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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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 community.

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Anna Barsby appointed CDTO at Asda

Anna Barsby was appointed as chief digital and technology officer at supermarket chain Asda on 4 November. The appointment comes soon after Walmart agreed to sell the chain to the British billionaire Issa brothers.

Barsby led the CIO 100 in 2015 while CIO at the retailer Halfords. She has since held the positions of chief technology officer at fellow supermarket chain Morrisons and cofounder of the management consultancy Tessiant.

“I bring grocery and retail experience, but I am a people and change leader who loves the value that technology can drive in business,” she said in a statement.

“This is an exciting opportunity to really engage the skills and talent of Asda. It is a unique chance, and you rarely get to do that at this scale.”

Barsby replaces Phil Tenney in the CDTO role, who joined as CIO in 2013.


Belinda Finch appointed CIO at Three UK

The UK mobile network provider Three appointed Belinda Finch as its new chief information officer on 23 September.

A former consultant, Finch brings a wealth of experience, having been the CIO and chief of staff at utilities giant Centrica most recently, as well as eight years’ experience in digital transformation roles at the rival telco Vodafone.

Finch will be responsible for bringing together and leading a team of 130 technology staff, as well as managing partner and contractor relationships.

“I’m delighted to be joining Three UK at this exciting time. It’s great to take the baton and lead the next chapter of Three’s transformation programme,” Finch said in a statement.

“Through working across all the functions at Three UK and bringing together all our IT capability into one team, we can deliver great customer benefits from our new IT infrastructure.”

Mayank Prakash joins Tilney Smith & Williamson as CTO

Mayank Prakash was appointed as CTO of wealth management firm Tilney Smith & Williamson on 8 September.

The wealth manager is the result of a September merger between former rivals Tilney and Smith & Williamson, with the combined firm now having £47 billion of assets under management.

“This is a really exciting time to be joining the business. The merger of Tilney and Smith & Williamson is a transformational combination which will create a truly unique business able to support clients with a wide range of services to facilitate the management of their personal wealth and their business interests," Prakash said in a statement.

“While the sectors it operates in have overall been slow to adapt to the opportunities that new technology provides, both Tilney and Smith & Williamson have made major investments in new systems in recent years.

Prakash previously held roles as chief consumer digital and information officer at the utilities giant Centrica, and before that was the chief digital and information officer at the UK Department of Work & Pensions (DWP).


Richard Corbridge appointed CIO at Boots

richard corbridge IDG UK

High-street health retailer and pharmacy chain Boots has appointed CIO 100 veteran and digital transformation leader Richard Corbridge as its new chief information officer.

As CIO at Boots UK and Ireland, Corbridge is now responsible for the IT estate across the whole Boots brand in both countries. The role supports the delivery of the company’s fast-growing digital retail health, care, wellness and beauty business. It also backs the healthcare capacity of community pharmacy as it increasingly evolves to be supported by digital capabilities. In his previous role of Director of Innovation at Boots, Corbridge’s team was responsible for delivering virtual GP capability, algorithm-based wellness check-ups and cancer support from pharmacists during lockdown, among other initiatives.

A seasoned healthcare CIO and digital transformation speaker, Corbridge’s former roles include chief digital and information officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and CIO and CEO (eHealth) at Ireland’s Health Service Executive.

Ex-AXA group CIO joins Reassured

Life insurance broker Reassured has appointed Matt Potashnick as its new chief information officer to lead the company’s IT strategy. In his new role, Potashnick will be responsible for Reassured’s digital sales strategy across its five sites and additional ones to be included during the firm’s portfolio expansion. He will also join Reassured’s executive board.

Prior to Reassured, Potashnick spent an eight-year tenure at multinational insurance firm AXA, where he last held the post of group chief information officer for UK and Ireland. At AXA, Potashnick led major transformation projects and was member of the executive committee.

In 2005 Potashnick co-founded and was chief information officer of Swiftcover.com, a B2C insurance group later acquired by AXA.


Niamh McKenna becomes NHS Resolution's first CIO

NHS Resolution, an arm’s-length body of the Department of Health and Social Care, has appointed Niamh McKenna as its first chief information officer.

The organisation, which provides expertise to the NHS on resolving concerns and disputes fairly, recently refreshed its strategic plan to 2022, which sets out the direction for the organisation over the next few years.

Niamh McKenna Accenture

Niamh McKenna

In her new role, McKenna will support NHS Resolution’s mission while it embarks on a major programme to enhance its technology capability.

McKenna joins NHS Resolution after 26 years at consultancy firm Accenture, where she last held the post of managing director for the health practice.

“We are delighted to welcome Niamh to the NHS Resolution team where she will lead an exciting programme of work to use technology to release the power of the data we hold,” Helen Vernon, chief executive at NHS Resolution, said in a statement.

“Niamh’s extensive experience in driving innovative yet practical technology change will help us to make a difference in the work that we do to deliver improvements to NHS patients and those who care for them. We are looking forward to working with her as we embark on this important next phase of our strategy.”

McKenna will be taking up her appointment in August.

Kevin Moran promoted to CIO of Blackadders

Kevin Moran of Scottish law firm Blackadders was promoted in June to chief information officer after joining the firm in 2016 as IT director.

Moran manages the IT team and oversees the use of technology for the firm, being responsible for strategic direction in alignment with the business' needs.

Prior to joining Blackadders, Moran worked across various sectors including retail and education. He has also been involved in clinical informatics and high-performance computing in a medical environment.

Alberto Sanson takes over the CIO role at Domino

Printing technologies company Domino Printing Sciences has appointed Alberto Sanson as its new chief information officer following the retirement of Dick Wallin, who led the business’ IT for the past 20 years.

In his new role, Sanson is responsible for leading Domino’s IT function and to accelerate its digital transformation. He is also part of the executive leadership team.

“Our objective is to improve both the experience we provide our customers and our operational efficiency, to deliver genuine, long-term competitive advantage,” Sanson said in a statement. “At Domino, our digital transformation program supports the long-term aspirations outlined in our vision and mission, but also the critically important information backbone to respond to day to day business needs.”

Prior to joining Domino, Sanson worked at Illinois Tool Works, where he held the position of group IT director for the company’s US$1.7bn construction wing.

First CIO appointed at Delineate

Insights and data company Delineate has appointed Wayne Evans as its first chief information officer.

Evans joins Delineate with more than 15 years' experience of infrastructure and engineering, most of it from tech support services firm BCC IT where he worked from 2004 until last year.

In his new role, Evans will work alongside the firm’s CTO to strengthen its big data capabilities.

Evans will be based in Delineate’s operations centre in west Wales.


John Presland joins Horwich Farrelly as CIO

Horwich Farrelly solicitors announced on 27 May the appointment of John Presland as its new chief information officer. 

Prior to joining Horwich Farrelly, Presland led large scale IT integrations and multimillion-pound digital transformation projects at financial services companies Churchill Insurance, RBS, Royal Sun Alliance and LV=.

Presland's most recent role was head of global information services operations at the British Council, where he was responsible for service delivery at 220 sites across 120 countries.

John Presland, CIO at Horwich Farrelly Horwich Farrelly

John Presland, CIO at Horwich Farrelly

“I am both delighted to be taking up this role in a law firm that is so successful within the insurance market – a sector I know very well. I am truly excited by the opportunity this gives me in an incredibly innovative and growing business," said Presland in a statement.

“Through continual investment in best in class IT solutions, we can help Horwich Farrelly’s legal and operational teams to carry out their jobs as efficiently as possible, thereby ensuring the insurance industry receive the best possible service. I believe my experience will ensure we do this to the highest standard, whilst also future-proofing the business from an IT perspective.”

Grainger appoints Paul Glibbery to lead its digital transformation

Ex-Hewlett Packard and Fujitsu executive Paul Glibbery has joined residential property firm Grainger as its new chief information officer.

The appointment follows Grainger’s significant investment in its new technology platform, CONNECT, which promises an "integrated technology solution" which will enhance the customer experience, improve operational efficiencies further and protect the firm’s license to operate, said Grainger in a statement.

Glibbery joins the Newcastle-based firm after more than 20 years of extensive experience leading the delivery of global technology and digital business transformation programmes for major brands including Hewlett Packard, Airbus and Fujitsu.

During his seven-year tenure at Hewlett Packard, Glibbery acted as delivery director for HP Defence UK, led the Group’s ES business transformation programme within the EMEA region, and ultimately was responsible for a USD 250 million global account and sales team, with the remit of implementing a strategy for clients to transition the technology mix from legacy to digital services, working within strategic partnerships with Microsoft, AWS, and Dell.

Before joining the corporate world, Glibbery spent 25 years as commanding officer in the British Army, and holds a master's degree in defence technology from Cranfield University.

Manila McLean appointed CIO of Newcastle Building Society

Newcastle Building Society announced on 5 May that it had appointed Manila McLean as its new chief information officer.

With over 20 years’ experience in financial services, McLean joined Newcastle Building Society’s technology subsidiary Newcastle Strategic Solutions in 2019 as its digital director, following 10 years as head of digital at Tesco Bank.

Manila McLean, CIO at Newcastle Building Society Newcastle Building Society

Manila McLean, CIO at Newcastle Building Society

“The industry as a whole faces significant challenges following the COVID-19 outbreak and we’re seeing businesses around the world begin to adapt to a ‘new normal’ and put an even greater demand on technology,” said McLean in a statement.

“At Newcastle Building Society this means ensuring the technology we develop helps to deliver and meet the future needs of our customers, clients and colleagues, and I’m looking forward to helping the Society continue its digital journey.”

McLean also wants to promote female talent at the organisation as part of her remit.

“I’m passionate about developing female talent within technology and I’m excited about the future of the industry in our region,” she added. “We’re blessed with a vibrant tech scene but we need to continue to work together to harness that potential and ensure we attract and retain the top digital and tech talent.” 

McLean, who is originally from Glasgow, resides with her family in the North East of England.

AdviserPlus hires Martin King as new CTO

Martin King, CTO at AdviserPlus Martin King

Martin King, CTO at AdviserPlus

HR consultancy firm AdviserPlus appointed Martin King as its new chief technology officer (CTO) in May.

The former CTO of The Football Pools has held senior IT roles in different organisations for the past five years, including head of IT at Chester Zoo and Moneypenny.  

"AdviserPlus have an incredible group of knowledgeable HR people, who work closely with the technology that is built and supported by the internal teams," King told CIO UK. "This in turn helps us to offer a fantastic service to our clients, who can choose to either take just our software or our fully managed service where our knowledgeable team alongside.

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