CommBank's McKinnon lands at Westpac

Summary:Westpac has announced that long-time Commonwealth Bank of Australia chief information officer Bob McKinnon will join its ranks as its new head of technology, as the bank undertakes a major overhaul of its technology support operation.

update Westpac has announced that long-time Commonwealth Bank of Australia chief information officer Bob McKinnon will join its ranks as its new head of technology, as the bank undertakes a major overhaul of its technology support operation.

McKinnon, one of Australia's most high-profile CIOs, left CBA in 2006 after six years of leading its technology operation. Until March this year he was the joint managing director of Brookefield Multiplex Group. McKinnon will join Westpac on 18 August.

Departing Westpac technology executive Diane Sias
(Credit: Westpac)

The move comes as part of a substantial restructure in the bank's technology operation, which will see its two top existing technology executives leave.

The bank said its Business Technology Solutions and Services (BTSS) division had been dissolved, with the head of the division, Diane Sias, having resigned after only joining the bank in mid-2007. Westpac chief information officer Simon McNamara will also leave the group, although the bank confirmed that chief technology officer David Backley will remain.

In the division's place, Westpac will create a new department, Technology, to be led by McKinnon.

Westpac CEO, Gail Kelly, who herself took the reins at the bank last year after a long stint as CEO at St George, said in a statement today: "As outlined at our profit announcement in May, we have embarked on a journey of significantly improving our service delivery to customers with the explicit goal of earning all of their business."

Kelly said Westpac's key priority now was to redesign the bank's product processes and operations.

Departing Westpac CIO Simon McNamara
(Credit: Trans-Tasman Business Circle)

"Robust technology capability both in the short and long run is also a priority. The organisational changes being announced today are designed to align our operating model with this strategic agenda," Kelly said.

McNamara has been with Westpac since August 2002, becoming its CIO two months after. The executive will take up the CIO role at Standard Chartered's consumer banking division in Singapore.

Technology is the only department to experience such a major overhaul, with heads of the bank's newly created Westpac Retail and Business Banking, Products and Operations divisions being filled internally.

The restructure comes as Westpac's planned acquisition of St George hangs in the balance. If the acquisition does proceed, it will likely lead to one of the countries biggest technology integration project, as Westpac, along with Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and NAB make moves to overhaul their core banking systems.

Topics: CXO, Banking

About

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, s... Full Bio

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