George Weston abolishes CIO position

George Weston abolishes CIO position

Summary: update George Weston Foods has abolished its local chief information officer position held by Frank Coogan, with the executive departing after a "comprehensive review" of its IT activities.An external spokesperson for George Weston confirmed the move in a telephone conversation with ZDNet Australia on Monday afternoon.

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update George Weston Foods has abolished its local chief information officer position held by Frank Coogan, with the executive departing after a "comprehensive review" of its IT activities.

An external spokesperson for George Weston confirmed the move in a telephone conversation with ZDNet Australia on Monday afternoon.

"A notice has gone out to all employees informing them that there's been a restructuring and that position is no longer available," he said.

The spokesperson said the decision to abolish the position was no reflection on Coogan himself.

"It's just part of the economies of scale that they look at occasionally," he said.

The rumour mill has already swung into gear, with industry sources claiming Coogan's departure was related to a perceived inability to manage George Weston's relationship with its ICT outsourcer KAZ.

GWF today denied the rumours of linked problems with KAZ. "George Weston Foods confirmed [today] that the restructure of its IT operations is not related to, and will have no impact on, its longstanding relationship with IT outsourcing partner KAZ," the company's statement said.

The food manufacturer also said that Coogan had led GWF information services in a most professional manner over the last six years.

In September 2003 George Weston contracted KAZ for two deals, comprising product delivery, facilities management and disaster recovery services.

The deals were worth a base value of AU$5 million over three years, KAZ said in a statement at the time.

In that statement, Coogan said his company was confident the deal was "the beginning of a long and highly successful partnership".

However, this week sources expected George Weston to soon be seeking an alternative supplier.

The news comes as another large organisation has recently confessed to problems with KAZ.

The federal Department of Defence reportedly told a local technology magazine last week it was experiencing issues with its own AU$200 million KAZ support deal, signed in November last year.

A KAZ spokesperson declined to comment on the George Weston issue.

George Weston is one of the nation's largest food manufacturers. The company owns brands like Tip Top bread, Ryvita and Golden, and is wholly owned by Associated British Foods Plc.

Topics: CXO, Government AU, Outsourcing

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