Coles Group taps Australia Post as it assembles a new-look tech leadership team

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Coles Group taps Australia Post as it assembles a new-look tech leadership team

Exclusive: New structure revealed.

Coles Group has assembled a new-look technology leadership team under recently-appointed CTO John Cox that includes several current technology leaders from Australia Post.

iTnews can reveal the appointment of six new general managers in the technology domain under what Coles described as an increase in “the capability and scale” of its technology leadership team.

Cox joined Coles from Australia Post in August last year following a five-year stint at Australia Post, where he was executive general manager (EGM) of transformation and enablement, leading - among other functions - data science and products, technology and enterprise transformation. He was also previously Australia Post’s CIO.

The new-look leadership team under Cox will include:

  • Graham Hood – general manager, technology, supermarket operations
  • Chrissy Chu – general manager, technology services, commercial and Coles Express
  • Silvio Giorgio – general manager, data and intelligence
  • Alison Stretch – general manager, information security and risk
  • Petra Fawcett – general manager, technology management and transformation
  • Cameron Amling – general manager, corporate, liquor and emerging businesses (on a secondment basis)

iTnews understands that all will start work at Coles by the end of next month.

Several appointments are coming from Australia Post.

These include Australia Post’s general manager of data science Silvio Giorgio, its general manager of enterprise enablement in the chief operating office Chrissy Chu, and its general manager of enterprise transformation Petra Fawcett.

Alison Stretch has been named to the information security portfolio; her LinkedIn currently lists her as the CISO for ME Bank, which was snapped up by Bank of Queensland in July last year.

There are also some promotions from within: Coles’ head of corporate systems Cameron Amling moves into the corporate, liquor and emerging businesses portfolio on a secondment basis, while Graham Hood moves from head of technology for supply chain into the supermarket operations role.

A Coles spokesperson told iTnews that the assembly of the new leadership team stemmed from a structural change to the organisation’s technology function in June last year.

“In June 2021 the technology function moved to a product-centric model to ensure an end-to-end delivery lifecycle accountability, underpinned by agile ways of working,” the spokesperson told iTnews.

“Due to the scale of the transformation, we are increasing the capability and scale of the technology leadership team and creating more than 100 new roles across the team to help us deliver on our strategy.

“It’s an exciting time to be working in the Coles technology space and we’ve secured some incredible talent, bringing a wealth of experience to our team.”

Peter Bonney's departure

Under the restructure, Coles’ existing longtime general manager of technology, engineering and data Peter Bonney left in November last year.

Bonney externally announced his departure from Coles yesterday, and said he had since taken on a product engineering executive role at Xero.

Bonney praised the “amazing team at Coles” and said he was “very grateful” for his four-and-a-half years there.

“Together we've reshaped the technology culture and capability across the group, setting in train a transformation that will continue for many years,” he wrote.

“I'm incredibly proud of the impact that it is having on the strategy, and day to day operations of an extremely important Australian icon.”

Relauncher rolls on

Coles continues to undertake a broad search for technology talent, creating a program called Relauncher late last year to support people wanting to return to tech after a career break.

The spokesperson said that Coles had been “very pleased” with the interest in Relauncher to date, with a new cohort set to be inducted into the technology function this week.

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