Updated

2020 CIO appointments in the UK

Keep up to date with the latest UK CIO and senior IT executive appointments with our UK Movers & Shakers noticeboard.

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NHS CIO appointed as NHSX first “Digital Productivity” director

Mark Jones, former CIO at North Cumbria and Devon NHS trusts, was appointed at the beginning of April as NHSX’s first 'director of digital productivity (Mission 5)' – a role designed to lead NHSX’s key programmes to boost productivity across the health and care system in England.

Unveiled in 2019 by health secretary Matt Hancock, NHSX was established to drive digital transformation and lead IT policy across the NHS by bringing together teams from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England and NHS Improvement into one central unit, led by NHSX CEO Matthew Gould.

Jones enters a team of IT executive directors including Sonia Patel, due to join as NHSX CIO in the summer, and former William Hill CTO David Hill, who is expected to join NHSX as its first CTO in May.

March

Nick Burton named CIO of global cosmetics company Avon

After spending over a year as vice president, digital products and architecture, at cosmetic retailer Avon, Burton was promoted in March to chief information and digital officer, vice president.

Nick Burton, CIO at Avon Nick Burton

Nick Burton, CIO at Avon

In his new role Burton is responsible for simplifying Avon's technology and leading its digital platform implementation, which is a critical pillar within Avon’s Open Up and Grow business strategy. To enable Avon's digital transformation, Burton is looking at enterprise architecture, enterprise integration services, software development processes, as well as testing standards and best practice.

Prior to joining Avon, Burton worked at Belron – known for brands such as Autoglass – where he led the digital and IT function and was also responsible for leading the company IT strategy and for the transformation of the business to a digital customer service delivery model.

Gary Balmer becomes CIO at Tesco Bank

Former retail and hospitality tech executive Gary Balmer joins Tesco Bank as chief information officer following the retirement of former CIO Gary Tucker, who left after a five-year stint at the high street bank.

He reports into David Bowerman, the bank’s chief operating officer from the firm's Edinburgh headquarters.

With Balmer, Tesco Bank will be seeking to pick itself up and drive forward a new digital strategy and differentiate itself within a crowded British banking market, reported CIO UK at the time.

Rachel Dunscombe joins Visionable as CTO

A respected and well-known health tech leader in the UK, Dunscombe joined the healthcare-focused video collaboration platform Visionable at the end of March.

Although Dunscombe’s career began in the private sector, she soon moved into the public one via the NHS. She was CIO at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, before she moved to Salford Royal as CIO and then director of digital.

Dunscombe left the trust to become the first chief executive of the NHS Digital Academy, which was set up following the Wachter Review of NHS IT to develop a new generation of health tech leaders, and to lead KLAS’ Global Arch Collaborative.

In her new part-time role at Visionable, Dunscombe will lead the firm’s strategy on the development of its video collaboration platform to meet the evolving needs of integrated care systems, the clinicians who work in them, and their patients.

January

Former Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs executive joins Northern Trust as new CTO

US-based financial services firm Northern Trust hired Alison Pain as its new chief technology officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in January.

Pain is tasked to provide leadership and guidance to the planning, organisation, direction and control of Northern Trust’s enterprise technology business unit across the EMEA region.

During her most recent stint at Deutsche Bank, Paine served as managing director within the firm’s IT business. Prior to this job she held several senior roles at Goldman Sachs across a 12-year career, leading infrastructure service and application development functions in EMEA and globally.

Pain reports to Tom South, CIO of Northern Trust, and locally to Teresa Parker, president for EMEA at Northern Trust.

Benedetto Conversano named Diageo’s new Chief Information Officer

Global producer of alcoholic beverages, Diageo, appointed Benedetto Conversano as its new CIO in January for a 15 May start.

Diageo is a London-based multinational alcoholic beverages company, which owns popular brands including Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Baileys and Guinness.

Conversano’s previous experience includes spells at Procter & Gamble, Fater JV, Ikea, and Jeronimo Martins. Most recently Conversano held the position of Chief Digital and Information Officer at the beauty company Avon.

In his role as CIO, Conversano will oversee the company’s new digital and technology function – a department that centralises all of Diageo’s technology elements and provides end-to-end support across business, data and analytics.

“It is an honour and a privilege to join a company like Diageo,” Conversano said at the time. “I have admired the company over time for its prestigious and historical brands, world-class business practises and processes, but most importantly for its values. So much has been already accomplished by Diageo and I am positive this is a very solid foundation to build an even brighter future.”

The new CIO will report to Diageo’s chief financial officer, Kathy Mikells.

Jots Sehmbi joins Essex University as CIO and CTO

Jots Sehmbi was appointed director of innovation and technology solutions at the University of Essex in late 2019. She brings with her more than 23 years of industry experience spanning multiple sectors.

Jots Sehmbi, Director of Innovation & Technology Solutions at the University of Essex Jots Sehmbi

Jots Sehmbi, director of innovation & technology solutions at the University of Essex

Sehmbi's job at the University of Essex combines the roles of CIO and CTO with the aim of driving the transformation and modernisation of the existing IT estate, to help meet the university’s strategic digital ambitions over the next five years.

A multi-award winning industry expert, mentor and speaker, Sehmbi is part of the CW500 club and CIO Dining Clubs, and regularly contributes to technology debates and speaks on industry trends, as well as advising on technology provision across a number of industry sectors.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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