Job Title : CIO

Organization : Royal Mail

What they say about him: “With British, French, Canadian, and Australian passports, David brought a wealth of experience at a critical stage of the Royal Mail’s recovery plan.”

David Burden joined Royal Mail in 2002 as part of the new management team established to turn the company around after years of massive losses and poor service.

At the time he was spending a gap year travelling across Australia by train, hiking in New Zealand and taking part in ocean swimming competitions but was coaxed into the role by chairman Allan Leighton.

Burden – whose pay packet topped £1m in 2005 – is a member of the board of directors, the group executive team and the group investment committee, as well as chair of the group business continuity and emergency planning committee.

Burden’s achievements include delivering a substantial reduction in IT costs through a major outsourcing deal with CSC Prism Alliance and the creation of a decentralised IT model. He has also led the implementation of large SAP and Siebel-based systems, new internet platforms and a new automated international mail centre near Heathrow.

Burden is a well-travelled CIO and his previous roles include executive VP of technology and services at Qantas Airways in Sydney, when the airline went through privatisation; CIO of Air Canada in Montreal; a year working on industrial policy for the government of Canada; and eight years in technology venture capital.

Burden is also on the UK NHS commercial advisory board, the e-Skills UK CIO board and the HP cross-industry global advisory board, as well as being a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

The bilingual Burden (he also speaks French) also enjoys theatre, rugby and sailing.