Restructure puts IT chief in back seat

Restructure puts IT chief in back seat

Westpac Australia brings new operations executive over the top of its big-name chief technology executive Bob McKinnon.

Westpac Banking Corp has mirrored earlier moves by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group by bringing in a new operations executive over the top of its big-name chief technology executive Bob McKinnon, according to the Australian Financial Review. Announced as part of a broader organisational restructure yesterday, McKinnon's role as group executive of technology was downgraded to an enterprise executive position reporting to group chief operating officer John Arthur, the AFR has reported.

Westpac said McKinnon would remain with the group and continue to have oversight of much of the significant technology initiatives underway.

"Bob won't be a group executive as he was before, but will have an enterprise executive role, so he is still a key member of the team," Westpac spokesman Paul Marriage said.

"The decision was driven by Bob wanting to step back and take a different approach; nothing changes in terms of the strategy that has been laid out. We will be continuing to pursue that and John Arthur has been very closely involved in that strategy."

The AFR says the move to appoint Arthur over the incumbent tech chief mirrors recent executive moves at ANZ.

In October, ANZ moved the managing director of institutional transaction banking, Alistair Currie, to a newly elevated chief operating officer role, with responsibility for technology and shared services.

Like McKinnon, ANZ's chief information officer, Anne Weatherston, lost her direct reporting line to the bank's chief executive, while retaining responsibility for the delivery of existing strategy.

Marriage said McKinnon would continue to work full time at the bank for at least the next 12 months, before potentially winding back his commitments.

He said there was no replacement CIO due to be announced, but that a senior technology appointment was not out of the question. "It is too soon to say, but it is obviously something that will be considered as John Arthur looks across his team," Marriage said.

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