Westpac scraps CIO role

 

McKinnon takes up part-time position.

Westpac has done away with its chief information officer role in an executive restructure that moves group technology executive Bob McKinnon to a part-time position.

McKinnon has overseen the bank’s IT strategy under chief executive officer Gail Kelly since he joined in 2008 to address “years of chronic underinvestment” in Westpac’s technology.

Today’s restructure will see him report to newly appointed group chief operating officer John Arthur, who was previously the bank’s group executive, counsel and secretariat.

Westpac created two new divisions in the restructure, announced to the ASX this morning.

Arthur will lead the Group Services division, which encompasses technology, banking operations, property services and legal.

McKinnon will serve as an enterprise executive within that division.

A Westpac spokesman said it was a part-time position; the bank had no forthcoming plans to re-establish an overarching, full-time chief information officer role.

The restructure was aligned with Westpac’s “best sourcing” technology strategy that Kelly announced with the bank’s financial results early this month.

“Best sourcing” aimed to arm the bank with shorter outsourcing deals to improve skills and cost-effectiveness.

As well as today’s executive restructure, the multi-sourcing strategy will see about 200 technology jobs scrapped by the year’s end, increasing Westpac’s reliance on external suppliers.

Arthur's IT credentials were promoted as a key reason for him to lead the services group.

Significantly, he led the legal team for the Commonwealth Bank's 1997 whole-of-IT outsourcing deal with EDS.

He is also said to have been closely involved with McKinnon in key IT projects at Westpac, including "building the Bank's relationship with IBM" and in the design of the multi-sourcing program.

The second new division, Australian Financial Services, will encompass Westpac retail and business banking, St.George banking group, BT financial group, banking products and risk management.

It will be led by former ANZ retail chief Brian Hartzer when he joins the bank next year and group transformation and productivity executive Peter Hanlon in the interim.

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