by Jennifer O'Brien

CIO50 2019 – Meet the Judges

Jun 20, 2019
APIsArtificial IntelligenceAugmented Reality

With the fourth annual CIO50 now in full swing and nominations open until August 12, it’s time to meet our esteemed judges.

CIO Australia has assembled a stellar cast of industry leaders to weigh in on this year’s stories of business innovation and leadership.

From executives of big brands to CIOs of private and not-for-profit organisations, and well as heads of research and think tanks, this colourful cast of characters will determine this year’s CIO50 list.

The list recognises technology executives who are driving innovation and influencing rapid change across their organisations.

In determining this year’s Top 50 leaders, the judges will recognise the successful CIOs will be business leaders who enable their organisations to meet the needs of their customers or communities through technology.

Unmistakably, CIOs are transforming to become business strategists, cleverly adopting innovation and continually shifting towards an ICT visionary role. The CIO’s responsibilities continue to evolve from managing cost centres to a stronger business orientation.

Indeed, it’s a pivotal time in the life and times of a CIO, and now more important than ever to recognise and applaud the ICT leaders shaping the future of industry and government.

Let’s meet our Judges:

Pip Marlow

CEO, Customer Marketplace, Suncorp | ARN Hall of Fame

Pip Marlow

Pip Marlow is chief executive officer, customer marketplace. She is responsible for driving customer focus into all aspects of Suncorp’s business including strategy, customer care, partnerships and innovative solutions that add value for customers.

Prior to joining Suncorp in 2016, Marlow was the managing director of Microsoft Australia for six years.

She is a non-executive director of the Australian Rugby Union (ARU), sits on the Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Board at UTS and is a member of Chief Executive Women (CEW), an organisation committed to supporting and growing women in executive positions.

She enjoys working in a vibrant, collaborative environment, and is an advocate for flexible and diverse workplaces that empower people through trust and accountability.

Bridget Gray

Managing director, Harvey Nash

Bridget Gray is the managing director of Harvey Nash for the Asia Pacific region. She leads three major service lines including offshore technical development out of a hub in Vietnam, Executive Search/Board Services and technical/digital talent acquisition. Gray and her team are responsible for delivering the best, highly sought after talent and solutions to the Harvey Nash client universe across the region.

Gray secures top technology and digital talent for her clients undergoing major transformational, or scale up programs, and supports them to create a platform to create innovative solutions and products to address complex market challenges across the globe.

Bridget Gray

She joined Harvey Nash in 2008, heading up Harvey Nash’s flagship CIO and spearheading the creation of the digital practice in London head office.

She sits on the board of Which-50, the Management Committee for FitT (Females in Information Technology and Telecommunications) and is a regular commentator on emerging technology themes including platform economics, executing digital strategy and building engaged product, service and business teams.

Gray’s passion revolves around the ever-changing global digital ecosystem, technological innovation and encouraging diversity of thought and Inclusive leadership. She believes that creating relevant, sustainable and ultimately profitable business products and services requires a curated and inclusive workforce, and must be championed from the top levels of the business to be effective.

She partners with multiple thought leadership bodies including MIT, KPMG, London Business School, Adapt and Which-50. She is a regular commentator in the media, contributing to discussions on the future of work, equality on talent, collaboration, mega trends, innovation and equality in the workforce.

Marc Bailey

CEO, Intersect Australia

Marc Bailey is the CEO of research productivity company Intersect Australia. Formerly, Bailey served for five years as Macquarie University’s first CIO, director and Treasurer of the Australian Access Federation, director of AARNET, as NSW and ACT chair of the Council of Australian University Directors of Information Technology and a director of Intersect Australia.

Marc Bailey

He represented Macquarie in the NSW Health and University CIO Forum, the Sydney Basin Fibre Network project board, the Australian Hearing Hub Consortium. He is an information innovator driven by making a quantifiable difference. He complements a technical generalist background with variable focus, having worked on three continents for diverse private and public sector organisations for over two decades. He joined MacU from his previous role as CTO for Objective Corporation.

He has also informed governmental policy and information management at federal, state and local levels in Australia and New Zealand; whole-of-government change management in the Scottish Government and Welsh Assembly; and standards development for the European Union. As an entrepreneur, he consulted to organisations like Cisco, Apple, Microsoft, Telstra, Optus, Mars, Enbridge, American Express, the North-Western Health Care network of Victoria, St Vincent’s Hospital, and Charles Darwin University.

Jenny Beresford

CDO, Laureate International Universities

Jenny Beresford is the chief digital officer of Laureate International Universities, based in Melbourne. The role has a wide ranging remit across both digital strategy and product, and IT operations.

Jenny Beresford

Beresford is the former research director with Gartner’s CIO Advisory team. Beresford has been both a consultant to – and a CIO in – global enterprises experiencing market disruption. She has also served as a vice-president and general manager in consulting and technology firms, as a digital program manager, through to hands-on roles in strategic planning, change management, innovation, enterprise architecture and portfolio management.

Prior to her role at Gartner as research director, CIO Advisory Group, Beresford was the director of digital and agile for Marketbrook Consulting, and formerly the CIO of Swinburne University of Technology. She was also the former CIO of Pearson, and head of technology experience for the National Australia Bank.

She has walked in the shoes of the contemporary CIO who is leading digital and bi modal practice, complex change, and innovation. She has traveled extensively, moved continents frequently, and worked in the U.K., Europe, India, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Mexico,U.S. and Canada.

Garry Whatley

Director, CIO Advisory

Garry Whatley has more than 30 years’ IT industry experience and has held a number of strategic ‘c’ level roles and board positions. Whatley has extensive experience in digital transformation, IT governance, and major organisation restructuring and change programs.

Garry Whatley

He currently works for CIO Advisor, which provides independent advice to boards and executives. He is also involved with 99tests, a crowdsource testing startup in India and is deputy chairman of Multiple Sclerosis Limited.

His executive experience includes: interim CIO at Coffrey International; vice-president, IT and business services for Staples; CIO and business transformation executive at Corporate Express; general manager IT and online solutions for Sony; as well as various other senior roles in consulting, technology and change management.

David Kennedy

CIO, Transaction Services Group

David Kennedy is the CIO of Transaction Services Group (TSG). He was voted #2 in the 2018 NZ CIO 100 index and also a finalist for CIO of the year in 2017. The TSG role covers being the Group CIO for seven companies in the UK, Australia, US and NZ.

David Kennedy

Kennedy is a member of the editorial advisory board of CIO New Zealand. He is chairman of a group of IT/Digital Executives (, who are working on country wide issues with industry and government. He is a director for Computer Culture (a Christchurch-based company), chairman of the advisory board for the Future CIO Programme at the University of Auckland and advisory council member for Beyond Trust, an American security product company.

He is a well respected thought leader in the space of digital and cyber and is a regular speaker at international conferences.

Mark Gay


Mark Gay is chief information officer for QBE Insurance Group’s Australia Pacific division, leading a team responsible for modernising QBE’s processes, technology and infrastructure, as part of its Future Focus.

Gay is passionate about helping organisations transition from analogue to digital. He has over 25 years’ experience driving change in global roles spanning logistics, education, entertainment, and banking financial services, including six years with GE Capital.

Mark Gay

He holds a Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MEI) from Swinburne University of Technology, is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and was listed as the number one technology chief in CIO Australia’s CIO50 list in 2016.

In 2018, he was named one of Australia’s most outstanding Gay and Lesbian business leaders.

Dr Malcolm Thatcher

CEO and founder, Strategance Group

Dr Thatcher is a career technologist, strategist and senior executive having held executive leadership positions in both public-sector and private-sector organizations. Dr Thatcher has over 35 years’ experience in leading and delivering business value through technology-led innovation and transformation.

Dr Thatcher is currently CEO and Founder of Strategance Group, a firm specialising in digital strategy and governance services to assist organisations with their digital investments. Between 2004 and 2017, Dr Thatcher held CIO roles in large public sector and private sector organisations.

Dr Malcolm Thatcher

Notable roles included chief health information officer for Queensland Health; Interim CEO of eHealth Queensland; and CIO and chief facilities officer for the Mater Health Group. He is a published author and holds an Honors Degree in Computer Science from UQ, a Masters Degree in Computer Science and a PhD in Technology Governance from QUT and has completed a certificate program in IT Leadership from Harvard University.

Dr Thatcher is currently a facilitator for the QUT MBA Program, lecturing in digital governance, and a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society, a Graduate of the AICD and a member of HISA.

Bill Le Blanc

CIO, SA Health

Bill Le Blanc is executive director of eHealth Systems and the CIO of SA Health. Le Blanc has worked in ICT for over 30 years and has worked throughout Australia, Asia, and the USA. Prior to joining SA Government, he spent over 20 years in the private sector spanning in senior roles with multinational ICT vendors.

Bill Le Blanc

His group provides the technology for 80 South Australia Government hospitals and health services. His team of circa 600 ICT professionals supports major healthcare transformation and he is responsible for an annual budget of $200M.

In 2017, he was ranked as #1 in CIO Australia’s CIO50, and in 2016 he polled at #4

Tim Sheedy

Advisor, Ecosystm

Tim Sheedy is a principal advisor at Ecosystm – a new age technology research and advisory firm. Sheedy brings more than 20 years of experience in designing and implementing cloud, IoT, AI and automation strategies to the Ecosystm network, to support businesses in their IT decisions.

In his previous role, Sheedy spent 12 years at Forrester Research, most recently as a principal analyst, helping IT leaders improve their digital capabilities. Prior to this, he was research director for IT solutions at IDC in Australia, where he assisted IT vendors in designing solutions to better fit market requirements, and IT buyers in improving the effectiveness of their IT functions.

Beyond the office, he boasts an international reputation as an entertaining and informative public speaker on the key trends in the IT market.

Tim Sheedy

He graduated from University of Technology Sydney with a BA majoring in Marketing and Research. In his free time, he enjoys playing football (badly!) and tennis, and watching rugby. But while he may enjoy that, he spends most of his time driving his two children to various sporting and social activities.

Dr Vladas Leonas

Senior consultant, iCare

Dr Vladas Leonas is the senior consultant at iCare. He was formerly the director of technology and architecture at the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation.

Leonas has an outstanding academic and professional background in computer science and communications. He has been recognised throughout the world in this field. Leonas is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society; he is also a Fellow of Engineers Australia.

In 1991, Leonas joined OTC/Telstra and in 1996 he became divisional CIO of Telstra’s Payphones Division, where he participated in replacement of 35,000 public payphones across Australia and the biggest smart cards project in Australia. During this period he became an expert in smart cards and his expertise in this area has been recognised worldwide.

Vladas Leonas

His assignments include Regional Director of Technology of GTech (solutions for lotteries), CIO of the NSW Department of Public Works and Services and CTO of the Australian Centre for Advanced Computing and Communications (provision of supercomputing services and hosted/managed data centre services for commercial and Government clients) – where he has led a team that has delivered the very first over 1 TFlop supercomputer in Australia, CIO of the NSW Department of Housing, CIO of the NSW Transport Construction Authority, Group CIO and Deputy Group CIO of Transport for NSW, principal consultant to the UNSW IT, and CIO of WestConnex – Sydney Motorway Corporation.

Craig Wishart

CIO, KPMG Australia

Craig Wishart is the CIO of KPMG Australia. Formerly, he was the group CIO and CTO of UXC as well as the CIO and executive GM of customer care at Service Stream. Wishart’s mandate as CIO is deliver and execute a conjoined business and ICT plan and operational service management across the business.

His experience extends from mining/resources, media, telecommunications, government, and banking and finance. He has achieved significant results throughout his career, leading global business transformations, management of large scale customer facing operations (national and international) and has provided management consulting to many ASX listed and global organisations.

Craig Wishart

He has delivered large scale digital business transformations, cloud services implementations (SAAS, PAAS, IAAS), legacy decommissions and service operations change programs (AWS, Azure). He is an experienced cloud, digital transformation, collaboration, mobility, and agile business architect. Additionally, he has experience with the implementation of outsource and offshore programs (in India, Philippines, Vietnam, NZ, Australia, Israel) across ICT teams, contact centres and business teams.

Peter Nevin

IT director, Landcom

Peter Nevin is the IT director of Landcom. He was formerly the CIO of AUB Group, CIO of Geneva and is currently on the CIO Executive Council as director, board of advisors.

Nevin has more than 30 years international experience bridging information technology, business strategy, change management, operations and executive leadership. He has held senior executive roles across both public and private sector organisations; from start-ups, SMEs to ASX listed corporations and multinationals.

Peter Nevin

He is recognised for possessing a rare talent for turning around failing operations, successfully integrating mergers and acquisitions and digitally transforming organisations to achieve international expansion and competitive advantage.

His experience is complemented by a Bachelor of Applied Science (Computing) and a professional background in management consulting gained with Deloitte.

George Hunt

CIO, Sydney Water

George Hunt is the CIO of Sydney Water and last year clinched the No. 1 spot on the CIO50 List. Hunt’s a recognised technology leader within the global utility sector. He has a successful track record in implementing technology infrastructure to support increasing customer expectations, challenging regulatory outcomes and corporate business goals.

Before joining Sydney Water, he held roles as a global consulting partner at Wipro Digital in the UK and CIO for Wessex Water. He also held a senior IT leadership role (CTO) within RWE’s Energy and Water Division, where he took a lead role in the delivery of UK and US based business transformation programs for both Thames Water and American Water.

George Hunt

He has over 20 years of global utilities experience combined with a deep technical knowledge, strong commercial, business and regulatory understanding. He also has extensive experience in: successful ERP and SAP implementations, technology innovation to provide IT service and support, digital customer experience. He has a keen eye for engineering and technology. He is a time-served engineer having completed a four year technical apprenticeship in a major engineering company.

He has a Bachelor of Engineering from Birmingham University, UK and a Master of Information Systems from Kingston University, London, UK.

To enter the CIO50 2019, visit