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Suncorp IT chief to leave

Banking and insurance giant Suncorp Group's group executive of IT, Hemant Kogekar, will leave the company next month as a management reshuffle sees the IT function lumped in with other departments. Suncorp announced the move in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) this morning as part of a bundle of management changes effective 1 July.
Written by Renai LeMay, Contributor on
Banking and insurance giant Suncorp Group's group executive of IT, Hemant Kogekar, will leave the company next month as a management reshuffle sees the IT function lumped in with other departments.

Suncorp announced the move in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) this morning as part of a bundle of management changes effective 1 July.

"Diana Eilert, currently group executive, General Insurance will lead an expanded Central Services portfolio comprising Human Resources, Information Technology, Marketing and Joint Ventures," the statement said.

"As a consequence of the changes, Hemant Kohekar, who has led the Information Technology function for the past 18 months has decided to leave Suncorp."

Suncorp's move to abolish its dedicated executive IT role is unusual in a financial services industry that has placed a strong emphasis on the importance of the chief information officer position. But the company denied its IT function would be less effective as a result.

"Suncorp has a well-established and effective IT function and management team. This change in reporting structure will in no way dilute the effectiveness of that team," Suncorp chief executive John Mulcahy told ZDNet Australia in an e-mailed statement.

In the ASX statement, Mulcahy said Kogekar had significantly improved the customer focus of the IT team during his tenure.

Kogekar's replacement Eilert "has a strong background in business consulting," Mulcahy added, saying Eilert's new combined portfolio would be the "engine room of the company".

According to MIS Australia, key IT projects at Suncorp include "Project Blueprint", which aims to contain costs and capitalise on new technologies such as IP telephony, a Dell-led replacement of the group's 9,000 desktop PCs, and a wide-scale server consolidation.

Like most large financial services groups Suncorp reportedly uses a range of operating systems -- IBM MVS, HPUX, Solaris and Windows Server 2003. It uses database software from IBM, Oracle, Microsoft and others.

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