​ANZ creates chief data role to oversee 'digital transformation'

Emma Gray has been appointed as the bank's first chief data officer.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has announced Emma Gray will be joining its technology executive team in the newly created role of chief data officer.

The former Woolworths chief loyalty and data officer will be responsible for the bank's data strategy, including how data is defined, gathered, managed, and protected.

Reporting to group executive of Digital Banking Maile Carnegie, who joined ANZ from heading up Google Australia in March last year, Gray will also play a crucial role in ANZ's digital transformation strategy.

"How we strategically manage and use our data is fundamental to how we can deliver the best experiences for our customers and build a world class digital bank," Carnegie said in a statement.

"Emma will lead the creation [of] a business intelligence capability for the bank in collaboration with other teams across ANZ to identify the biggest opportunities for us to make better decisions for the bank and our customers."

Prior to her tenure at Woolworths, Gray was a partner at consultancy firm Bain & Company, having worked across the United States, Europe, and Australia for 15 years. She also has an MBA from Harvard Business School and is on the board of the Melbourne Business School Centre for Data Analytics.

Gray's appointment follows the recent departure of ANZ chief information officer Scott Collary. At the same time, the bank announced the appointment of Gerard Florian as group executive technology, who will report directly to CEO Shayne Elliott.

Chief technology officer Patrick Maes also left the organisation in November.

In September, ANZ announced a reshuffle of its tech execs after its COO Alistair Currie announced his departure.

Deputy CEO Graham Hodges is now charged with Group Hubs, Enterprise Services, and Group Property responsibilities; COO for Enterprise Services Craig Sims has assumed the role of group general manager of Operations and Services; and general manager for Transformation Projects Nigel Dobson has been appointed to Wholesale Digital Strategy and Payments Transformation.

The bank's new structure will help it to continue its technology progress, Elliott said at the time, adding that under the former COO, ANZ had "significantly improved" the quality of service and undergone a "digital transformation".

In its 2016 financial results, ANZ posted AU$5.7 billion in statutory net profit, representing a 24 percent tumble year-on-year.

The bank attributed the profit dive to, amongst other things, its current focus on competing in the "digital age".