CIO50

CIO 50 2008: Paul Coby

CIO 50

Job Title : British Airways

Organization : CIO

Paul Coby was voted top CIO in 2007's inaugural CIO50 and since then has largely focused on ramping up the tech for the opening of the new Terminal 5 at London's Heathrow airport.

Although Terminal 5's opening in March didn't go as smoothly as BA would have hoped it still stands as a massive tech project that took years of planning.

Coby has been CIO for British Airways since September 2001 after spending many years working in the civil service where he became principle private secretary to the Secretary of State for Transport in the 1990s.

The period in which Coby has been at the helm is widely viewed as one of the toughest in the airline's history but IT has played a crucial role in turning this around particularly through the customer-enabled BA transformation programme (Ceba).

Coby's oft-used motto is "there are no IT projects, only business projects" and it is an approach that has proved to be extremely successful.

During his stint in charge, the BA website has been overhauled with self service check-in now forming a large part of the customer experience with the airline, along with the fast bag drop process and an employee portal.

Coby is also chairman of Sita, the airline industry IT body, and chairman of the CIO board for IT industry skills group e-Skills UK.

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