Job Title : 5

Organization : Director, IT and Logistics

Darrell Stein is IT & logistics director at Marks & Spencer – joining the retailer in 2006 as IT director before being promoted to the executive committee in 2008 when he also took on responsilibity for logistics.

This is not Stein’s first appearance on the CIO50 – the 41-year-old IT chief made the top 50 on the inaugural CIO50 list back in 2007. But it is his first time in the top 10, reflecting the growing impact and influence Stein has at M&S where he champions a philosophy of “more for less” – reducing IT running costs and incremental spending in order to self-fund large-scale change projects across the enterprise.

Examples include the deployment of the Amazon Platform, which saw M&S achieve 75 per cent growth in ecommerce, and an SAP implementation in finance that cut procurement spending by a quarter. Service levels have also flourished on Stein’s watch with M&S gaining its highest-level till availability yet this year – at 97.7 per cent.

In recent years, the IT chief has also overseen a series of multimillion pound outsourcing deals – including a contract with IBM to upgrade in-store systems; and managed services contracts with Logicalis, to improve the efficiency of the M&S IT network and support the rollout of new tech services; and Computacenter Services to provide infrastructure support for 4,000 head-office staff across six sites. He has also outsourced legacy development to TCS.

Stein’s star does not only burn brightly in the tech department either – his IT practices and operational processes are being adopted across the rest of the business – from financial controls to succession planning and team comms.

M&S marks something of a homecoming for Stein who began his career at the company back in 1990, before leaving to work as a project manager on data warehousing and financial systems for Mars. He has also worked for Vodafone, becoming UK IT director for the mobile operator in 2004. And prior to that, between 1996 and 2001, he worked at Ernst & Young – leading a number of major IT and change programmes in the financial services, retail and utility sectors.