UK movers and shakers: New CIO and IT executive appointments

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

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The world of the UK CIO is a dynamic one. It’s not unusual to find tech leaders finding new challenging roles where they can bring their experience and digital transformation vision to fruition.

Here, we bring you all the relevant announcements from the movers and shakers of the CIO UK community.

Do you have any appointment or job news to share? Let us know!

October 2021

Virgin Atlantic’s CDIO Ash Jokhoo will join Direct Line Group as the insurer’s new CIO on 15th November 2021.

ash jokhoo Ash Jokhoo

Jokhoo will become a member of its executive committee, subject to regulatory approval, and will report into Penny Jones, DLG’s CEO, who announced the news on LinkedIn.

Jokhoo joins DLG from Virgin Atlantic, where he served as chief data and information officer with responsibility for the global technology transformation for Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Holidays. The executive talked about survival and IT prioritisation through the pandemic at the CIO Summit 2021, and inspiring the next-generation of IT leaders.

Prior to working at Virgin Atlantic, Jokhoo was CIO for the UK and Ireland at Centrica and has held other senior IT roles at TalkTalk and BT. He is a member of the 2021 CIO 100.

 “It’s great to be joining an organisation that has truly put technology and data at the heart of its vision for the future,” said Jokhoo. “I’m so excited to get to work with the all the teams across the Group, accelerating the digital future for our customers.”

Karan Jain, head of technology Europe and Americas for Australian Bank and financial services company Westpac Banking, has left to become CEO of FinTech start-up NayaOne, where he will oversee strategy, product, commercial and investment prospects.

karan jain Karan Jain

At Westpac, London-based Jain was responsible for product development and distribution of financial products and services, with a responsibility for algorithmic trading at the group as well as technology, cybersecurity and innovation in the northern hemisphere.

“My decision to leave such a meaningful job to pursue something of my own at this stage in my career was not an easy decision. Truthfully, I am slightly nervous, but I am more energised and excited by the prospect of using my skills and knowledge to empower more people with the use of emerging technologies,” said Jain on LinkedIn.

jonathan cole Jonathan Cole

Jonathan Cole, director of information and CIO of the British Army, has retired after 35 years working for the military.

Cole had been CIO since April 2018.

In a LinkedIn post, he said: "I look back with fondness, gratitude and amazement at my experiences. I have worked and lived with incredible people all the way. And I look ahead with pride in the Army and an expectation that it will continue to adapt to change ahead."

September 2021

Danny Attias has been appointed as Chief Digital and Information Officer at London Business School, marking the first time the education establishment has hired a full-time, permanent CIO.

danny attias headshot Danny Attias

Attias topped the CIO 2020 100 list in his role at stem cell register and blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, where he helped deliver on an evergreen technology strategy, develop a culture of data-driven collaboration and scaled an impressive array of projects with a small IT team.

Taking over from interim CIO Stephen Potter, Attias will be tasked with modernisation the school’s technology and approach to digital, and has vowed to lead on diversity and inclusion. He reports into François Ortalo-Magné, the Dean at London Business School.

“My initial focus will be to shift the focus from large, complex projects to delivering rapid, incremental, digital benefits that add value to the School on a continuous basis ... As well as join together all of the data and digital talent across various silos in the School into a community that works together towards shared goals with coming told and methodologies in order to better understand the complete journey of our students and provide them with a more personalised experience," Attias told CIO UK.

Christina Scott joined energy supplier Ovo as the company’s new Chief Product and Technology Officer.

christina scott Christina Scott

Formerly CTO at News UK, where she was responsible for overseeing the technology, data and product functions, as well as leading the emerging technology practice for the media company globally, Scott will lead the Technology and Product teams at Ovo to ‘provide intelligent energy technology solutions to support the decarbonisation of UK homes.’

Prior to News UK, Christina held the position of Chief Product and Information Officer at the Financial Times where she was responsible for driving the company's digital transformation, using data insight to drive customer experience.  

Christina has more than 20 years’ experience in technology leadership having previously worked at a number of blue chip companies including the BBC and Accenture. Christina will report into Ovo Adrian Letts.

jayne showell Jayne Showell

Jayne Showell, the CIO at Severn Trent Water, became the Chief Information and Digital Officer for Coventry Building Society at the end of September.

Reporting into CEO Steve Hughes, Showell will be accountable for information security, service and operations, strategy and engineering. Showell told CIO UK she has been brought into CBS to drive ‘digital transformation across the organisation’.

Retailer Wickes announced that Mohamed El Fanichi was to join as its CITO on 1st September in what is a newly recreated role, following the de-merger of Wickes from Travis Perkins this April.

Mohamed reports directly to CEO, David Wood and is a member of the Wickes Executive Committee. 

Mohamed joins from The Landmark Group UAE, where he has been CIO since March 2017.

Prior to that Mohamed held a number of technology and business systems leadership roles for the Kingfisher Group where he worked from 2009 until 2017.

August 2021

Global health and care technology company Tunstall Healthcare announced the appointment of Gary Steen as Group Chief Technology Officer (CTO).  

gary steen chief technical officer at tunstall healthcare Gary Steen

Steen, who was previously Group Managing Director for Technology at telecommunications provider TalkTalk, now leads Tunstall’s innovation and development function globally. He is responsible for all solutions and products from Tunstall’s technology delivery centres in the UK, Sweden and Germany.

Prior to joining TalkTalk, Steen — a regular CIO 100 member and guest of the CIO UK podcast — worked as CTO for MDS Global, a software services business where he was responsible for running core product deliveries across Europe, Australia and the USA. 


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