How Boohoo's CIO manages innovation, supply chain woes and M&A

From consolidating the tech stack, to supporting M&A and leading an internal change programme in the wake of supply chain controversy, Boohoo CIO Jo Graham sees innovation as part of the day job.

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Jo Graham

The CIO role may have once been about "keeping the lights on", but that’s rarely the case for Boohoo’s Jo Graham, who is helping the growing online fashion retailer support thriving M&A activity, address supply chain problems and move to headless e-commerce platforms.

Starting in May 2019, and reporting to CEO John Lyttle, Graham has been part of the organisation’s sustained growth. Having reported sales of some 53 million orders to almost 18 million customers since launching in 2006, the UK-based company more recently announced that revenue increased 32% to £486.1 million (US$676 million) in the three months to May.

This isn’t to say that her role has been plain sailing. For one thing, she’s had to scale Boohoo's  technology function to keep up with a conveyor belt of M&A activity.

Boohoo acquired fashion brands Karen Millen and Coast in 2019, Oasis and Warehouse in 2020, and integrated the online businesses of Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton into its e-commerce platform after buying the brands from Arcadia administrators for £25 million earlier this year. Higher-profile still was the £55 million acquisition of high-street giant Debenhams’ brand and website.

Boohoo, which counts Boohoo, Boohoo Man, PrettyLittleThing and Miss Pap amongst its other brands, has also been embroiled in allegations of malpractice across its supply chain, with an investigation finding that the firm had "endemic" issues of poor working conditions, insufficient pay levels and "neglected" employee rights.

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