John Lewis has appointed Paul Coby as its new CIO, after he left British Airways earlier this year. Coby is a vocal member of the IT industry and oversaw the introduction of a range of customer-facing techologies while he was there.
Ticketing services provided by some airlines and entertainment firms are often cited as an example for retailers to emulate - they rely on barcode technology, kiosks and efficient online systems. Coby played a core role in implementing the technology at Heathrow Terminal 5, and despite the well-publicised teething problems which saw delays and cancellations, the terminal is well advanced when it comes to clever and efficient customer-facing IT.
Coby has also been singled out in the past for his work on BA.com, which the airline relies on for a significant proportion of its sales. He is also a vocal member of the debate surrounding IT skills and making sure there are enough talented people entering the IT industry as whole, so it will be interesting to see what he does at John Lewis as it continues to develop its multichannel offer .
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