Construction and consultancy business Mace has recruited former Mothercare CIO Michelle Barkess and Formula One team, engineering and luxury sports car maker McLaren Group has recruited Karen McElhatton as CIO.
Barkess joins Mace from a retail oriented career. She was CIO with the baby and childrens retailer Mothercare for the last three years, having joined the Watford based firm from furnishings retailer Matalan. At Matalan Barkess spent nine years as Head of IT and two years as IT Director. Mace worked with search leaders Norman Broadbent in its search for a new business technology leader.
Mace employs over 5000 construction staff in five global locations and has a turnover of £1.97 billion. In the construction industry it is a relative newcomer having been formed in the 1990s by a former Bovis architect, Ian Macpherson, who wanted a more collaborative way of working. Mace has been the construction firm for the British Airways headquarters at Heathrow, it beat Bovis to win the deal. Mace also built the London Eye, The Shard office in London and below it the new London Bridge railway station.
McElhatton follows in the wheel tracks of CIOs Craig Charlton and Stuart Birrell to lead at IT at Woking, Surrey based McLaren Group. Charlton left McLaren, as the Horizon CIO podcast reported, earlier this year to join catering and facilities management giant Compass Group and Birrell has returned to the airport sector as CIO of Heathrow. Birrell was CIO of Gatwick airport, leading its split away from BAA, before joining McLaren.
McElhatton joins McLaren, which has won more Formula One championships than any other team, from JAB Luxury where she was CIO and CDO for a year. JAB Luxury is the holding company for fashion brands Bally, Belstaff and Jimmy Choo. Before joining the luxury brands sector McElhatton was in the bargain market as CIO for TJX Europe, the holding company for the TJ Maxx stores, where she was CIO for six and half years. McElhatton is one of a number leading CIOs who began their business technology leadership career with the fast moving consumer goods giants Procter & Gamble, where she was shared services director between 2007 and 2009 and before that led customer solutions for over a year.
In a statement McElhatton (above) said she was looking to deliver “technology experiences to colleagues, customers and fans”.
McLaren actively sought a diverse set of candidates in its search for a CIO to replace Charlton.
In September 2017 McLaren Group signed a partnership with Indian systems integrator Wipro to deliver digital change to the business. McLaren Group has a close working and Formula One partnership with German ERP giant SAP too.