Technology Officers

IOPener UK—April 2009

Information Officer Trends and Moves Update


Welcome to the third issue of IOPener and the first of 2009. The current market for senior IT executives is reasonably active with several searches ongoing across all sectors in the UK for both CIOs and their direct reports. Restructuring in the financial services sector has resulted in high profile departures from Barclays, RBS and LTSB. The public and nonprofit sectors are extremely active, reflecting the stimulus given to those sectors by greater public expenditure and a greater supply of candidates looking for more stability. There is hiring growth in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, but there is also an expectation in the region that good candidates will move for less.

There is considerable focus on vendor relations with many CIOs renegotiating long-term supply contracts, including outsourcing arrangements. Some CIOs are sensing this is a good time to negotiate a deal and are considering bringing forward capital acquisitions. This is also a good time for vendors to be creative with their clients and to propose new deals on attractive terms, especially those professional service firms who currently have excess capacity.

There is growth in some specialist functions, particularly related to risk, including IT Risk, Information Security and Business Continuity. The nformation Security market is constrained by a limited supply of experienced and qualified candidates. Traditionally this has been a relatively poorly paid discipline where we would expect to see compensation packages increase over the short to medium term.

The sentiment in the market seems to be one of conservatism. Clients are more inclined to postpone hiring decisions or to be less generous on negotiating packages. Candidates in work are more cautious about making moves unless they can be convinced of the growth agenda and the commitment to support change within the new company. Many out of work candidates are looking at short-term, interim assignments whilst still holding out for permanent roles. This is also a good time for home-grown talent to be given an opportunity to take on more stretching roles within their current organisation. Whether you are an IT Director or CIO, there is increasing demand for transformational leadership. We have included a recent article in about the difference between IT Director and CIO candidates which we hope you will find informative.

IOPening Moves (highlights for January – March 2009)

Access Bank

  • Access Bank Group (Nigeria) has announced the appointment of Tunde Coker as Group Information Officer (CIO). Prior to joining the bank, Coker was the Director of Corporate IT, Ministry of Justice. He joined the Ministry as Chief Technical Officer for Criminal Justice IT.

Bank of England

  • Simon Moorhead has been appointed CIO for the Bank of England. Moorhead was previously Global Head of Business Relationship Management Information Service & Technology (IS&T), Reuters.

Barbon Insurance Group

  • Rachael Bishop has been appointed IT Director for the new insurance group. She previously played a pivotal role in the start-up of Hastings Direct, progressing through the company to the position of Group IT Director.


  • John Linwood, previously SVP of International Engineering for Yahoo!, is joining the BBC as CTO. Linwood will be responsible for delivering the BBC’s technology strategy, including maintenance of the technical infrastructure behind all BBC output.


  • Betfair have hired Tony McAlister as CTO. McAlister’s previous positions include CTO at both Vodafone and most recently US-based Motricity.


  • Sil Sehra, previously the Director of IT for Global Finance at Unilever, joined Boots in April as a Director of IT reporting to the CIO.


  • Simon Mouncer has been appointed Head of Business & IT for BrightHouse. Prior to this he was Head of Finance for the business change programme at Marks & Spencer. His other roles within M&S included Head of Finance for the group IT function.


  • David Matthewson has joined DirectGov as Director of Product Infrastructure and Technical Capability. He was previously IT Director at BGL Group.


  • Bob Rickert, CIO of Barclays’ global retail and commercial banking, resigned in early February to join Paul Idzik at DTZ as their COO.

HM Revenue and Customs

  • Colin Cobain has joined the board of HMRC as Non-Executive Director to assist the department’s strategic leadership and to oversee its governance and performance. Cobain is currently interim Group CIO with SABMiller and was previously CIO of Tesco.

The Hut Group

  • The Hut Group, which runs its own e-tail site as well as white label sites on behalf of retailers including Asda, has appointed Anuraag Jain, previously of, as IT Director.


  • Inclarity, the hosted VoIP provider for SMEs, has appointed Kenny Kamal as their new CTO. Kamal joins from MLL Telecom where, as CTO, he was instrumental in the company’s growth over the past five years.

London Stock Exchange

  • Mark Ryland joins as Chief Technology Officer of the Baikal project, the forthcoming pan-European dark liquidity trading venue. Ryland joins from SWX Europe where he was COO.

NYK Logistics (UK)

  • Chris Bale has recently been named as the new IT Director for NYK Logistics (UK). Over the past 20 years Bale has held similar positions at Schenker, TDG and most recently Target Express. In his new role, Bale will be responsible for the strategic development of NYK’s IT function.

Ocean Power Technologies

  • Ocean Power Technologies announced the appointment of Dr. Phil Hart to the newly created position of Chief Technology Officer. Previously with Global Marine Systems, Hart will report to OPT’s Chief Executive Officer and will be responsible for advanced technology development.

Smiths Group

  • Brian Jones joins Smiths Group as CIO. Jones was previously CIO for the Burberry Group.


  • Peter Sany becomes CTO and Head of IT for UBS. Sany was previously Group CIO of Deutsche Telekom and succeeds Scott Abbey who will transition out of his current responsibilities.

Do you need a CIO or do you need an IT director?

It’s not a job title that makes you CIO—it’s your behaviour”

By Steve Ranger 

Published: 11 March 2009 13:17 GMT,

Despite the economic turmoil there’s still life in the CIO recruitment market—although companies searching for a new tech chief may not always know exactly what they are looking for.

According to Tim Cook, executive director at executive recruitment company Russell Reynolds Associates, companies hunting for a new head of IT aren’t always sure whether they want a CIO or an IT director.

“I think that there’s a big difference between a CIO and an IT director, and many people who are in fact IT directors have the job title of CIO. There’s almost a job title inflation out there. Many of our clients initiate searches with us by saying they want a CIO but when we introduce them to a change-oriented, edgy business guy that happens to run a technology function, they sometimes go for the person who is more inwardly oriented on the IT function itself.”

These are people who are by and large IT directors, said Cook, who do an outstanding job managing an IT function but are less comfortable challenging the business.

“IT guys are often in the IT function because they love being creative with technology, and solving problems. They have a natural predisposition to talk the language of technology and not that of business. Being an outstanding CIO implies an ability to run an IT function well, in addition to having a broad interest in the business and the communications skills to engage with executive board members.”

This means the supply of CIOs is small whereas the supply of IT directors is much larger, he said: “The pool of IT directors lies mostly within the IT function itself, with other sources including the professional service firms. Too few CIOs come from within the business, and I believe to increase the pool of CIO candidates going forwards clients will need to look at candidates with a strong business background in addition to those from the IT function itself.”

“A minority of senior IT people that we meet are capable of being CIOs, and it’s because of these skills around communication. It’s not a job title that makes you CIO - it’s your behaviour,” he added.

Cook said the CIO recruitment market is currently tending towards the conservative, with candidates being—understandably—cautious about making a move and companies planning to make new appointments reconsidering whether it is wise to hire when there is so much uncertainty.

But Cook told “It is a good time to approach people however, especially from sectors where there is much turmoil such as financial services. It has probably never been a better time to hire into the public sector!”

He said there is a lot of deal making going on too, with some CIOs and IT directors bringing forward capital purchases in the belief they can cut a better deal with suppliers—a trend highlighted by a recent CIO Jury.

“CIOs are secure, providing their function is delivering. Even so, many CIOs are actively looking at ways of restructuring their organisations to save cost and improve efficiency,” he added.

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IOPener UK—April 2009