Qantas has confirmed a report by The Australian today that outgoing NSW Department of Education and Training (DET) chief information officer (CIO) Stephen Wilson will join the airline as its head of technology, reporting to executive manager of corporate services and technology David Hall.
NSW DET yesterday confirmed that Wilson had decided not to renew his contract with the department after five years of leading its IT operation as CIO. Today a Qantas spokesperson confirmed Wilson would join the airline on 30 August, replacing its current head of technology Segar Reddy — although she noted Reddy was still currently with the airline.
Wilson will join Qantas as the airline embarks on a major cost-cutting exercise within its IT support operation, as well as overhauling several key systems.
A year ago, Hall — who has described himself in public as Qantas' "quasi-chief information officer" — told a business lunch in Sydney that he believed Qantas could cut its IT costs by $100 million over the succeeding financial year.
It remains to be seen if the goal will be met — given that Qantas computer and communications costs were only down slightly for the half year to 31 December, compared with the same half year to 31 December 2008.
In late March it was revealed that Qantas had commenced an extensive internal deployment of Cisco IP telephony hardware that would touch some 18,000 users, an upgrade that came shortly after the company confirmed in February that it was replacing IBM's Lotus Notes collaboration platform with Microsoft Outlook/Exchange.
The airline has also been dramatically changing the make-up of its team.
For example, in August, about 200 of the airline's staff were offered positions at IBM as part of an outsourcing arrangement targeting Qantas' program delivery arrangements.
Wilson himself is the veteran of substantive change at NSW DET.
In 2008, DET migrated its 1.5 million school students off its Microsoft Exchange email platform and onto Gmail, in one of the largest Gmail migrations globally so far. Wilson has also been involved in the roll-out of the Federal Government's Digital Education Revolution program in the state — in March he said the department was rolling out 10,000 laptops to students per week.