NAB cloud chief Misnik quits

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NAB cloud chief Misnik quits

Ahead of new CEO McEwan’s arrival.

The National Australia Bank has lost its outspoken chief cloud evangelist and executive general manager for business enabling technology, Yuri Misnik, less than a month after key supplier Amazon Web Services (AWS) declared the bank’s sectoral leadership of automated governance.

Misnik, who has been leading NAB’s big cloud push as the bank replatforms its legacy CRM systems onto Salesforce, had resigned the bank confirmed on Monday.

NAB did not say where Misnik, a former AWS executive, was headed.

“We treat information about employee arrangements as confidential,” a NAB spokesperson said.

It is understood NAB staff were notified of Misnik's resignation in an email from NAB CTO and COO Patrick Wright.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, NAB will undertake an internal and external search for a replacement for Misnik.

However his exit comes as NAB prepares for former CBA retail head Ross McEwan to take the reins as chief executive following a tumultuous 12 months that resulted in the unceremonious exit of both chief executive Andrew Thorburn and chairman Ken Henry in the wake of the Royal Commission.

McEwan, who returns to Australia after a stint rehabilitating the Royal Bank of Scotland, is expected to move swiftly to put is personal leadership stamp on NAB, with a review of the current technology strategy and its execution widely anticipated.

Unlike its peers in the Big Four, NAB opted to do away with a specific leadership group level chief information officer role, opting instead to combine the roles of chief operations officer and chief technology officer under Patrick Wright.

At the same time NAB has instigated a purge of around 6000 staff and started hiring 2000 new digitally savvy staff as it seeks to transform and keep up with peers ANZ, Westpac and CBA.

NAB's cloud transition has arguably been a substantial win for the Melbourne bank, especially after the bank conspicuously struggled to get it's tech strategy in order around a decade ago thanks to a series of tech leadership spills.

But while cloud migration and automation has been winning fans on the institutional investor front, leadership instability at the top alongside online and transactional reliability issues have buffeted NAB's public perception.

The severity of some of NAB's online problems and incidents are understood to have caused concern within government and regulators, including a merchant acquiring client direct debit batch that looped and went feral, cleaning out peoples' accounts before it was hard stopped.   

In May NAB recorded its worst outage rate in three years, despite painting a rosy picture to investors.

The bank arguably set the bar for the IT cost-to-customer differential a decade ago when another batch run went horribly awry.

The question many will now be asking is what McEwan will expect of NAB's tech shop when it comes to prescribing a retail tonic and palate cleanser to perk-up customer and investor morale.


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