Profiling Europe’s top 20 enterprise CIOs
2015 may have kicked off with fears of Europe slipping into a deflationary spiral, but for the region’s largest companies growth and competitive edge is increasingly a factor in how well they execute their digital strategies. And that puts unprecedented pressure on the individuals at the top of the profession across the Continent: Europe’s top 20 CIOs (see our 2015 ranking below, based on their organization’s last reported annual revenues).
IT leaders from the energy sector dominate the table, occupying 12 of the top 20 spots, while one-fifth are CIOs in the automobile industry. As in 2014, CIOs at German companies are the best represented, taking a third of the slots, followed by UK, Russian, French and Italian companies, each grabbing three entries. Notably, only two of the top 20 CIOs are women, compared to six in the chart for the Americas region.
While leading executives at Europe’s largest enterprises might be expected to serve longer tenures than their US counterparts, the rapidly evolving role of the CIO is reflected in several major new appointments since our previous list. Among these, BP’s Mike Gibbs has replaced its CIO of six years, Dana Deasy; Gazprom has appointed Sergey Kaunev to succeed Azamat Safarov; and BMW (new to the top 20) has promoted Klaus Straub to lead IT following Karl-Erich Probst’s retirement.
|EUROPE’S TOP ENTERPRISE CIOS*|
|Company (HQ)||Revs (€bn)||Head of IT|
|1. Royal Dutch Shell|
|5. Glencore Xstrata|
|14. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles|
|86.8||Gilberto Ceresa (co-head)|
Scott Sandschafer (co-head)
|84.0||Renaud de Barbuat|
|81.8||Sonja Chirico Indrebø|
EVP & CIO
Royal Dutch Shell
Alan Matula was appointed CIO at Royal Dutch Shell in July 2006, when he introduced ‘OneIT’ as the third phase of Shell’s IT transformation. Before that he was the general manager for strategy, projects and solutions at Shell International and has worked in various other Shell units since 1982. Originally from Chicago, Matula has a degree in quantitative business analysis from Indiana University and an executive MBA from Houston Baptist University. He also serves as a director of connected vehicle services company Airbiquity.
The former VP and CIO of BP’s refining and marketing operations, Mike Gibbs became group CIO of the London-headquartered oil and gas giant in November 2013. He replaced Dana Deasy (see November 2013 Appointments), with whom he’d worked for five years as part of the IT leadership team. Before joining BP in 2008, Gibbs spent almost 30 years rising through the ranks of Houston-based Conoco and then ConocoPhillips (after the two oil companies merged in 2002), ultimately becoming CIO for the group’s downstream business. Earlier roles included IS manager for Commercial & Corporate Staff and for the refining and marketing unit for Europe and Asia-Pacific at Conoco in London. He has a degree in management science from Oklahoma State University and participated in the Executive Management Program at Penn State University and the Concours CIO of the Future Development Program.
Head of group IT
Oil and gas IT veteran Frédéric Gimenez was appointed as Total’s group CIO, director of its information systems and telecommunications group in March 2015. Gimenez joined the Paris-headquartered company in 1994 and has led technology across a broad range of roles. From 2004 to 2008, Gimenez set up and managed the SAP Competency Center for Total’s Refining and Marketing operations, following a Europe-wide rollout of the business applications package. He then moved on to lead IT in the UK for two years before returning to Paris as head of infrastructure and production, again within the Refining and Marketing business unit, in charge of data centers, telecoms, servers, storage and all associated operations. During his time in that position he also established Total’s first global offshore outsourcing contract. That led to his appointment as deputy VP for information systems for Refining and Marketing, then VP information systems for Total’s Refining and Chemicals business – the same role held by his predecessor, Patrick Hereng.
Cyril Reol has been head of IT at Glencore Xstrata since the two mining and metals companies merged in May 2013. He spent the previous five years as group CIO at Glencore International and was earlier senior manager of energy and utilities at LogicaCMG and CEO of Altea Geneva. He holds a master’s degree in business administration and computer sciences.
Director general of Gazprom Inform
Sergey Kaunev was appointed director general of Gazprom Inform in April 2014, succeeding Azamat Safarov. From 2007 to 2009, Kaunev was deputy head of the Procurement and Supply Directorate, deputy head and then head of Information Management Systems Directorate of Gazprom Inform (then Informgazinvest). In 2009, Kaunev was appointed deputy director general of IT and deputy director general for ERP information management systems.
CIO and chairman of E.ON Business Services
Edgar Aschenbrenner was appointed CIO of E.ON in 2009 and a year later became chairman of the management board of E.ON IT (now part of E.ON Business Services). Since October 2013, as chairman of E.ON’s Business Services organization, he has also been responsible for finance and HR services. Earlier in his career, Aschenbrenner was managing director of HP’s services organization.
CIO and head of IT management
• Michael Gorriz left Daimler to become group CIO at Standard Chartered Bank in July 2015 (see April 2015 Appointments).
Valery Nikitin took over the top IT job at Rosneft in May 2015. Nikitin replaced Anton Strokovich, who had led IT since the Russian state-controlled oil and gas company’s acquisition of rival TNK-BP in 2013. Commanding an IT budget of around R50 billion ($776m) and serving over 100,000 users, Nikitin inherited an IT strategy that prioritizes the creation of a common business information architecture. This program is aimed not only at unifying data from its SAP ERP systems but providing timely and accurate information to management — whether at their desks or on mobile devices — and for feeding into automated business processes.
Ralf Schneider is CIO at Allianz Group, having been promoted to this role in October 2010. He was simultaneously appointed Member of Management Board of AMOS (Allianz Managed Operations & Services SE) with responsibility for IT. Prior to this, Schneider was CIO of Allianz Deutschland AG, initially joining the company in 1995 on a fast-track management development program. He holds a PhD in computer science from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität of Munich.
Director general, Lukoil-Inform
Alexander Pruzhinin has been global CIO for Lukoil and director general of Lukoil-Inform, the Russian energy company’s IT service provider, since June 2012. Earlier, he was Lukoil-Inform’s deputy director, responsible for the group’s management and IS systems, automatic control systems, ICT equipment and information security. He holds master’s degrees in both computing and electronics.
CIO, AXA Group
Dirk Marzluf was made CIO of AXA Group in January 2013. He was previously CEO of AXA Technology Services, the organization managing IT infrastructures globally for AXA. He assumed that role in 2011, having joined the company as managing director of AXA Technology Services for Switzerland in 2007, and becoming the services group’s head of the Central and Eastern Europe region in 2008. Before that he was global CTO at Winterthur Insurance Company and CTO at DaimlerChrysler Services IT, having begun his career at Andersen Consulting.
(co-heads of IT)
CIO- EMEA and Latin America
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Gilberto Ceresa joined the Fiat Group in 1989 and has held a variety of roles within the IT organization, including head of IT for international activities in Eastern Europe, Turkey, South America, Asia and Africa. In 2004, he became executive coordinator of Group Executive Council activities for the Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) Management Team and CNH, Fiat’s agricultural and construction equipment maker, and in 2007 took on additional roles as head of IT for FGA and IT coordinator for the Fiat Group.
VP and CIO - North America and Asia Pacific
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Scott Sandschafer was appointed VP and CIO for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – North America and Asia Pacific in December 2009. He joined from CNH Industrial, where he was senior director of its SAP program, sales and marketing. Sandschafer also worked at Accenture for 10 years, leading global information and communication technology programs. He now plays a key role on the FCS US Global Diversity Council and is the executive sponsor of the Latins in Connection employee resource group.
Renaud de Barbuat
Renaud de Barbuat was appointed CIO of Carrefour in March 2015, replacing Hervé Thoumyre, who had held the top IT role since 2007. De Barbuat was group CIO at electronic systems company Thales until September 2013, when he founded and became president of consulting company STRADIGIS. He had spent six years as group CIO at EDF, from 2002 to 2008.
• Mike McNamara left Tesco to become CIO at US retail giant Target in June 2015 (see February 2015 Appointments).
Sonja Chirico Indrebø
See our series of Big Thinker interviews with Sonja Chirico Indrebø.
Chief information officer
Véronique Durand-Charlot is CIO of ENGIE Group (formerly GDF SUEZ), a global energy player, and a member of the Group’s Executive Committee. She joined EDF GDF in 1980, where she held various management positions in energy distribution. In 1995, she became head of the Asnières distribution center. In 1999, Durand-Charlot was made quality management representative at EDF GDF Services. She joined Gaz de France in 2002 before becoming CIO in 2004. In this role, she managed the opening up of the energy markets to competition and the separation of EDF and GDF, and prepared the latter’s merger with SUEZ. When Gaz de France and SUEZ merged in 2008, she became CIO of the new GDF SUEZ group, leading major IT projects to integrate and transform the company. GDF Suez was renamed ENGIE Group in April 2015.
Head of global information and communication technology
Carlo Bozzoli has been head of global information and communication technology at Enel since August 2014. He joined in 1984, and held several managerial positions first in the Generation Division until 1999, then in the ICT and Distribution divisions. From 2009 to 2014 he was head of Network Commercial Services, responsible for metering and energy balance, grid connection, billing and credit management, energy traders management, quality of services and customer care. From 2006 to 2009 he was head of ICT Demand and Delivery for Infrastructures & Networks Division and responsible for its smart metering project.
CIO and SVP
Klaus Straub was selected as SVP and CIO of BMW in August 2014, tasked with leading all internal and external IT functions globally. He was formerly its head of organizational development and process management. Before moving to BMW in 2012, Straub was CIO at Volkswagen Group’s Audi brand for seven years. A trained engineer, Straub was director of HR Systems at Daimler from 1990 to 2001 and took his first CIO role at Siemens VDO Automotive in 2002.