​NAB on hunt for new chief technology and operations officer

National Australia Bank has appointed Bob Melrose as acting chief technology and operations officer following major changes to its organisational structure.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

National Australia Bank (NAB) has appointed Bob Melrose as acting chief technology and operations officer while it begins the hunt for someone to take over the role permanently.

The announcement comes as the bank makes shifts and changes to its organisational structure and leadership.

In the acting role, Melrose will be responsible for technology and operations, formerly known as enterprise services and transformation. Within this portfolio, the bank has added operating functions of the non-life wealth management business.

Other changes, all of which will come into effect on August 1, 2016, include business banking renamed to business and private banking, which will focus on small to medium enterprises, and will be led by Angela Mentis as chief customer officer; personal banking becoming consumer banking and wealth management, which will be headed up by Andrew Hagger as the department's chief customer officer; and products and markets will become customer products and services that will now include NAB Lab/Ventures, digital, strategy, and banking and wealth product.

The bank also announced that it will bring its corporate and institutional banking businesses together with its fixed income, currencies, and commodities and financing businesses.

Additionally, the risk function of the bank will now sit under the legal and governance functions of the group, the bank said.

NAB Group CEO Andrew Thorburn said the changes are part of the bank's "next stage of organisational change", given it has been two years since the team started addressing legacy issues.

"These changes will bring greater momentum and energy to NAB's goal of creating a simpler, more customer-focused organisation that delivers better outcomes for customers as well as shareholder returns," he said.

"We have had a very clear plan over the last two years, and have taken the action required to execute that plan. We have made progress, our customers are noticing the positive changes, and our staff engagement score is the highest it has ever been, but we need to do better. This new organisational structure will enable us to continue the pace of change while providing greater clarity for our customers and our people."

In May, NAB posted AU$89 million in savings for the first half of the 2016 financial year, but acknowledged that more work still needed to be done.

For the period, the bank also reported a statutory net loss of AU$1.74 billion, which, according to NAB, was reflective of discontinued operations, such as the demerger of the company's UK arm, Clydesdale Bank, which was completed on February 8, 2016.

"This is our first result squarely focused on our Australia and New Zealand business. It shows that delivering against our strategic priorities in producing results and laying the foundations for sustainable growth and returns. We have a clear plan, and are executing it in a disciplined way," Thorburn said at the time.

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