I started CIO Global Solutions because I was at a point in my career that I wanted to take the proven techniques and methodologies that I have developed and refined over the last three decades and share these with other CIOs and technology executives, enabling them to create and deliver their own digital transformation strategies,” he told CIO UK. “The purpose of CIO Global Solutions is to empower CIOs to deliver business results in much shorter timeframes and at far lower costs.”
Canada Life UK has appointed Paul Russell as its CIO. Russell joins the insurer from startup Upside Saving, where he was founder and CTO, and has more than 20 years of experience in IT, predominantly working in financial services. In the past, he’s worked for IT service management company Smart 421 and life companies Legal and General and Aviva.
“This is a great time to join a business which is part way through a significant transformation and IT change programme. I look forward to working with the team to help navigate through this complex programme of work to deliver a better adviser and customer experience,” Russell said in a statement.
Paul Neville, director of digital and ICT at the London Borough of Waltham Forest, has left his role after five-and-a-half years. Neville, who has formerly held consultant and digital experience roles across the public and private sectors will become director of digital, data, and technology at UK Export Finance.
“I am really proud of working with colleagues to use digital and tech to help transform the council and borough. We now have modern digital platforms to rival any in local government, and an incredible team delivering automation and great customer experiences. I strongly believe in the local government’s mission to support residents and businesses and that was so important during the pandemic.”
Home improvement company Kingfisher has hired Chris Blatchford as its new chief information officer. Blatchford most recently served as CTO at RELX Elsevier, leading a team of 800 engineers to create digital products and design open data platform architectures. Before that held a variety of technology roles at Thomson Reuters, including head of enterprise technology, and served as head of professional services, Europe, at CPA Global. In his new role, he will lead the development and delivery of Kingfisher’s ambitious technology strategy as part of the retailer’s ongoing digital transformation.
“I am thrilled to be joining Kingfisher at this exciting stage in their digital transformation journey. I’ve been very impressed by what has been achieved in recent years, particularly in e-commerce, and I look forward to working with the team to make the most of the huge opportunities ahead.”
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society announced that it has appointed Avril Chester as its new Chief Technology Officer. In her new role, Avril will have “responsibility for executive leadership of all the technology functions, including technical architecture, software development, operations and product delivery.” Chester will report directly to Chief Executive Paul Bennett and joins the Society’s executive team when she takes on the position in June.
Chester is currently CTO at the Royal Institute of British Architects and is also an author, podcaster and founder of the cancer charity Cancer Central.
“It is a real honour to support our incredible pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists and I am over the moon to have this opportunity to join the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
“Technology has and continues to impact our lives, especially in healthcare and medicine. The RPS already embraces the technology evolution and I look forward to continuing this great work and pushing even more digital boundaries to champion and support the profession.”
UK Parliament CDIO Tracey Jessup told CIO.com that she will take up the Chief Transformation Officer position at DeMonfort University in June.
You can read about her announcement, the new role and her ascent to digital leadership, here.
Mayank Prakash has been announced as president of BCS, the chartered institute for IT. Prakash is currently group COO for financial services firm Tilney Smith & Williamson, and formerly CDIO at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
In a press release, he said: “It is an honour to become president of the professional body for IT as such a critical time when clinical technology advancements have recently helped mankind combat COVID-19 and to continue the inspirational work my predecessor John Higgins has started to influence the promotion of professional standards.
“I am grateful for the support of John and Gillian as we together focus on BCS helping IT professionals grow their careers, recognising the contributions of leading technologists, shaping government policy and promoting professional ethical standards which make all digital, data, and security technologists proud.”
Samuel Massiah has joined as CIO of the University of Northampton, having formerly held the same role at St Mary’s University in Twickenham, London since 2017.
“I’m pleased to announce my appointment as chief information officer for the University of Northampton. I’m really excited to begin contributing to the life of the staff and students of the university, and the people of Northampton through the Digital Northants initiative,” he said on LinkedIn.
Massiah is also on the board of trustees at The Opheus Centre and has previously held senior technology roles at Royal Holloway and UCL.
Louis Brook, CIO at First Direct, has left the company after 18 years to join credit management company Lowell.
“I feel truly privileged to have worked with some amazing people, having had the opportunity to travel and make friends across the globe. I am excited to be pursuing a new opportunity, which I’ll post in due course, but for now I just want to thank everyone across the group for their support, guidance, and friendship over the past 18 or so years – as well as to everyone who has wished me well and given me a great send-off.”
Brook told CIO.com that he will report to the UK CEO and that his focus is on “delivering all the transformative change required to make credit work better for all.”
Brook had held a variety of roles at First Direct since joining back the organisation, including head of incident response, technical services team leader, analyst developer and technical specialist. He spent much of 2021 leading the IT team responsible for HSBC’s four retail banking brands: HSBC UK, first direct, M&S Bank and John Lewis Financial Services.
Norma Dove-Edwin, the CIO at National Grid ESO, has left the company and is expected to take on a new position this May. No further details were available at the time of writing, with National Grid’s press department unaware of her new role.
Dove-Edwin had joined the energy company in November 2020, having previously spent almost three years at Places for People as the housing development firm’s Chief Data and Information Officer (CDIO). Dove-Edwin has also held senior IT and data management positions at British American Tobacco.
Natural History Museum CIO Alison Davis has left to re-join GE Healthcare.
“I’m happy to share that last week I started in my new role as Chief Information Officer at GE Healthcare PDx,” she said on LinkedIn. “As I left just over two years ago, it’s been lovely to meet up with old colleagues, start getting to know new ones and to hear about the digital-enabled opportunities ahead of this fantastic business.”
“It has been such a privilege to have been part of this incredible institution and I will always treasure having had the opportunity. Huge thanks to all the folks involved with IT/Digital from across the Museum, but especially to the Technology Solutions team, who have been fantastic.”
Davis, formerly of the Francis Crick Institute, spent much of 2021 implementing a new ticketing solution, digitising the Natural History Museum’s collection and collaborating for the museum’s ongoing sustainability efforts.
Anthony Battle has joined Jaguar Land Rover as Group CIO, having formerly been Group CIO and CTO at Shell.
“It’s been a period of opportunity, delivery, positive change, and growth. Great friends made, fun times had, character-building experiences around the world in engineering, manufacturing, mobility and retail,” he said on social media.
Of his move to Jaguar Land rover, he added: “I will join a world-leading automobile manufacturer and retailer to lead their technology journey, across two iconic British brands, to help achieve electrification, digitalisation, and sector-leading luxury. So much opportunity to take the energy transition focus into automobile and join things together as we shape the future.”
Andy Harper, the CIO at contract catering firm Elior, has become Group CIO at Begbies Traynor Group, the corporate recovery and professional services company.
Harper began his career with Andersen Consulting/Accenture, followed by senior roles in United Utilities PLC, Speedy Hire PLC and most recently as the CIO of Elior UK.
“The appointment of a Group CIO reflects the board’s recognition of the importance of our IT capability as we look to position the group for further growth and maximise the benefits which digital technology can deliver,” the company told CIO.com in a statement.
Harper will be responsible for all IT and digital services across the Begbies Traynor Group, including the application of technology to enhance service offerings and support the company’s growth agenda.
Over the last 12 months at Elior, Harper spent much time re-engineering back-office processing to automate finance activities, introducing greater efficiencies in the procurement processes. Harper’s teams also led the implementation of a new communications system, allowing employees to communicate with each other on their company or personal devices, as well as launch a programme to expedite transactions with suppliers.
Ollie Holden, formerly the CIO at the AA, has taken up the same position at the insurance company RSA.
Holden spent four years at the AA, where he was responsible for defining and implementing the IT strategy for the group, shaping digital transformation and providing robust IT services for customers and employees alike.
“I’m delighted to be starting a new role this week, as CIO for RSA,” said Holden, on LinkedIn. “I’m humbled to now be part of this great company that I’ve admired for many years, and at such an exciting point in its evolution.”
The Royal Air Force has appointed its first Chief Digital Information Officer. Dr Arif Mustafa took up the appointment on 1st February 2022, joining from a career primarily in oil and gas — having worked for Shell, BP and the Ma’aden mining company. He will be charged with leading efforts to ‘modernise the RAF through the implementation of the RAF Digital Strategy and its ability to transform the way approach our use of data as a critical asset.’
“It’s an honour to be selected as the first RAF CDIO at a time of ever-increasing importance of technology in support of the UK’s Air Defence,” said Mustafa in a statement.
“I am delighted to join the RAF at this pivotal momentum in its evolution. I’ve been very impressed with the RAF vision for the future and its commitment to digital and information. I’m confident that with the talented and committed people within the RAF we can meet and succeed these expectations. Finally, I look forward to getting out to meet those personnel of all grades and ranks who produce, utilise and rely on digital services to do their jobs. Digital services are crucial part of the future RAF and we should not limit our ambition current technology or by legacy structures.”
The Cabinet Office Digital and Data (CDDO) group is looking for a new government CDO (GCDO), with Joanna Davidson set to depart.
The new CDO at the Cabinet Office Digital and Data Office will be responsible for developing and implementing the Government’s digital, data and technology transformation to improve services for UK residents.
A Cabinet Office advert describes the GCDO as the Government’s most senior digital data and tech leader, who will be in charge of strengthening data-driven decision-making throughout government while addressing technology-related risks.
The GCDO will manage a direct team of around 200 professionals and SMEs in the Cabinet Office’s Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO), and will report into the civil service’s COO Alex Chisholm. (You can read more about the appointment here.)
Ian Golding, formerly interim CIO at the National History Museum and skills provider SThree Plc, as well as CIO and partner at The ERM Group, has been appointed CIO at the Anthesis Group.
In this newly-created role, Ian will be responsible for setting the strategic direction and governance of Anthesis’ technology, data and digital capabilities and joins Anthesis’ global leadership team.
Anthesis claims to be the largest group of dedicated sustainability professionals globally and one of the UK’s fastest-growing private companies
“We are at the inflection point where purpose-driven organisations are recognising and reacting to their exponential impact ambitions through the adoption of technology, data and digital,” said Golding in a statement.
“Anthesis is at the helm of driving change, for its clients and society, through an enviable portfolio of solutions. Acting on its goal of eliminating 3 gigatonnes of CO2e emissions by 2030 for its clients, Anthesis’ digital solutions are helping address the scarcity of sustainability skills while solving client problems to secure a sustainable future.”
Golding says that he will report to the CEO.
John Quinn, interim executive director of technology, digital, data and delivery at the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has become the executive director of IT operations and enterprise services at NHS Digital.
Quinn had previously held CDO/director of transformation and CIO roles at the government agency, as well as head of business solutions roles at the Department for Education (DfE).
On LinkedIn, he says that his new role is “to ensure effective and sustainable operations and transformation of mission-critical services which keep the NHS running.”
“I work to Simon Bolton the CEO of NHSD and (subject to operating model and merger decisions) will report into Simon as CIO for NHSE/I, with similar responsibilities in the new organisation,” he told CIO UK.
Emma Stace, CDTO at the Department for Education, has joined the DWP as the Director of Health and Disability & Benefit Supporting Services, reporting to Simon McKinnon. In her role, she will be ‘developing new and innovative digital services as part of the DWP’s Health Transformation Programme’, said the DWP press office.
At DfE, she was responsible for “leading strategy & policy for digital, data and technology in the sector as well as transformation service design and delivery within the department.”
Derek Mitchelson, director of digital at NHS Scotland, has moved into the private sector, taking on a cybersecurity advisory role at vendor Check Point Software. He is now the field CISO and C-suite advisor.
Mitchelson, part of the 2021 CIO UK 100, spoke at last year’s Official CIO Summit about how he led NHS Scotland’s digital response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from supporting GPs and other medical professionals to work remotely to implementing digital and data services to support effective contact tracing and the country’s vaccination programme.“
Delighted to have joined a truly world-leading cyber security provider, Check Point, as Field CISO and C-Suite advisor for EMEA. The first firewall I implemented was Check Point Firewall-1 and I’m super excited at joining such as innovative cyber leader,” he said on LinkedIn.
“I moved to Check Point as a C-Suite Advisor and CISO so I can give back to the community, share thoughts, learnings and best practices I have gained during my career. I’m keen to continue with my learning and development through conversations and engagements. We all have insight we can share and support we can give.”
Matthew Reynolds is leaving the Maritime and Coastguard (MCA) agency in March and will be returning to the private sector. Further details were not available at the time of writing, but will be on CIO.com from 15 March.
Reynolds had been executive director of information technology at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, having joined in November 2019 from Southampton Football Club, where he was previously IT director.
At the MCA, Reynolds was a member of the board, responsible for information and communications technology, information assurance and delivery of the digital transformation programme.
While at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Reynolds delivered a raft of interesting technology projects while demonstrating quantifiable savings in the process. Among his key achievements last year were the delivery of the Digital UK Ships Register, enabling customers to register, manage, and track their assets through the digital service or by calling the contact centre; a Digital Seafarers ID card and Boat Masters License to simplify waterway access while saving costs; and a new channel navigation system.
Sonia Patel, formerly CIO at the now-disbanded NHSX, following the digital body’s merger with NHS Digital as part of the new NHS England & Improvement, has taken on a new role. She will now be System CIO at the NHS/I, working closely with Tim Ferris and Simon Bolton to “level-up critical digital foundations for local places and systems; improve the digital literacy of our people and for the digital/tech workforce – establish the profession they deserve.”
“This brings the new opportunity to work more closely with NHSE/I and NHSD colleagues as the transformation directorate,” she said on LinkedIn. Together in partnership with the frontline we will continue to embed digital transformation, run and maintain into the heart of NHS and care.”
As CIO at NHSX, the centralised body bringing together teams from the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England to improve the digitisation of care, Sonia Patel enjoyed a fruitful year in the crosshairs of strategy and policy. Joining in July 2020, Patel had a national role in which she led the introduction and release of the ‘What Good Looks Like’ digital maturity framework “in essence providing “north star” for digital transformation in the sector.” She has also worked hand-in-hand with UK government in the formation of a new architecture for NHS and social care, led the authoring of key guidance to the NHS to ensure digital and data is embedded into the new system reform agenda, and was a key figure into the levelling-up of digital skills and literacy across the sector.
Paul Westmore, the IT director at Plymouth University, has started a new position as Chief Digital and Information Officer (CDIO) at Swansea University.
“I am sad to leave Plymouth after nine years working with the brilliant team there but I could not be more excited to work with the team at Swansea as we work to make Swansea a leading digital university,” he said on LinkedIn.
“I report to the COO Niamh Lamond. My [immediate] priorities are Digital Strategy, security, wired and wireless network, hybrid teaching and learning post Covid.”
Royal Mail Group has appointed Debra Bailey as its new CIO. The former O2 CIO takes over from Group CIO Christian Herrlich, who announced his decision to leave the company in 2021 after four years.
“I’m delighted to be joining Royal Mail as CIO in March and excited about working with the team to continue the customer focused transformation underway,” said Bailey, who is also a non-executive director (NED) at the NHS Business Services Authority, on LinkedIn.
Andrew Proctor, pro vice chancellor at Staffordshire University, has left the institution to join cloud hypescaler behemoth AWS.
During his tenure at the university, Proctor been driven digital transformation for four years through partnership with vendors like Microsoft, the results of which were in evidence during a challenging year. Proctor spent much of 2020 focusing on how to help the university’s least privileged students, using analytics and a variety of digital channels to target and help them manage their learning through the pandemic, as well as leverage immersive technologies to give students ‘hands on’ experience in various industry sectors.
“A fantastic five years, but always good to leave on a high,” Procter told this reporter. “From Monday [31st January 2022], I’ll be an executive advisor at AWS, helping them with their strategy and delivery for the education sector. So, I’ll still be involved with Universities.”
Jason Oliver, formerly Director of IT and Sussex Projects, has been promoted to Chief Digital Transformation Officer at the university.
“I am continuing to report to the COO but the role is different insomuch that it has a much larger remit in respect of adopting a “digital-first” approach towards our research and pedagogy.
“Alongside continuing to run the IT division, I now formally have strategic leadership for the institution’s portfolio/project/change management functions and I am tasked with aligning our technology, spaces, people and our ways of working in support of a digital future/vision. This means building strong new change capabilities to support our various communities and developing a new culture which elevates the digital competence of our staff.
“I also have responsibility for applying how digital technologies will increasingly transcend physical and geographical boundaries to open national and international opportunities for students’ and staff, and for ensuring digital is a golden thread through all institutional strategies.”
Over the last two years at the university, Oliver switched to remote teaching for 22,000 students and staff, requiring a fast implementation of network tools. Oliver created a multi-factor authentication VPN as the foundation for the new network, a site-wide Zoom license was integrated into the University’s virtual learning environment for live synchronous online teaching and in the first quarter, over 110,000 meetings with one million attendees took place.
To ensure full support of COVID-19 reporting, Oliver used a rapid development platform to create a track and trace system that helped reduce the virus’s spread and he’s also used been involved with the organisation’s sustainability and diversity initiatives.
Thomson Reuters has hired former NHS Digital CEO Sarah Wilkinson as its new chief information officer.
Wilkinson became the CEO of NHS in Digital in 2017 and spent four years in the role before stepping down last summer. Simon Bolton replaced Wilkinson as interim chief executive in April 2021, although he is now transitioning to become CIO of the newly-named NHS England & Improvement.
Wilkinson, formerly a technology executive for Credit Suisse, and is expected to move from London to Zug, Switzerland for the role, Finews reports, and will also be responsible for Thomson Reuters’ research division, TR Labs.
Charlotte Baldwin has joined Bupa Insurance as its chief information, digital and transformation Officer.
Baldwin has held senior IT roles at Pearson, Thomson Reuters and Deloitte, and was #3 CIO in the 2020 CIO 100 in the UK. Her most recent role was chief digital and technology officer at international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where she spent four years.
“I am very excited to announce that this week I have joined Bupa Insurance as their Chief Information, Digital and Transformation Officer,” said Baldwin, in a statement on LinkedIn. “Using the power of technology to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives is a mission that I can really get behind.”
Natalie Whittlesey, EMEA technology officer at management consultant firm Korn Ferry, has become the director and head of CIO practice at recruitment company Investigo.
“I want to say a huge thank you to Korn Ferry for a whirlwind two years. Like a whirlwind it was sometimes scary (pandemic followed by extreme volumes of work) but also a wonder to behold due to the fantastic brand, products, clients (genuinely wonderful) and most of all the incredible people I worked alongside,” she said on LinkedIn.
Whittlesey has held CIO positions at manufacturing, charity and utilities organisations, worked as CDIO of a major government department and as a CTO of an international high-growth agricultural tech business.
Whittlesey told CIO UK that she’s reporting to the CRO, and ‘responsible for the evolution of the Investigo Executive business (more news to follow) and heading up the CIO Practice.’
Christine Ashton, long-time CIO, IT director and CIO UK 100 judge, has joined open source software company SUSE as its chief information officer.
“Being open, adaptive and building community is something SUSE has been doing since 1992 to solve technology and business challenges,” said Ashton, on LinkedIn. “I can’t think of a better purpose at this time for the next leg of my journey.”
Ashton has held CIO, CTO, SVP and NED (non-executive director) roles over her career and across sectors including media, retail, telecommunications, oil, energy, manufacturing and the supply chain.
Ilona Simpson, who formerly held senior IT leadership roles at Adidas, Porsche and DHL, has joined security vendor Netskope as its new EMEA CIO.
“From the CIO perspective, I have experienced first-hand the ways that cybersecurity can evolve from being an obstacle to ultimately become an enabler. The most important shift to achieve this is, I believe, changing the relationship between security and performance to remove frictional trade-offs,” said Simpson on LInkedIn.
Prior to joining Netskope, Simpson held IT leadership roles with major automotive, supply chain, utilities and consumer goods companies, including the positions of vice president, CIO and transformation officer at Adidas; the UK CIO of Porsche; and vice president of IT at DHL.
Sean Sadler, the former head of information technology at MWI Animal Health, and VP of IT at research firm MarketCast, has become a cloud advisory consultant at consultancy CGI.
“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity I have been presented, that will involve advising IT leaders such as myself, how to get the very best out of the public cloud services available and in so doing help them deliver on their cloud and IT strategies,” he said on LinkedIn.
Neil Williams, Croydon Council’s first chief digital officer, leaves at the end of January to join the British Film Institute (BFI) as its new executive director of technology and transformation.
Williams, formerly deputy director at the Government Digital Service and head of gov.uk, recently gave an update on Croydon’s digital transformation journey which has continued despite financial and resource constraints.
Kurt Weideling is the new CTO at the University of Leeds. Weideling had most recently spent 10 months at the Health Research Authority as its chief digital transformation officer as well as four years at Manchester Metropolitan University as CIO and director of information systems and digital services.
On LinkedIn, Weideling, who has also had senior IT roles in the research and energy sectors, describes himself as an ‘innovative leader with a talent for translating strategy into operational success through the successful design, implementation and support of business services in complex global environments.’
Sharon Prior has become the new CIO at high street retailer Card Factory.
Prior, who describes herself as a ‘digital business transformation leader and CIO, focused on digital, business growth, and agile delivery’, has previously held senior digital roles at IMI Critical Engineering, Upfield, Post Office, Thomson Reuters, Ann Summers and Avon.
“Card Factory is a successful high street specialist retailer, and is undertaking an ambitious growth strategy. The opportunity to become part of their journey is a compelling one, and I very much look forward to working with the incredibly talented team,” she said in a post on LinkedIn.
Kevin Antao, the CIO at Amnesty International, has left the non-profit organisation. Antao, who joined the charity in October 2017 as IT operations manager before being promoted to the CIO role in March 2019, has said that he has no immediate job plans, instead choosing to take the downtime to learn and do volunteering.
“The last four years showed me just how much the world needs Amnesty,” he said on LinkedIn. “And I feel very privileged to have been able to contribute to its work over that time and collaborate with so many incredible and courageous human rights defenders, activists and staff. From defending against countless cyber-attacks, to developing tech solutions to support Individuals at Risk, Prisoners of Conscience, the Digital Verification Corps, Pegasus, Preventing Online Violence Against Women – there’s never been a dull moment.
“I hope that I leave Amnesty healthier and more effective than I found it. I feel happy that my own achievements there — Cloud Transformation, website refactoring, ERP tools (Dynamics365) and the many other new tools and services I delivered — will mean that supporters, activists and staff can be even more effective in their work defending human rights.”
Ursula Dolton, the first CTO at the British Heart Foundation, has joined Lloyds Banking Group and will lead on technology strategy delivery.
“During my time here, I have had the honour of becoming the first CTO for the BHF, create the Technology directorate, lead BHF’s awesome Technology Team and be a founding member of the Technology Advisory Group,” she said on LinkedIn. “I couldn’t have done any of this without all the awesome people who worked alongside me and took the journey together with me.”
Simon Bolton, the interim chief executive of NHS Digital, will become the new CIO of the newly-formed NHS England & Improvement body, which is to encompass NHS Digital and NHSX.
Bolton, who will report into the group’s director of transformation, Tim Ferris, said that the NHS needs “coherent, consistent leadership on tech if it is to survive and thrive” and acknowledges that messaging among the different digital entities has caused “confusion and frustration” in the past. The consolidation of duties, as he noted on Twitter, aims to improve agility, patient outcomes and reduce inefficiencies.
NHS Digital said they had no further news on the merger at the time of writing, or Bolton’s change of role. You can read more about the new role, and what the merger means for the digital transformation of the NHS, in our news analysis here.
Ardonagh Advisory Holdings Ltd has appointed Tom Clark as its CTO.
Clark reports to COO Marcus Golby and brings over 20 years’ experience driving technology within businesses. He comes to Ardonagh, which claims to be the UK’s ‘largest independent insurance distribution platform’ and a top 20 broker globally, from credit management business Lowell Group, where he held the position of group chief architect and CIO (group functions).
“Ardonagh has rightly identified that the development of digital advancements will prove critical to customer experience and the subsequent growth of its business. I am delighted to be able to support Advisory as it continues to lead the way in this field,” Clark said in a statement on the company website.
Virgin Atlantic’s CDIO Ash Jokhoo joined Direct Line Group as the insurer’s new CIO.
Jokhoo is a member of its executive committee and reports into Penny Jones, DLG’s CEO, who announced the news on LinkedIn.
Jokhoo joined DLG from Virgin Atlantic, where he served as chief data and information officer with responsibility for the global technology transformation for Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Holidays. The executive talked about survival and IT prioritisation through the pandemic at the CIO Summit 2021, and inspiring the next-generation of IT leaders.
Prior to working at Virgin Atlantic, Jokhoo was CIO for the UK and Ireland at Centrica and has held other senior IT roles at TalkTalk and BT. He is a member of the 2021 CIO 100.
“It’s great to be joining an organisation that has truly put technology and data at the heart of its vision for the future,” said Jokhoo. “I’m so excited to get to work with the all the teams across the Group, accelerating the digital future for our customers.”
Karan Jain, head of technology Europe and Americas for Australian Bank and financial services company Westpac Banking, has left to become CEO of FinTech start-up NayaOne, where he will oversee strategy, product, commercial and investment prospects.
At Westpac, London-based Jain was responsible for product development and distribution of financial products and services, with a responsibility for algorithmic trading at the group as well as technology, cybersecurity and innovation in the northern hemisphere.
“My decision to leave such a meaningful job to pursue something of my own at this stage in my career was not an easy decision. Truthfully, I am slightly nervous, but I am more energised and excited by the prospect of using my skills and knowledge to empower more people with the use of emerging technologies,” said Jain on LinkedIn.
Jonathan Cole, director of information and CIO of the British Army, has retired after 35 years working for the military.
Cole had been CIO since April 2018.
In a LinkedIn post, he said: “I look back with fondness, gratitude and amazement at my experiences. I have worked and lived with incredible people all the way. And I look ahead with pride in the Army and an expectation that it will continue to adapt to change ahead.”
Danny Attias has been appointed as Chief Digital and Information Officer at London Business School, marking the first time the education establishment has hired a full-time, permanent CIO.
Attias topped the CIO 2020 100 list in his role at stem cell register and blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, where he helped deliver on an evergreen technology strategy, develop a culture of data-driven collaboration and scaled an impressive array of projects with a small IT team.
Taking over from interim CIO Stephen Potter, Attias will be tasked with modernisation the school’s technology and approach to digital, and has vowed to lead on diversity and inclusion. He reports into François Ortalo-Magné, the Dean at London Business School.
“My initial focus will be to shift the focus from large, complex projects to delivering rapid, incremental, digital benefits that add value to the School on a continuous basis … As well as join together all of the data and digital talent across various silos in the School into a community that works together towards shared goals with coming told and methodologies in order to better understand the complete journey of our students and provide them with a more personalised experience,” Attias told CIO UK.
Christina Scott joined energy supplier Ovo as the company’s new Chief Product and Technology Officer.
Formerly CTO at News UK, where she was responsible for overseeing the technology, data and product functions, as well as leading the emerging technology practice for the media company globally, Scott will lead the technology and product teams at Ovo to ‘provide intelligent energy technology solutions to support the decarbonisation of UK homes.’
Prior to News UK, Christina held the position of chief product and information officer at the Financial Times where she was responsible for driving the company’s digital transformation, using data insight to drive customer experience.
Christina has more than 20 years’ experience in technology leadership having previously worked at a number of blue chip companies including the BBC and Accenture. Christina will report to Ovo Adrian Letts.
Jayne Showell, the CIO at Severn Trent Water, became the chief information and digital officer for Coventry Building Society at the end of September.
Reporting to CEO Steve Hughes, Showell will be accountable for information security, service and operations, strategy and engineering. Showell told CIO UK she has been brought into CBS to drive ‘digital transformation across the organisation’.
Retailer Wickes announced that Mohamed El Fanichi was to join as its CITO on 1st September in what is a newly recreated role, following the de-merger of Wickes from Travis Perkins this April.
Mohamed reports directly to CEO, David Wood and is a member of the Wickes Executive Committee.
Mohamed joins from The Landmark Group UAE, where he has been CIO since March 2017.
Prior to that Mohamed held a number of technology and business systems leadership roles for the Kingfisher Group where he worked from 2009 until 2017.
Global health and care technology company Tunstall Healthcare announced the appointment of Gary Steen as Group Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Steen, who was previously Group Managing Director for Technology at telecommunications provider TalkTalk, now leads Tunstall’s innovation and development function globally. He is responsible for all solutions and products from Tunstall’s technology delivery centres in the UK, Sweden and Germany.
Prior to joining TalkTalk, Steen — a regular CIO 100 member and guest of the CIO UK podcast — worked as CTO for MDS Global, a software services business where he was responsible for running core product deliveries across Europe, Australia and the US.
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Doug Drinkwater is an experienced technology and security journalist, whose work has appeared on CIO, CSO, InfoWorld, Internet Business Times, Macworld, Mashable, PCWorld, SC Magazine and The Week, among other publications. He is the CIO UK editor at IDG.