The Coles takeover triggered an unprecedented public discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of its IT capabilities
Stories by Beverley Head
In June, Coles Chief Executive John Fletcher went to bat for his CIO and the company's IT team via a letter to the editor after a comment piece appeared in The Australian Financial Review, which mooted that due diligence briefings had revealed "allegations of IT cost overruns and implementation delays which are said to be threatening the transformation of Coles' supply chain . . ." In a timely interview, Fletcher talks with CIO magazine's Beverley Head about the company's IT and his take on the controversy that arose during the takeover.
By the time the board of retailing giant Coles Group recommended Wesfarmers' $21.9 billion takeover bid this week, the company had been in play for over a year. During that time its executives had to steer a steady course; maintaining shareholder value and positioning the business for future growth - setting to one side the knowledge that everything being done today could be unravelled tomorrow by a new owner.
The relationship is much more sophisticated these days, throughout the corporate world. In Coles, technology requirements are defined by the business and IT working together, based on the business's strategic objectives.
CIO magazine's Beverly Head asked Coles CEO John Fletcher and CIO Peter Mahler about the company's IT and the controversy that arose during the takeover. Here are their answers:
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