Are you married? Yes. Lizzie and I were married recently at the Erskine Chapel in Island Bay, Wellington. Our beautiful daughter Grace is 16 months old and happily imposing her will on our family life.
What are your interests outside work? I enjoy golf, but do not play often enough to maintain a decent handicap. I also played a bit of squash until a cruel knee injury just the other week. Right now I need to develop some serious enthusiasm for cycling because I somewhat naively registered for this year’s Taupo challenge, in November.
What are you reading at the moment? I have just finished Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski. It is sort of ‘freakonomics’ for soccer or football for the real world. It analyses and discusses topics such as ‘which country loves football the most’ and ‘will England ever win the World Cup again?’ I work for SAS and so it is right up my street because analytics is our main business.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? If something seems too good to be true it probably is.
A lesson you’ve never forgotten? Be good to your Mum. It is going to turn out that when you look back, she was often right.
How long have you been working in IT? All up, I have been in the industry for more than 20 years. Ouch, am I really that old?
What was your first job? My first IT job was a summer one with Nixdorf Computers in 1987, travelling all over the UK installing computer-based training systems at branches of the Midland Bank. From there I was tempted into a permanent role as a customer service engineer, followed by a variety of other IT jobs. I was appointed as general manager of SAS New Zealand in 2007.
What’s the best thing about working with IT executives? The fact that they are much more focused on business results these days, rather than on technology, as used to be the case. SAS helps its customers use analytics to gain insights that enable them to meet their challenges.
What’s the worst? I honestly don’t have any problems. You occasionally find yourself in a situation where the rules have suddenly changed, but that is invariably outside the control of the IT executive with whom you are dealing with.
What is your favourite networking situation? There are several. The CIO Summit, the Trans-Tasman Business Circle, the Customer Analytics and Marketing Optimisation Conference, and our own SAS New Zealand events.
What will you do when you retire? I am too busy these days to think that far ahead. Golf will be a part of it, I hope, along with the company of a loving family and many good friends.
Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.