The Time Group has created a new chief information officer position on the board in an effort to refocus its management.
The UK's largest High Street computer retailer and manufacturer has appointed Jason Campion, technical director of sister company The Internexus Group, to the role.
Campion explained that a lack of direct board level IT representation has led to too much "candle in the wind" management, which has been ineffective in managing resources and cash in other companies as IT gets pulled in all directions.
"IT traditionally reports through the finance director, but that limits your exposure to the business. At the end of the day the financial director has the remit of efficient financial management," he said.
"The chief information officer sits very much higher than that: on the board and part of the operational management team. That's far more effective than being an IT director," he added.
Campion will join the chief executive and finance director on the board. "My remit is to deliver a good customer experience, manage technical staff and create a strategy for the business together with the chief executive," he explained.
He will also be responsible for the delivery of a new retail IT system to the Group's 150 Computer World stores, and the development of business support systems needed to run the organisation's back-end operation.
Time Group managing director Brian Lynn described the appointment as a key move for the group.
"It will allow all departments, divisions and locations to have access to information, ensuring that the transition and change of focus for the group is supported with an excellent and productive IT structure," he said.
By June 2002 the Group will have replaced existing Time and Tiny showrooms with 150 Computer World stores, offering more than 3,000 product lines including printers, peripherals, software and accessories.
"We're moving to a situation where IT systems are used to run stores as cash machines rather than just showrooms," said Campion. "We're looking at the delivery of broadband with ADSL-ready PCs, and online backup and virus checking facilities for customers."
Internexus provides web hosting facilities and bespoke website and ecommerce development to the company.
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