Former Whitbread CIO joins Morrisons as IT transformation director

Ben Wishart, formerly chief information officer at the hospitality firm Whitbread, has joined Morrisons as the director of the retailer's Evolve transformation programme.

Ben Wishart, formerly chief information officer at the hospitality firm Whitbread, has joined Morrisons as the director of the retailer's Evolve transformation programme.

Wishart joined Morrisons this month, but declined to comment on his new role.

Evolve is a £310m internal change programme with an Oracle ERP toolset at its heart. The six-year plan, which was first announced in 2008, entails the phased implementation of a full Oracle retail merchandising suite, planning and stores applications, as well as the Oracle e-Business Suite which covers manufacturing, finance, human resources and payroll.

The programme is also expected to include the introduction of Oracle's Siebel systems for customer relationship management (CRM) and service-oriented architecture (SOA) features.

The project will replace all of Morrisons' IT systems and is set to complete in 2013/14. The retailer is looking to generate £100m of annual savings in the year of completion.

Before joining Morrisons, Wishart worked for about six months as an independent consultant. Prior to that, he worked for more than six years at UK hotel and restaurant chain Whitbread, initially as chief information officer. He then extended his IT role to cover business change and logistics before moving up to become the IT chief for the company's international business.

Read more on IT for retail and logistics

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