by Byron Connolly

Exclusive: Bakers Delight CIO, CFO made redundant

Jan 20, 2017
CareersIT Leadership

Bakers Delight’s long-standing CIO, Joanne Stubbs, has been made redundant. Stubbs had been in the role since August 2008.

The Australian-owned bakery franchise chain’s CFO, Debbie Dowling, has also been made redundant with both Dowling’s and Stubbs’ positions being rolled into a dual role.

Bakers’ Delight founder and joint-CEO, Lesley Gillespie, confirmed both roles are being combined but declined to expand further on the leadership restructure.

Stubbs told CIO Australia she doesn’t want another full-time role. She started her career in IT in 1989 as an IT training manager at now defunct airline, Ansett.

Over the past year-and-a-half, Stubbs has been a non-executive director at Scope, an organisation that supports children with cerebral palsy.

“With the changes to the NDIS, they [Scope] need to change an enormous amount of their systems to cater for that,” Stubbs said.

She also sits on the board of engineering consultancy and 3D printing specialist, Select 3D.

“They are a fairly new startup … I am not earning anything from this at the moment but I am helping in terms of directing where their efforts should be,” Stubbs said.

Stubbs is also looking for some paid directorships, and added she plans to spend time doing UN peacekeeping work in Africa.

Stubbs and her team of 33 technology staff have rolled out several innovations at the retailer in recent years as part of a technology transformation project. One of the challenges was to find computing equipment that would last in a baking environment where there’s flour and water in the air for most of the day. The industrialisation of tablet technology enabled the team tablets and fan-less proprietary point-of-sale (POS) units.

Stubbs and her team also created a centralised reporting system for bakers to access via the Internet, implemented a global WAN, and negotiation and implemented integrated payments with payment providers.

Stubbs admitted the role at Bakers Delight had been quite stressful in recent months. In the past four months, she had accrued three-and-a-half months of time in lieu.

Lesley Gillespie told CIO Australia Stubbs’ record speaks for itself but that the organisation needed a different role.

Meanwhile, Lesley and her co-founder husband, Roger Gillespie have handed over the CEO role to their son Aaron Gillespie, who has run the company’s Canadian operation since 2014.

Lesley Gillespie told CIO Australia that the Australia and New Zealand CEO roles have also been handed to her daughter, Elise Gillespie and son in law, David Christie. Elise and David are general managers of the organisation’s Australian operations.

“As much as you’d like to think you can live forever you don’t and you have to set things up for the next generation,” said Lesley Gillespie.

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Follow Byron Connolly on Twitter: @ByronConnolly