Your choice regarding cookies on this site
Click on Accept to agree or Preferences to view and choose your cookie settings.
Who are the most powerful CIOs in Europe? We identify the individuals who manage the greatest challenges at the Continent’s biggest companies — and spend up to €2-3bn a year in the process.
Most European economies may still be faltering, but the region’s largest companies continue to ride high in the global revenue charts. And critical to sustaining their competitive positions, in an increasingly digital business environment, is the leadership that defines and guides their IT strategies.
As the only publication focused on global CIOs, I-CIO profiles below the top 20 enterprise CIOs in Europe (based on their organization’s last reported annual revenues).
CIOs from three sectors — energy, automobiles and financial services — dominate the table, with the geographical spread centered on Europe’s most buoyant economy. In fact, CIOs from German companies take a quarter of the places in the top 20, followed by CIOs at French and Italian companies with 20% each of the slots.
Notwithstanding the supra-national nature of such companies, only six of the CIOs listed are from outside their organization’s homeland. America’s Alan Matula and Mike Gibbs, at Shell and BP respectively, are notable exceptions to the rule, as is Tesco’s Irish-born Mike McNamara, Enel’s Rafael López Rueda, originally from Spain, German Dirk Marzluf at Axa and Glencore Xstrata’s French CIO Cyril Reol.
Whatever their origin, these are by far the most powerful IT executives in European technology — with stratospheric annual IT budgets to match. One shared with us how he had cut the annual IT budget by a quarter in recent years, leaving him with just €1.7 billion ($2.3bn) to spend.
Europe’s top enterprise CIOs*
|Company (HQ)||Revs (€bn)||Head of IT|
|1. Royal Dutch Shell|
|5. Glencore Xstrata|
|12. GDF SUEZ|
|96.9||Sonja Chirico Indrebø|
|16. Generali Group|
|88.5||Arne Pott (co-head)|
Massimo Paltrinieri (co-head)
|84.9||Rafael López Rueda|
EVP & CIO
Royal Dutch Shell
Alan Matula was appointed CIO at Royal Dutch Shell in January 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 BS 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.
Entry updated January 2014.
Patrick Hereng has been CIO (directeur des systèmes d’information et de telecommunications) at Total since January 2006. He began his career at IBM, before moving to Intertechnique and then Cap Gemini in 1985. Before joining Total in 1998, he spent several years working at Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations.
Dr Martin Hofmann has been group CIO of Volkswagen AG since December 2011. Before this, he spent three years as head of organizational development, having initially joined the carmaker in 2001. Earlier, Hofmann held international roles at Electronic Data Systems, including head of digital market solutions consulting for the IT services company in the US.
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.
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 2012, as chairman of E.ON’s Business Services organization, he has also been responsible for finance and HR processes. Earlier in his career, Aschenbrenner was managing director of HP’s services organization.
Gianluigi Castelli has been CIO at Eni since 2006. From 1997 to 2001, he worked at the Fiat Group — initially as CIO of Fiat Auto and then as managing director and general manager of its software services company. Castelli then held a range of roles at Vodafone Group from 2001 to 2006, joining as CIO of Vodafone Italy before becoming CIO of the entire group. Earlier in his career, Castelli was CIO of Infostrada.
Director general of Gazprom Inform
Azamat Safarov became director general of Gazprom Inform, Gazprom’s unified IT service company, in 2013. He has also led the company’s information systems directorate since 2007, and draws on experience working in Gazprom’s accounting, automation, information, telecommunication and metrology departments. Before joining the company, he worked at the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Natural Gases and Gas Technologies.
CIO and head of IT management
Dr Michael Gorriz has served as CIO and head of information technology management at Daimler since January 2008. He is responsible for the strategy, planning and development of all IT systems, as well as the operation of all data centers and communication networks at the automaker. He began his career at German aerospace company Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (later known as the Daimler-Benz affiliate DASA). From 1994, he led Daimler-Benz Aerospace in Mexico, and in 1997 became general manager of Nortel DASA’s Enterprise Networks division. In early 2000, Dr Gorriz moved to Daimler’s IT management area as VP IT business systems and was promoted to CIO of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Vans in 2005.
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.
Ralf Schneider has been CIO at Allianz Group since October 2010. He was simultaneously made a member of the management board of AMOS (Allianz Managed Operations & Services) with responsibility for IT. Before this, Schneider was CIO of Allianz Deutschland, initially joining the company in 1995 on a fast-track management development program. He has a master’s degree in information technology from the University of Munich.
Chief information officer
Véronique Durand-Charlot is CIO of GDF SUEZ, the world’s largest energy utility company, and has been a member of the GDF SUEZ executive committee since 2011. She joined EDF GDF in 1980, where she held various management positions in energy distribution, and in 1995 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 group, leading major IT projects to transform and integrate the new company.
Sonja Chirico Indrebø
Sonja Chirico Indrebø is the CIO of Statoil. She initially joined the company as a senior engineer in offshore telecommunications and has held several roles within the company’s IT business. She previously worked as an engineer in Aker Solutions’ Oil and Gas engineering group and holds a degree in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Surrey.
CEO of AXA Technology Services
Dirk Marzluf was made CIO of AXA Group in 2012. 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.
Mike McNamara has been CIO at Tesco and a member of the retailer's Executive Committee since March 2011. He joined the company in 1998 as an IT director, having previously worked at Accenture and BT. From 1999 to 2006 he was CTO and sat on the board of tesco.com, leading it from its inception to becoming a fully online platform, including the national rollout of the service. In 2006, McNamara became UK IT director and was promoted to worldwide head of operations development and IT in 2007.
(co-heads of IT)
Global head of IT infrastructure
Arne Pott is global head of IT infrastructure for the Generali Group. He joined the organization in 1998 to lead the project office and customer management team at its AM-Informatik-Services unit. In 2001, he was made a member of the board of directors of Cosmos, the German direct insurer, with responsibility for IT, organization, underwriting and administration. And in 2004 he became CEO of Generali Deutschland Informatik Services, where he managed the IT merger between Generali and Volksfursorge. Before joining the Generali Group, he worked for Oracle.
Global head of information systems
Massimo Patrinieri was appointed global head of information systems at Generali in July 2013. He is responsible for the supervision of group-level business software development and the delivery of information systems to the corporate office. Patrinieri is also chairman of the Group IT Committee, in charge of defining group IT strategy and architecture, and monitoring global IT project portfolio and spend. He first joined Generali in 2002, having previously worked for European and US multinationals in IT, finance and strategic consultancy.
• Both Pott and Patrinieri report to Generali Group COO Carsten Schildknecht.
Group and France CIO
Hervé Thoumyre is group CIO for Carrefour, CIO of the retailer’s French operation and president of Carrefour Organisation & Systèmes Groupe. He began his career in 1987 at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland and moved to IBM in 1989. There, he held various management roles, latterly managing director for the global relationship with Carrefour, before moving over to the hypermarket chain in 2007 as group CIO, becoming CIO for France in 2012.
Rafael López Rueda
Director of information and communication technologies
Rafael López Rueda is director of information and communication technologies at Italy’s largest power company, Enel, having joined from ENDESA, Spain’s largest electric utility company, where he was general manager of systems and telecommunications. Endesa has been an Enel majority-owned subsidiary since 2010. Before that, he was the general distribution manager at Endesa Latinoamérica and general manager of Chilectra, the Chilean electricity distributor, from 2003 to 2009. He has also worked at Enersis, the National Institute of Industry and Empresa Nazionale de Fertilizantes.
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.
Norbert Kleinjohann was appointed CIO for Siemens’ central corporate office in October 2007, having served as CIO for its Automation and Drives business since 2004. He began his career at industrial group Mannesmann in 1982 and Kleinjohann was promoted to CIO of Mannesmann Dematic, its cranes division, in 1998. Through the merger of Mannesmann Dematic with what was then Siemens Production and Logistics Systems, he became CIO of Logistics & Assembly for Siemens in 2000.
Click on Accept to agree or Preferences to view and choose your cookie settings.