Woolworths steals Westpac's CIO to lead its IT department

Woolworths has poached Westpac's tech chief Clive Whincup to lead its IT team, following the departure of Dan Beechman from the position last year.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Woolworths has confirmed a report from the Australian Financial Review that Westpac's chief information officer Clive Whincup has been hired as the company's CIO.

A Woolworths spokesperson told ZDNet that Whincup's previous IT experiences will be invaluable to the company's future technology plans.

"Clive's experience of retail in a banking context and his leadership of large-scale IT programs will be of great value to us in shaping the next phase of development of our technology journey," the spokesperson said.

"We look forward to welcoming Clive to our team in coming months."

Whincup joins the supermarket giant following the departure of ex-CIO Dan Beechman, who left for the UK last year.

A Westpac spokesperson commended Whincup on his role with the bank over the years when he contributed to delivering its technology strategy, and said they "wish him all the best for the future". Some successful technology strategies that were deployed during Whincup's time include consolidating the bank's core banking platform with St George, and standardising customer data.

Paul Spiteri, who is currently the CIO for the bank's payments and shared services, will act as interim CIO while Westpac conducts an internal and external search.

"There will be no impact to the IT leadership team," the spokesperson confirmed.

"Paul has acted as Clive's delegate on a number of occasions, so is familiar with the team and the responsibilities of the role."

Woolworths has already reported that improved online operations have helped the company achieve AU$1 billion in online sales for the 2013 calendar year — ahead of its 2014 financial year target.

"Online sales from continuing operations increased more than 40 percent for the half year and second quarter, and featured strong growth within our food and liquor businesses as well as over the Christmas period," said Woolworths CEO Grant O'Brien at the company's 2014 half-year sales results.

The company also announced that the total group first half-year sales from continuing operations increased 6 percent on the previous year, to AU$31.8 billion, while sales for the second quarter were up 5.9 percent, to AU$16.2 billion.

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