Challenge to the CIO?
Insurance giants RSA has appointed Gillian Tomlinson as Chief Data Officer (CDO) for its UK and Western European operations.
In a statement London headquartered RSA said it as CDO Tomlinson will be responsible ‘for the development of a new strategic capability for data that extends beyond management information”. A role that some observers might argue challenges that of a CIO.
Tomlinson joins RSA with considerable data management experience having been CDO with Whitbread the hospitality organisation behind major brands such as Costa Coffee and Premier Inn. At Whitbread Tomlinson was responsible for ensuring the organisation complied with the Data Protection Act. As Horizon reported recently the EU data protection laws are about to be increased to the point where organisations could face fines of 4% of global revenues.
RSA has used product and services innovation firm Fluxx to remodel its business. Horizon is partnering with Fluxx on May 26 to debate the changing shape of the board room. Both Fluxx and Horizon are witnessing a changing of the guard in leadership roles and job titles as digital disruption alters business models. The appointment of a CDO role at one of the UK’s leading insurance houses and the poignant statement that this role is “beyond information management” suggests that fewer organisations are looking for business information leaders.
Tomlinson will report to COO Darren McKenzie who said of Tomlinson’s appointment: “Gillian bring invaluable data knowledge from a number of sectors and strong track record in delivering operational changes, will help us successful compete in the UK and European Market to ensure we have a strong, coordinated data strategy that maximises data as an asset for each of our businesses lines across the company.”
RSA is led by Stephen Hester, the CEO who took over the helm of Royal Bank of Scotland in the wake of the financial crisis. Under Hester RSA has been through a tough re-organisation but it reported that operating profits rose in the first quarter of 2016 and that the business continues to divest itself of overseas business and slim down it’s existing operations.
In the UK RSA operates the MoreThan insurance brand and its technology strategy is led by Group CIO Darren Price.