​ANZ bank appoints design officer for digital strategy

The bank's first chief design officer will be charged with building 'human-centred design capability' as it continues its digital transformation.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) CEO Shayne Elliott has continued his hiring spree, announcing on Wednesday the appointment of Opher Yom-Tov as the bank's first chief design officer.

Reporting to group executive for digital banking Maile Carnegie -- who joined ANZ from Google, where she was the managing director for Australia and New Zealand -- Yom-Tov will lead a team of specialists focused on "building ANZ's human-centred design capability to deliver better experiences for customers and employees".

Yom-Tov assumes the role at the bank following a decade-long stint in Silicon Valley at global design and innovation firm IDEO, also leading the organisation in Shanghai, China. During his time with IDEO, ANZ said its new CDO helped design products for companies such as Apple, Microsoft, General Electric, Procter & Gamble, and McDonald's.

Yom-Tov has also worked in human-centred design at competitor Westpac, has co-founded tech startups, and has been working with ANZ in the capacity of a design and innovation consultant for the past eight months.

"Good design is about solving problems and improving how things work, not just how something looks," Carnegie said of Yom-Tov's appointment. "Ensuring that great design is part of our development process is an important part of ANZ's digital transformation and is essential to making sure we provide our customers what they really want.

"Opher's appointment to this new role will help us deliver compelling experiences by putting ourselves in the customer's shoes, which is one of the core principles of working in an agile way."

Speaking at Australia's Asian Future Summit 2017 in Sydney last week, Gerard Florian, ANZ group executive of technology, revealed that Elliott has a strategic plan to hire the right people for the right roles at his bank.

When announcing Florian's appointment in November, Elliott said technology holds a critical importance in ANZ's "strategic shift".

"Elephants can dance and I guess from our side you can be agile even if you're 180 years old, as long as you've got the right leadership," Florian said on Friday, quoting IBM's Louis V Gerstner.

"The biggest things for me, and one of the reasons for taking the opportunity at ANZ, was around the leadership that not only Shayne himself shows, but also the board and the rest of the [executive team] around understanding what's happening in the market, what's happening from a financial services perspective, and the need to be far more agile and nimble in this world."

In addition to Florian, Carnegie, and now Yom-Tov, Elliott's hiring spree also includes a new general manager of Digital Transformation and Performance in Jennifer Scott; Emma Gray, who took on the newly created role of chief data officer for the bank in February; Kathryn van der Merwe, who also joined the bank in February as group executive of Talent and Culture; and a new chief information security officer in Lynwen Connick, who left her role as first assistant secretary information sharing and intelligence at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to join ANZ.

ANZ's company reshuffle was announced in September, after its COO Alistair Currie revealed his departure. At the time, Elliott said the new structure would help the bank continue the progress it has made on the technology front.

For the first half of the 2017 financial year, ANZ recorded AU$2.9 billion in after-tax profit, an increase of 6 percent year on year, on total revenue of AU$10.6 billion.

In its 2016 full-year results, ANZ posted AU$5.7 billion in statutory net profit, representing a 24 percent tumble year on year. At the time, the bank partially attributed the profit dive to its focus on competing in the "digital age".

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