Cesare Tizi, former chief information officer at Australia's largest energy supplier AGL Energy, has been awarded the title of ZDNet Australia CIO of the year 2007.
Tizi fought off competition from a shortlist which included Paul Williams from Campbell Arnott's, Michael Harte from the Commonwealth Bank and Jetstar's Stephen Tame.
The final vote was extremely close: Graham Andrews, CIO of PricewaterhouseCoopers, was highly commended by the judging panel, which included Sheryle Moon, CEO, Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA); Mary Ann Maxwell, group vice president, Gartner Executive Programs; Munir Kotadia, editor, ZDNet Australia and Brian Haverty, editorial director, CNET Networks Australia.
"Cesare led the company through a very significant period of change -- with their respect," said Gartner's Maxwell. "He changed the processes, how they did business and who they did business with."
Maxwell said that Tizi -- along with many of their other nominees -- had the qualities required to be a successful CIO but his achievement in combining both business acumen and IT skills set him apart from the rest.
"He was recognised as the businessman leading IT -- that is the mark of an accomplished CIO," she said.
CNET Networks' Haverty also praised Tizi's business skills.
"What set him apart from the high quality of nominations we got was that the nominators indicated that he is a businessman who understands technology. Bridging that gap is a huge talent and key to his success," said Haverty.
Graham Andrews, CIO of PricewaterhouseCoopers, was highly commended by the judges, who recognised the challenge of being responsible for the IT in an organisation full of "experts".
"The judges were impressed that here was a CIO leading a knowledge-based organisation and being respected by that organisation," said Gartner's Maxwell.
"All CIO jobs have their tough elements but being the CIO of an organisation where technology is an important part of what they do -- and the people in it are very often business technology experts -- is a particular accomplishment," she added.