IAG hands digital chief his own ‘Labs’ division

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IAG hands digital chief his own ‘Labs’ division

Enterprise ops chief squeezed out in restructure.

Insurance group IAG has undertaken a structural rejig that will see recently-appointed chief digital officer Peter Harmer handed his own, expanded, digital incubator dubbed IAG Labs.

The company said the restructure was a critical response to a “rapidly changing operating environment” creating new demands from customers.

Harmer was shuffled sideways from his position as the company’s commercial insurance chief in March to become IAG’s CDO, charged with piecing together a group-wide digital strategy.

IAG CEO Mike Wilkins said the company’s digital soul-searching over the subsequent months produced the decision to spin up the new Labs division.

“Since taking on the role of chief digital officer in March, Peter has been looking at how we can take advantage of the shift to digital and be more inventive, which is why we have created IAG Labs,” he said in a statement.

“This is an exciting opportunity for IAG to be strategic, agile and innovative in how we deliver to our customers as we build this new division.”

IAG Labs will bring together a number of existing IAG technology and project management functions, in addition to what the company is describing as “new incubator areas” that will chase previously untapped digital opportunities.

iTnews is awaiting clarification from IAG about the specific existing functions that will fall into the new group. The new capabilities to be added include a new customer insights team, a centralised digital product and service development team and a “venturing unit” focussed on new and disruptive business opportunities.

Enterprise operations chief executive Alex Harrison has departed the organisation as a result of the changes. 

Harrison assumed broad oversight of the IAG technology functions in the middle of last year when the recently merged IT team was transitioned into his brand new enterprise ops division. Donna Vinci as the organsiation's most recent CIO answered directly into Harrison. She recently moved to a similar position at Bank of Queensland.

In the role, he also had responsibility for HR, procurement and supply chain functions.

It is not known whether the currently vacant CIO role will continue to exist under the new structure, or where it will sit within the organisation. IAG has been contacted for clarification.

The bulk of Harrison’s functions - those not transitioned into the new Labs division - will be handed to chief strategy officer Leona Murphy.

Wilkins thanked Harrison for his contribution to the company and wished him well.

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