Personal transport and delivery company Addison Lee has recruited transformation expert Ian Cohen as its CIO as the company prepares for international expansion it said in a statement.
Addison Lee was acquired by venture capital firm Carlyle Group in April 2013, which has enabled the London headquartered business to accelerate its growth. Cohen joining the business follows a series of investments as Addison Lee aims to become a global leader in ground transport, based on technology. In the last 18 months, the Addison Lee acquired executive car firms Tristar and US-based Flyte Tyme, and invested in new operations facilities, including a new fleet management centre near Hayes, Middlesex and a global customer services centre in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
Addison Lee focused on technology as a key part of its business model and customer service before Uber began to dominate personal transport headlines. Arguably, Addison Lee began the culture change in the UK for requesting a vehicle by a mobile device. Its black Ford Galaxy cars are a common site on today’s roads.
Andy Boland, Chief Executive of Addison Lee, said in a statement: “To bring someone of Cohen’s calibre on board at such as a crucial juncture is great news for Addison Lee. Technology is a key part of Addison Lee’s offering to passengers and a critical enabler for our global ambitions. His expertise will help us go from strength to strength as we continue to grow.”
Cohen said: “As a Londoner, I’m also thrilled to be helping an iconic London brand that is synonymous with great customer service and quality, take these core values forward onto a global stage.”
Cohen completed six years as CIO with financial services provider JLT in 2015. The CIO has been an advisor to a range of major and scale up technology service providers as well as bleeding edge startups in financial services since leaving JLT.
JLT was a return to financial services for the Chelsea football club loving CIO. Cohen had previously held business technology leadership roles with Lloyds TSB Bank between 1994 and 2001. From banking Cohen moved into the media first as CTO and IT Director for the Financial Times until 2005, then Cohen moved to major mainstream media organisation Associated Newspapers.
Cohen is well known amongst his peers for clarity and questioning. In a presentation to this title’s Innovation Leadership Summit last September Cohen asked CIOs not to “be digital” but instead to consider how they respond and react to the needs of customers. The presentation is available as a Horizon CIO podcast.