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Westpac CIO retires, new appointment announced

The major bank has appointed a new chief information officer to replace Dave Curren, whose retirement has also been announced.

Westpac Group CEO Brian Hartzer has announced the retirement of Dave Curren, who will be stepping down from his role as chief information officer in January 2019.

Westpac has also announced that Mr Curren will be replaced by the current chief technology officer of Citigroup’s global consumer bank, Craig Bright, who will assume the role in December.

Mr Bright joined Citigroup in 2011 as managing director, initially responsible for strategic and operational leadership of infrastructure globally for the consumer bank.

Prior to joining Citigroup, Mr Bright was global head of infrastructure and service delivery with Barclays, where he was responsible for infrastructure management and service delivery across the global retail and commercial banking business.

The new appointee also previously served for nine years at National Australia Bank as CIO, investment bank and general manager, retail and business banking. He also held roles at Ernst & Young and the Electricity Commission of Victoria.

Commenting on the new appointment, Mr Hartzer said: “Craig is a highly respected global business and technology leader, with more than 30 years’ experience in technology and financial services. He is a well-rounded executive, with both a consulting background and deep global banking experience across various banks in strategic and operational leadership roles.”

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Mr Hartzer continued: “Throughout his career, he has been part of some of the world’s leading banking transformation programs, and is now at the forefront of future-thinking on digital, mobile and data and analytics strategies for one of the world’s largest banks.

“I’m delighted that an individual of Craig’s calibre will be joining our executive team.”

Westpac’s CEO also thanked outgoing CIO Dave Curren for his service and contribution to the group.

“Since joining Westpac in 2014, Dave has led a fundamental step change in advancing Westpac’s technology capabilities, helping us to continue to improve the customer experience while simultaneously improving productivity and risk management,” Mr Hartzer said.

“This has included the implementation of a number of major transformation projects, such as the group’s Customer Service Hub, which is already in pilot, and an infrastructure and operations initiative that includes moving Westpac’s technology capabilities to the cloud.

“Importantly, under Dave’s leadership, the stability and efficiency of our underlying technology infrastructure has been materially strengthened, which has reduced outages and improved cyber security.”

Mr Hartzer added: “On behalf of Westpac, I would like to personally thank Dave for his counsel and strategic insight, which has helped us to establish clear road maps for our long-term digital transformation.”

Mr Curran will continue to work with Westpac in a variety of ways, including remaining on the board of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, a $100 million scholarship fund with an exclusive focus on Australian education and leadership.

Mr Hartzer said that Mr Bright brings to Westpac exceptional leadership skills and well-recognised expertise in leading technology functions for large, complex, multi-country banking operations.

[Related: Bank restructures group executive]

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