A quarter of major business technology leadership hires in 2018 were for a CTO role. 2018 saw a small decrease in role changes amongst the UK’s CIOs and CTOs.
Speaking to major search providers, they too are seeing an increase in demand for CTOs and at both ends of the country.
Financial services was one of the most active sectors throughout 2018, perhaps indicative of the rising awareness that technology led challengers are fast encroaching on their business models. Early in the year Duncan Gray moved from automotive auctioneers BCA to Premium Credit, a provider of specialist loans and James Holmes joined North P&I to continue the transformation begun by Mark Aikman.
The insurance arm of the financial services sector saw Paul Carris return to the CIO fold at Collinson Group, owners of the Columbus brand. Mark Collins remains within insurance moving from Vitality to the UK business of Belgium’s Ageas. Also staying with insurance is former HMRC technology leader Mark Hall, moving to Legal and General from Aviva as Group IT Director.
Challenger banks were amongst those driving up the trend for hiring CTOs with both the popular Monzo and Civilised Bank recruiting CTOs, as Meri Williams and Simon Bateman joined their senior leadership teams respectively. Similarly specialist financial services provider CDC hired Gavin Stubbs from Close Brothers.
In the building society market Nationwide recruited CIO Patrick Eltridge to be its COO, again a reflection of the impact technology has on all aspects of financial services.
Retail, like financial services is well aware of technology changing its business model. Health food chain Holland & Barrett made probably the largest hire in retail for 2018 with former J Sainsbury’s George Goley joining as CTO, alongside Goley’s recruitment, the Russian owned business also recruited transformation director Doug Nesbitt, the duo will work alongside Mark Fabes, who remains as CIO. Adrian Thompson joined Specsavers from vacuum cleaner makers Dyson, Mark Phillips returned to the CIO role at estate agents chain Countrywide from consulting.
Serving the world of retail is data and logistics. Former Trainline CIO David Jack moved from logistics tracking services provider Metapack to become CTPO of Dunhumby the data firm famed for its role in the development of the Tesco Clubcard. At Metapack former Collinson Group CDO and Daily Mail CIO Steve Homan took up the leadership chair, while former Drax Group CIO James Robbins is leading technology at delivery firm ArrowsXL.
Engineering had a busier year than normal, sector veteran Steven Capper moved to Royal BAM from AECOM. In specialist engineering for the oil and energy sector Darren Martin became CIO of Wood Group, the organisation stated its hire of a CTO was to ensure it was able to be competitive in the move to connected internet of things services. Also in the energy engineering sector, Allan Cockriel moved from GE to Petrofac and just as with Wood Group, Petrofac said the hiring of a CIO was to be at the forefront of the technology change coming into the market. Leaving the world of engineering for plates and saucers was former McLaren Technology Group CIO Craig Charlton who joined Compass Group as Group CIO.
The biggest move of the year was the news that Mayank Prakash, the CDIO of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) since 2014 announced in late 2018 he was leaving DWP to join energy and utilities firm Centrica. Prakash told the Horizon CIO Podcast and .Next conference how DWP has become data and customer oriented over the last four years.
In the media Trevor Attridge moved across to be CIO of Young & Rubicam in the advertising sector. The Economist Intelligence Unit hired Sharon Cooper from the British Medical Journal as its CDO and consumer magazines publisher Ti Media hired former CIO and Gartner analyst Lisa Gannon (pictured). Whilst former News UK architect and director of engineering Adam Griffiths became the CTO of electronics firm RS Components.
The need for academia to be utilising technology to deliver an improved experience for its students is increasing by the year and former Science Museum Group CIO Jason Oliver moved from Kensington to Sussex to become the CIO for the University of Sussex.
Although slightly quieter than 2017, the roles that CIOs and CTOs took demonstrates that despite the challenges of the UK economy at present, there remains strong demand for good technology leadership and that those business technology leaders with imagination, a good track record and an ability to work with all members of the organisation, are highly sought after.