Chris Brocklesby has checked out of low cost airline easyJet to become the UK CIO for telecommunications giants Vodafone, the Newbury headquartered business has confirmed to the Horizon CIO Network.
Brocklesby spent over three and a half years at the IT helm of easyJet having replaced Trevor Didcock as CIO. The Luton headquartered airline has an illustrious history in business technology leadership and has seen CIOs Mike Sturrock, currently CIO with financial services business Domestic & General, CTO of Whitbread Andy Caddy, Brussels Airlines CIO Simon Lamkin and Colin Rees of Franchise Brands all lead technology with the airline. You can learn more about leading technology at easyJet on the CIO Podcast here.
Vodafone told the Horizon CIO Network that Brocklesby took up the role on Monday, 7 January, 2019 and replaced Pedro Sardo, “who has been promoted to run Technology Shared Services”. A spokesperson for Vodafone said: “We are excited to have him on board given his experience and expertise.”
Brocklesby joined easyJet from a five year career with retailer Tesco where he held a number of senior technology roles including being CIO of Tesco.com and CIO of Tesco bank.
In September of 2018 easyJet announced the cancellation of a technology replacement programme and instead decided to “repurpose” existing systems. CEO Johan Lundgren told the Financial Times:
“In the fourth quarter we made the decision to change our approach to technology development. Rather than a full replacement of our core commercial platform, we will be investing in better utilisation and development of existing systems on a modular basis. This has resulted in a non-headline charge of £65m as we repurpose our systems to create a better service for our customers,” he said. Read the full article at: https://www.ft.com/content/28589fd0-c2e4-11e8-8d55-54197280d3f7
The Future Commercial Platform cancellation and the subsequent write off of £65 million caused a stir in the CIO community and a reminder to all of how risky large scale transformation programmes are. EasyJet is in an enviable position of owning the intellectual property of the technology that is at the core of its business and Lundgren’s decision to “invest in better utilisation and development of the existing systems” will see the very technology that made easyJet a success as a startup once again be the foundation of the business.