ANZx transformation tech lead Chris Venter to exit

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ANZx transformation tech lead Chris Venter to exit

Bound for REA Group.

ANZ Banking Group is set to lose the technology leader of its ANZx transformation Chris Venter to REA Group.

REA said it had appointed Venter as its new chief technology officer where he will “lead REA’s global technology strategy and development with a focus on driving continuous improvement across the platform experience, data foundations and REA’s operating model”.

The property company lost its previous chief technology and data officer Tomas Varsavsky to Wesfarmers-owned Catch.com.au earlier this month.

Venter’s departure from ANZ is significant; he was - and still is - the technology lead on the bank’s ambitious ANZx transformation, which aims to build a whole new banking platform and drive a tenfold improvement in its ability to serve customers.

He is also the former head of its New Ways of Working agile technology transformation, among a number of digital, technology and channel-oriented leadership roles held at ANZ over the past 14 years.

Venter also previously played a major role in the launch of the ANZ App, Apple Pay and Android Pay.

An ANZ spokesperson told iTnews that Venter's exit is "a real loss for ANZ, however it is also a terrific opportunity for Chris."

"Chris is an innovative leader in the technology space and he leaves behind a great legacy," the spokesperson said.

"We wish him all the very best and thank him for his significant contribution to the business."

Over the past 18 months, Venter has assembled an engineering team from the ground up to create a next-generation cloud-native and API-first banking platform.

ANZ's spokesperson said that work on the ANZx technology platform will continue after Venter's departure from the bank.

"The strong foundation Chris and his team have helped establish will hold us in good stead for the future," the spokesperson said.

"The quality of the work has generated a lot of curiosity and respect for the teams’ skills and achievements so it’s really no surprise our people will be in high demand."

REA Group CEO Owen Wilson was unsurprisingly pleased to attract Venter’s services.

“REA’s technology capabilities have always been a point of competitive differentiation so we are delighted to have someone of Chris’ calibre joining our team to build on these strong foundations,” Wilson said.

“Chris’ deep technology expertise spans critical capabilities including agile delivery, technology transformation and scaling with impact, which will support our strategic ambitions and contribute to REA’s future growth and business efficiencies.”

Venter said briefly that he “looked forward to using new and existing technologies to continue to improve and differentiate REA’s customer and consumer experiences, as well as to increase speed and efficiency to market.”

Venter will remain at the bank for at least several more months before moving across to REA Group.

He is set to begin in the CTO role at REA Group at the end of June.

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