by Rodney Gedda

Former Mars chocolate IT leader appointed Qantas CIO

Feb 24, 2011
CareersIT LeadershipIT Management

Qantas has appointed Paul Jones as its new group chief information officer, after a position at Mars where he was the IT head for its global chocolate division.

Jones will head up the business information solutions team at Qantas and will report directly to Qantas’ group executive for strategy and technology, Jayne Hrdlicka. He is due begin his new role at the end of April and will have overall responsibility for delivering IT solutions across the Qantas group.

Jones joins Qantas from Mars Incorporated, where he held the position of CIO for global chocolate.

Four CIOs have held the role in the past five years at Qantas, which continues to shake up its senior IT management

His experience includes defining IT strategic goals, delivering IT programs (applications and technology solutions) and responsibility for all IT services delivered within Mars global chocolate.

Prior to Mars, Jones held a variety of technology leadership roles at Mars and ATT, including large scale SAP implementations and infrastructure management in Europe.

After supposedly axing the CIO role two years ago, IT is now strategic again at the airline; with Jones set to report to Hrdlicka who reports to CEO, Alan Joyce.

As Jones comes on board, business information system chief architect and head of operations, Chris Seller will leave the company in early March. Seller resigned in January to pursue another role.

Last year, former NSW Department of Eduction CIO, Stephen Wilson, joined Qantas and in 2009 the flag carrier axed the CIO role held by Jamila Gordon after an 18 month tenure.

Gordon replaced former CIO, John Willett, who stayed in the role for 20 months after taking the reigns from high-profile CIO Fiona Balfour, who resigned in 2006 to join Telstra. Balfour, a 17-year veteran of Qantas, replaced former IT chief David Burden as CIO in late 2001.

All up, there have been four CIOs in the past five years at Qantas, which continues to shake up its senior IT management.

With Jones’ appointment, IT will be aligned with strategy rather than finance which was the tradition at the airline. Hrdlicka has also made some “interim changes” to the business information systems leadership team, effective from Monday.

The head of IT corporate, freight and IT services, Lachlan McEwan, will move to Chris Seller’s role of chief architect and head of operations and program manager, business information systems transformation, Peter McDonnell, will take on McEwan’s old role.

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