Virgin Australia names high-flying new CIO

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Virgin Australia names high-flying new CIO

Former Aurizon tech exec elevated to IT chief.

Virgin Australia has promoted its general manager of IT strategy and business engagement Cameron Stone to the role of chief information officer as part of a redistribution of IT responsibilities.

The position was made vacant after former CIO Lawrie Turner was moved into a newly-created role of group executive for business services.

A Virgin Australia spokesperson declined to comment on what Turner’s new role entails.

Stone joined the company in October 2013. Prior to that he held IT-related leadership roles at Aurizon, Lexmark, Queensland Health and Suncorp.

“Cameron has 20 years’ experience in senior management, including as acting senior vice president and chief information officer at Aurizon,” a Virgin spokesperson said.

“As chief information officer, [Stone’s] immediate focus areas are to further embed Virgin Australia’s strategic relationship with Sabre, mature our agreements with partners, and continue to build customer-centric technologies.”

Former CIO Turner was hired by Virgin Australia in October 2013 as the company’s first chief information officer, in the aftermath of a string of embarrassing IT-related disasters - including website booking errors, data centre blackouts and check-in system outages - for the airline.

The situation stabilised under Turner’s watch, thanks to a multi-year IT optimisation program that included the implementation of the airline’s Sabre reservation system.

The airline also acquired analytics group Torque Solutions to bolster its frequent flyer business and offer services to third parties, following a similar move by rival airline Qantas.

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