Europe’s top 20 business CIOs of 2016
Illustration: Alberto Antoniazzi
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Europe’s top 20 business CIOs of 2016

Maxine-Laurie Marshall and Kenny MacIver — August 2016

Who are the biggest names in IT management in Europe? Our annual ranking profiles the CIOs at the continent’s largest companies.

Politically, economically, socially — and digitally — Europe is in flux. And for the heads of IT at the continent’s top companies, that means the challenges have never been greater. While ensuring their organizations continue to deliver rock-solid operational IT, they are now also expected to be leaders of business innovation, charged with addressing both the challenges and opportunities presented to their business organizations by digital disruption. But what characterizes Europe’s most powerful — and often deliberately low profile — group of CIOs?

This year’s top 20 European CIO list sees as many new faces as familiar ones. In fact, a total of 11 of the IT leaders have been in their roles for less than 18 months.

CIOs from the oil and gas industry still form the largest group, with the 2015-appointed CIO of Shell, Jay Crotts, topping the overall table. However, the precipitous fall in oil and gas prices over the year has taken a toll. Three of their sector colleagues — from Statoil, Eni and Gazprom — as well as the CIO of energy company ENGIE, have fallen out of the top 20, to be replaced by IT leaders from Generali, BASF, Siemens and Nestlé.

CIOs from automotive brands have been a more consistent bunch. Of the four making our list this year, only Daimler CIO Jan Brecht is a newcomer to the top 20. There were also new faces in other industry groupings, including the head of IT at Generali, one of the three financial services companies in the top 20, and the CIOs from both retail companies featured, Carrefour and Tesco.

Despite that near 50% turnover in incumbents, one striking fact emerges from the list. Following on from a 2015 line-up that featured only two female CIOs, this year’s top 20 has become an exclusively male club — a worrying development that is in contrast to last year's table when 10% of the IT leaders were women.

See 2016’s league table and CIO profiles below. You can also download an infographic highlighting this year’s trends here.



Company (HQ)Revs (€bn)Head of IT
1. Royal Dutch Shell
 238.8Jay Crotts
2. Volkswagen
 213.3Martin Hofmann
3. BP
 200.9Mike Gibbs
4. Glencore

Michael Moore (co-head)

Derek Wayland (co-head)

5. Daimler

Jan Brecht

6. Total
 129.2Frédéric Gimenez
7. Allianz
 125.2Ralf Schneider
8. E.ON
 116.2Edgar Aschenbrenner
9. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Gilberto Ceresa (co-head)

Ryan Talbott (co-head)

10. AXA
 98.5Dirk Marzluf
11. Tesco
 95.9Edmond Mesrobian
12. BMW
 92.2Klaus Straub
13. Lukoil
 85.5Alexander Rezanov
14. Nestlé
 83.2 Terence Stacey
15. Carrefour
 76.9Renaud de Barbuat
16. Rosneft
 76.6 Valery Nikitin
17. Enel
 75.7 Carlo Bozzoli
18. Siemens
 75.6Dr Norbert Kleinjohann
19. Assicurazioni Generali
 74.2Bruce Hodges
20. BASF
 70.4Wiebe van der Horst
* CIOs at the 20 largest European-headquartered companies, based on last reported annual revenues. Currency conversions averaged over companies' fiscal year, unless directly specified

Jay Crotts
Royal Dutch Shell

Jay Crotts

 With an annual IT budget of $4 billion and a staff of more than 9,000, Jay Crotts is a 30-year veteran at Shell who has overseen some of the company’s largest IT and business transformation programs, led operations and been a CIO of regional and divisional units. Appointed as EVP and group CIO in July 2015 as a replacement for Alan Matula, who had held the role for nine years, Crotts held previous positions as VP & CIO IT services and operations, global IT strategic relationship and procurement director, and CIO of Shell Lubricants. That wealth of experience, which has taken him from Houston to London and now to the company’s headquarters in The Hague, has given him a distinctly business-perspective, despite deep roots in telecoms and IT background, as his LinkedIn profile sums up: “While remaining a techie at heart, he increasingly stresses the need for IT to become the enabler in unlocking new business opportunities and delivering direct bottom line impact, both internally and externally.”

Martin Hofmann
Group CIO

Hofmann Martin Dr

As group CIO, Dr Martin Hofmann has been leading Volkswagen’s global IT function for the past five years. Having joined the carmaker in 2001, Dr Hofmann has held a string of executive roles, including chief of process and information management at the company’s group procurement unit and head of e-procurement and supply chain integration. Since 2008 he has led organizational development for the wider Volkswagen Group.  In one recent initiative Dr Hofmann launched Volkswagen IT Services India — a centralized hub for the vehicle manufacturer’s IT delivery and support that is expected to extend its services to cover backend IT for all the brands under Volkswagen. Earlier, Hofmann held international roles at IT services company EDS, including head of Digital Markets Solutions for the US.

Mike Gibbs
Group CIO

Mike Gibbs has been group CIO at London-headquartered BP since November 2013, having joined in 2008 as CIO for the company’s refining and marketing operations. Gibbs has spent his entire career working in the oil industry, the bulked of it at Houston-based Conoco and later ConocoPhillips, where he joined as an applications analyst and rose through the ranks to become CIO for the group’s downstream business. 

Michael Moore
Co-head of IT
Michael Moore was promoted to the position of co-head of IT in November 2015 alongside Glencore colleague Derek Wayland. Moore, who joined the Switzerland-headquartered mining and commodities trading group in 2006, brings more than 20 years’ experience to the position.  Prior to taking on the role, he led the corporate IT function, overseeing the IT integration following Glencore’s 2013 merger with mining group Xstrata. Before joining Glencore, Moore spend eight years within the IT services group at multinational logistics company DHL, where he was principal system architect and senior software architect.

Derek Wayland
Co-head of IT
Derek Wayland was made co-head of IT at Glencore in November 2015, alongside Glencore colleague Michael Moore, having spent 15 years with international mining and commodities trading group. Wayland previously worked at CIBC World Markets in Canada and Barclays de Zoete Wedd in London. Wayland and Moore took over from Cyril Reol who left in January 2015 and has since become CTO of asset management company Man Group.

Jan Brecht
Jan Brecht has been CIO at Daimler since November 2015, replacing Michael Gorriz who left to join Standard Chartered Bank after seven years at the helm of the car company. No newcomer to the German automotive company, Brecht worked for Daimler from 1997-2009, three years as head of the International Information Office at Mercedes and another three years as Daimler’s CIO for the Americas region. Before returning he spent six and a half years in tech leadership roles at Adidas, where he was ultimately CIO and head of global supply chain.  Among other innovation programs, Brecht and his team are currently involved in establishing a ‘digital unit’ within Daimler subsidiary Mercedes-Benz, a cross-departmental initiative between marketing and IT.

Frédéric Gimenez
Group CIO
Appointed director of information systems at Total in March 2015, oil and gas IT veteran Frédéric Gimenez has spent more than two decades at the Paris-headquartered company. In that time he has led technology across a broad range of roles, including the company-wide implementation of SAP, IT chief for its UK operations, head of infrastructure and production within Total’s refining and marketing business unit and VP of information systems for refining and chemicals. Following the appointment of a group CDO, Gilles Cochevelou, in November 2015, the two executives have focused on bridging the gap between the business and the digitalization opportunities that IT can enable.

Ralf Schneider
Group CIO
Ralf Schneider joined Allianz on a sabbatical in 1995 and has since swapped his love for studying mathematics and computer science for practical implications of technology. He was put on a fast-track management development program at the Munich-based insurance giant and began by managing the company’s customer interface and ecommerce platform. Schneider was then promoted to CIO of Allianz Deutschland AG and took the group CIO role in 2010. In March 2016 Schneider was tasked with spearheading the biggest change program in the company’s history — Allianz Infrastructure Transformation — an initiative backed by a triple-digit million euro budget.

Edgar Aschenbrenner
CIO and chairman E.ON Business Services

Edgar-Aschenbrenner 2012 T-Systems01 photo-for-EON-Connected
Edgar Aschenbrenner was appointed CIO of E.ON in 2009 and chairman of the management board of E.ON IT (now part of E.ON Business Services) a year later. In October 2013, he took over as chairman of E.ON Business Services, assuming responsibility for finance and HR services as well as IT. Aschenbrenner’s focus on digitalizing the energy company led him to create a Digital Solutions unit and a Data Analytics Lab, while ramping up investment in IT security. His team has been at the cutting-edge of IoT, with a massive rollout of smart meters underway across Europe, as well as exploiting social and web analytics to keep sales and marketing teams informed of customer intentions and behaviors.

Gilberto Ceresa
CIO for EMEA and Latin America
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Edgar-Aschenbrenner 2012 T-Systems01 photo-for-EON-Connected
Gilberto Ceresa, head of IT for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in EMEA and Latin America, has been with the Fiat Group since 1989. During his 27-year career with the Italian automotive giant he has held a broad set of roles, 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. Since the merger of Fiat and Chrysler in 2014, he has work with co-CIO Ryan Talbott to oversee the global integration of the IT infrastructures and teams of the Fiat, Chrysler and CNH.

Ryan Talbott
CIO, North America and Asia Pacific
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Edgar-Aschenbrenner 2012 T-Systems01 photo-for-EON-Connected
Ryan Talbott became CIO for Fiat Chrysler in North America and Asia Pacific in October 2015. He shares global responsibility for IT with Gilberto Ceresa, CIO for Europe and Latin America. Talbott joined Chrysler in 2010 as IT director for finance and SAP systems and was promoted to director of IT after the merger of the Fiat and Chrysler. Prior to this he was project manager and integration lead at beer company MillerCoors, head of SAP implementation at Central Garden & Pet and an SAP specialist at Accenture.

Dirk Marzluf
Group CIO
AXA’s group CIO since 2013, Dirk Marzluf has been a specialist in insurance IT for the past 11 years. In 2003 he was appointed global CTO at Winterthur, a Swiss insurer which was bought by France’s AXA in 2006. He then went on to become CEO of AXA Technology Services in Switzerland before taking on the global role at the IT infrastructure and application platform unit in 2011. Earlier experience was gained as CTO for DaimlerChrysler IT Services in the UK, and at management consultancies and software companies Accenture, HPS and Factor-e.

Edmond Mesrobian
Edmond Mesrobian became CTO of UK-supermarket giant Tesco in June 2015, taking over from Mike McNamara who left for the CIO’s role at US retailer Target. Previously, Mesrobian spent almost four years as CTO of Expedia. At the online travel company he managed a budget of more than $300 million. Prior to this he held several CTO roles at several successful digital media and entertainment services start-ups including RealNetworks, ARTISTdirect, and Disney Online.

Klaus Straub
Klaus Straub has spent the whole of his career in the automotive industry and is now two years into his tenure as SVP and CIO of BMW. After 11 years rising through the ranks of Daimler IT, culminating in the role of director for HR systems, he left in 2001 to take on the CIO’s position at speedometer maker VDO, then owned by Siemens.  He moved on to become Audi’s CIO before his initial position at BMW in 2012 as head of organizational development and process management.

Alexander Rezanov
CIO of Lukoil and CEO, Lukoil-Inform
Alexander Rezanov became CEO of Lukoil-Inform, the IT services organization of Russia’s largest oil and gas company, in September 2015 when he took over from Alexander Pruzhinin. Rezanov previously spent 18 years at Japanese engineering company Yokogawa Electric in Russia, rising to the position of commercial director. His career began at Honeywell Process Solutions, where he was a sales engineer.

Terence Stacey
Group CIO

Terence Stacey-nestle
A Nestlé veteran, having joined the Swiss company in 1981, Terence Stacey has been a leading figure in Nestlé GLOBE, a long-running program designed to drive best practice and standardization across IT processes, applications systems and data management worldwide. In 2001 he was appointed GLOBE centre manager for Asia, Oceania and Africa before moving on to be general manager of the European GLOBE Center in 2008 and then GLOBE center manager for the whole group in 2010. The following year he was made group CIO. Continuing his work on standardizing the company’s approach to IT, Stacey has recently been pushing through a worldwide upgrade of Nestlé‘s ERP applications to SAP S/4 HANA.

Renaud de Barbuat
Group CIO

Renaud de Barbuat has held the CIO role at Carrefour since 2015 when he replaced Hervé Thoumyre. Barbuat took on his first CIO role in 2002, when he led the information systems organization at energy company EDF before moving on in 2008 to spend five years as the head of IT for engineering giant Thales. Prior to joining Carrefour he ran his own consultancy, STRADIGIS, advising businesses on digital transformation strategy.

Valery Nikitin
Valery Nikitin took charge of Rosneft’s IT services group in May 2015 as part of a wider management restructure at the Moscow-based oil and gas company. He replaced Anton Strokovich who had led IT since the Russian oil and gas company’s acquisition of rival TNK-BP in 2013. Nikitin has inherited an IT strategy that is prioritizing the creation of a common business information architecture. This program is aimed not only at unifying data from its SAP ERP systems but also providing timely and accurate information to management and for feeding into automated business processes.

Carlo Bozzoli
Head of global ICT
Carlo Bozzoli has spent his entire career at Enel, having joined the Italian oil electricity and gas company in 1984. From 2000 to 2009 he held a number of positions in IT management that put him in charge of SAP implementation, smart meter adoption, IT strategy, planning and quality management. Bozzoli moved on to become head of ICT demand and delivery for Enel’s Infrastructure & Networks and Generation & Energy Management Divisions, then head of Network Commercial Services for the Infrastructure & Networks Division. He was made global CIO in 2014.


Dr Norbert Kleinjohann

Norbert-Kleinjohann Siemens
Since joining German engineering company Siemens AG in 2000, Dr Norbert Kleinjohann has held a variety of senior technology roles, first as CIO of Siemens Logistics and Assembly Systems and then CIO of Siemens Automation and Drives. He took over as group CIO in 2007 and was promoted to head of the newly founded Global IT Services unit in 2014. He began his career at Mannesmann in 1982 and held several leadership roles, ultimately becoming the CIO for crane-maker Mannesmann Dematic.

Bruce Hodges
Group information and digital officer
Assicurazioni Generali
With more than 25 year’s experience in financial services, Bruce Hodges has been group head of IT systems at Generali since October 2015. Hodges is tasked with accelerating digital transformation at the Trieste, Italy-headquartered insurance company, as part of a previously announced IT renovation and rationalization program that focuses on customer experience and operational efficiencies. Prior to joining Generali, the Canadian-born executive spent four years at insurer NN group where he was both CIO and chairman of the board, leading the IT function across its insurance, banking and asset management operations in Europe and Asia. His extensive experience in international financial services includes stints as CEO of NN Group’s Malaysian business, CIO and COO for Asia at Sun Life Financial, and president and CEO for Thailand at Manulife Financial.

Wiebe van der Horst
CIO and SVP global process & enterprise architecture
Wiebe-van-der-Horst BASF
Wiebe van der Horst joined German chemicals giant BASF in 2008 as global head of transportation and logistics procurement. Further roles in procurement and process innovation led to his appointment to the top IT role in 2013. As well as ensuring the smooth operation of the global enterprise structure, cyber security and project development, van der Horst runs the global Connected Enterprise program that provides integrated, flexible workplaces to employees through advanced communication tools and devices. Prior to BASF van der Horst worked in IT, HR and supply chain at chemicals company Ciba.

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