Two major British firms have appointed new personnel for senior IT roles, as the pressure on big businesses to embrace the latest technologies ramps up.
Supermarket chain Sainsbury's has created a brand new role – digital and technology director – which will be filled by the company's current director of online Jon Rudoe. In March 2013 he also took control of the firm's various technology offerings including Click and Collect, Digital Entertainments and Mobile Scan and Go.
Rudoe will join the company's operating board while also taking on the firm's wider IT strategy, a job previously undertaken by IT director Rob Fraser, who will leave Sainsbury's on 15 March.
Rudoe said: "I'm excited to be given the chance to take our digital engagement to the next level. This move reflects the increasing importance that we're placing on technology and digital sales channels."
The technology arms of retail chains – much like other businesses – have come under increasing pressure to deliver projects that boost sales in a hotly competitive market.
Technologies such as predictive big data analytics and online shopping have emerged as areas of huge growth while new areas such as augmented reality are being trialled, as announced by Tesco earlier this week.
Meanwhile, Aviva has appointed a new chief information officer. Monique Shivanandan, previously CIO of BT Retail and CTO of US banking group Capital One, will replace previous COO Cathryn Riley, who left Aviva last year.
Aviva boasts 34 million customers, selling insurance and investment products and Aviva's chief executive Mark Wilson said the hire was a coup for the firm: "Monique is a first-class CIO. She has a strong background leading and transforming digital capabilities at major companies."
In 2012 Aviva landed another notable exec when it tempted Phil Pavitt from his role as the IT chief for the HMRC department to the firm.
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