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Network Rail CIO takes on wider shared services role

Angelica Mari

Network Rail chief information officer (CIO) Susan Cooklin has taken on the added responsibility for finance and HR shared services.

The expanded role, which has officially commenced on 30 November, sees Cooklin’s team expand from 600 to 1,000 people, most of whom are based in Milton Keynes.

“Us CIOs can see how the processes link up - we know how to run a services operation and the impact that has on customers. So if you can get that running quite well, there has to be a value for the organisation,” Cooklin (pictured) said of her enlarged remit.

“I am a very 'businessy' person, I understand how businesses tick and it is something I enjoy looking at. I am delighted to have been given that extra responsibility,” she added.

Cooklin’s title will remain CIO. She will work closely with finance director Patrick Butcher.

“I trained as an accountant, so I understand how it all works – Patrick ‘gets’ technology and lets me get on with what I do. So if he thought that I am not good at what I am doing, he wouldn’t have given me HR and finance shared services to look after,” she said.

“The defensiveness of some of my peers about their position always surprises me. I am happy to work whatever side of that junction where business and IT splits, it doesn’t bother me."

As well as other non-IT roles, Cooklin ran a business change programme in the corporate banking division of Barclays, where she worked for seven years before joining Network Rail in 2006 as head of IT delivery.


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