Job Title : CIO

Organization : FirstGroup

What they say about him: “Ambitious and energetic, clear and focused with a matter-of-fact style – like an Australian cricketer.”

Australia-born Darin Brumby served in the first Gulf War and rose to officer ranks during a decorated and successful military career in the Royal Australian Navy – and he has carried those military leadership skills with him as a CIO.

Brumby joined Aberdeen-based FirstGroup – the UK’s largest passenger transportation company, with a turnover in excess of £3bn per year – as CIO in 2003 and was faced with a failing infrastructure, rising IT costs and a poor perception of IT inside the business. He admits most things were “broken” in terms of business processes.

He didn’t waste any time and cut £5m from the IT budget in the first year using classic cost reduction tactics. He has now developed a five-year strategic IT business plan to simplify and streamline the infrastructure, repositioned IT as a profitable business unit within FirstGroup and regained board-level trust in the IT department.

Brumby says it’s about getting the basics right – simplicity, ease of access, ubiquitous networks and more flexible working environments.

Prior to FirstGroup Brumby was European CIO and then Asia Pacific CIO at TMP Worldwide and Before that he spent time in various senior IT roles in the financial services industry in Australia, including Colonial Financial Services, Legal & General Life of Australia and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Before joining the corporate world, however, Brumby spent 16 years with the Royal Australian Navy, in various technology leadership roles, rising through the ranks to become a naval officer after serving in the Persian Gulf during 1990 as part of Operation Damask, for which he was awarded the Australian Service Medal.

A keen traveller, Brumby enjoys spending time with his family in Scotland and playing tennis, squash, golf and snooker.