CIO50

CIO 50 2007: Gareth Lewis

CIO 50

Job Title : Group CIO

Organization : Virgin

What they say about him: "A long career in general management before joining Virgin as CIO."

Lewis was appointed as Richard Branson's first group CIO for Virgin Management - the holding company for all the Virgin brands and assets, with revenues of $25bn - in 2002.

Lewis has established the role in a complex political environment, driving change across the various Virgin business units and brands from the centre, and has developed an IT strategy that keeps operating costs down while helping drive the development of new businesses and maintaining Virgin's entrepreneurial spirit.

At Virgin Lewis has taken a lead role in the establishment of a number of new Virgin businesses worldwide, mainly in the telecoms sector, and he has established a successful offshore outsourcing programme resulting in around $40m a year in ongoing cost savings.

Lewis joined Virgin in 2001 as acting CTO before becoming group CIO. Before that he was VP of professional services at Interprovider and a partner in KPMG's internet, communications and entertainment business. In the early 1980s Lewis created a voice messaging system before moving on to various development and management roles at Cable & Wireless, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and Unisys.

Outside of Virgin, the Cambridge-educated Lewis is a non-executive director of mobile services software supplier Elata, a member of the customer advisory board for Tideway Systems and a board member of the Telecommunications Management Forum.

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