Australia Post elevates Munro Farmer to CIO

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Australia Post elevates Munro Farmer to CIO

After John Cox moves into a broader executive role.

Australia Post has quietly elevated Munro Farmer into the role of chief information officer after John Cox moved up to a new executive position.

The changes occurred in March, when Cox - who had been CIO since August 2016 - assumed the new role of executive general manager for transformation and enablement.

That allowed Farmer - a long-time CIO with freight companies including Australian Air Express and StarTrack, and AusPost since 2014 - to take on the CIO role.

For the past six years, Farmer has been general manager of technology, parcel & eCommerce services at Australia Post.

“Munro has been instrumental in leading Australia Post’s technology strategy and architecture, and has played a key role in modernising many of our core delivery systems to improve the experience we deliver for our customers,” an Australia Post spokesperson told iTnews.

Around the same time as the CIO change, Australia Post paused or stopped an undisclosed number of IT projects as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic, letting go of some of its IT contractor workforce in the process.

Post's spokesperson did not respond to questions about whether the CIO change was part of a broader restructure of IT, the size of the IT organisation, and to what extent the organisation might be reworking its IT or digital strategies post-COVID.

“With the ever-changing landscape of information technology, Australia Post is constantly looking to evolve its IT strategy and capability to adapt to the current environment and remain at the forefront of innovative digital strategy, planning and execution," the spokesperson said.

Farmer’s reporting line into the AusPost executive is via Cox, who still retains headline responsibility for technology, in addition to assuming control of a range of other functions.

Australia Post’s website states that Cox “is accountable for strategy, technology, communications, government relations and data science, as well as the company’s transformation office.”

The transformation office is focused on modernising Post’s systems and digitising services, investing in areas such as infrastructure and automation, telco transformation and data and analytics.

It is partway through a major network transformation that will improve connectivity to 4000 sites.

The company completed work at 1000 of the 4000 sites last week, a “major milestone” in the project that was marked online by Farmer and others.

On the data science front, it is understood the team is exploring technologies including artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive modelling and robotics to improve safety, customer experiences and commercial outcomes.

A use case for AI being applied to commercial data was revealed by AusPost at a Salesforce event in March, otherwise the organisation has not discussed its plans nor achievements to date in any great depth.

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