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Virgin Australia appoints its first CIO

But there's no room at the boardroom table yet for new CIO Lawrie Turner

Virgin Australia has appointed Lawrie Turner as its new CIO but the company will not be appointing him to its board.

A Virgin Australia spokesperson said a seat is not being made available to Turner and could not comment whether he will have a place on the board in the future.

“We already have our board members,” said the spokesperson. “Our CFO [Sankar Narayan], who Lawrie will answer to, is his direct, first port of call.”

CIOs don’t get a seat at the top table: study.

The spokesperson said that Turner will play a crucial role in managing Virgin Australia’s new Sabre booking and check-in system that it transitioned to last month.

Last month, the airline reported problems with its new Sabre system, which led to delays for passengers.

Turner worked with Sabre Holdings 1998 to 2000 and since then has held CIO roles with Aurizon, Optus and David Jones. He has about eight-and-a-half years’ experience in the CIO role.

Virgin Australia’s head of information services, Segar Reddy, will be leaving the airline to take up his own consultancy business, according to the spokesperson.

Lawrie will commence his role with the airline on 25 February.

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More about: David Jones, Facebook, Optus, Sabre
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IT Expert


Any organisation that has a CIO reporting to a bean counter is a clear indicator they are not serious about IT strategy. After 12 months one of two scenarios will eventuate:
1. The CFO will be sacked for non delivery OR
2. The CIO will be sacked for non delivery

The model does not work and will not work and I a am surprised any experienced CIO would take such a role report to a bean counter - suicide mission lawrie!!C



Wouldn't have expected to see the CIO on the board .... that is not the their role.
However, I do agree that answering to the CFO is a one trip ...
A CIO role is to support ALL business departments to achieve strategic objectives.



Richard, why shouldn't a CIO be on a company board? Surely technology is so pervasive across organisations these days that the CIO should be helping drive strategy?



Interesting that everyone seems to be anti-CFO reporting lines. I have worked with a couple of them now and if you get the right CFO who has that broader strategic/business view and allows or even encourages the same from the CIO then the relationship can work very well.



Any CIO fixated to not reporting to a CFO either has no confidence in their own skills to influence and deliver or is on a power trip. I've reported to CEO's and CFO's and the simple answer is that it very much depends on your own drive and on the individual you report to , not the title of the individual. In fact on e of the most successful career stints as a CIO was reporting to the CFO as the CFO was totally supportive , was the driver in the business and also signed off on all of the capital. To blankly state that reporting to a CFO is bad (or good) just demonstrates a lack of awareness of the real world.

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