AstraZeneca IT exec steps down

Pharmaceutical giant’s vice-president of IT transformation and office of the CIO, Chris Day, is leaving the company after eight years in the role

Chris Day is leaving pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca after eight years at the company to take up a role in the finance industry.

Day has been with AstraZeneca since 2010, and in his role as vice-president of IT transformation and office of the CIO since 2013.

Today (29 March) is the executive’s last day in the job, and he will begin work as head of change at insurance and pensions firm Royal London Group after the Easter bank holiday.  

Day joined AstraZeneca in 2010 as global enterprise resource planning (ERP) director. He then climbed up the ranks and has been responsible for leading the delivery of a major global transformation programme at the pharmaceuticals firm since 2013.  

Within the transformation, highlights of Day’s tenure included “radically reinventing” the company’s IT operating model and organisational design.

He also reviewed the firm’s supplier ecosystem and was responsible for a three-year insourcing project, replacing seven major IT suppliers with in-house resources. He also established established a network of global technology centres in India, Mexico and China.

In an interview with Computer Weekly in 2016, Day said the IT insourcing project had been hugely successful. 

“Before this project, email was run in-house on an antiquated server estate supported by third parties before we moved to 365, which took only seven months,” he said. “We have adopted all the leading cloud services and gone from lagging in terms of cloud technology to leading in certain areas, and we are evaluating all the time.”

Read more about AstraZeneca

The company has gone from what Day described as “a laggard in terms of cloud take-up” in 2013 to rolling out multiple cloud systems, including Salesforce, Workday, Box, Microsoft Office 365. Concur and ServiceNow.

Day added that bringing work back in-house had re-energised and motivated the IT organisation.

In January 2018, Astrazeneca teamed up with Chinese technology powerhouses Alibaba and Tencent to deliver smart healthcare services through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) in China. 

Before joining AstraZeneca, Day held various other senior roles at companies including Carlsberg Breweries, Unilever and Accenture. ...................................................................................... ..................................................................................................

Read more on CW500 and IT leadership skills

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