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19 November 2020 12:38

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Very hires former BBC tech director as CIO Posted on November 19, 2020 by Alistair Hardaker share Online retailer and financial services provider The Very Group has hired Matt Grest as chief information officer (CIO) where he will lead The Very Group's 350-strong technology team. He will become part of the Group's executive board and report to CEO, Henry Birch. Grest will join The Very Group on 21 December 2020 from the BBC, where he led a 400-strong team of technologists as director of digital platforms and oversaw the transformation of the corporation's digital and broadcast products into a fully integrated tech platform. Prior to the BBC Grest was at Sky, where as digital platform director he was responsible for IT delivery and transformation across the company, including for Sky Sports, Sky News and Sky.com. He also led the creation of Sky's digital hub in Leeds, building a team of 650 people within 18 months.

He has also held a range of senior technology roles with Yorkshire Building Society, the NHS and Plusnet. Henry Birch, CEO at The Very Group, said: "Technology and data underpin everything we do, including the digital journey that keeps our customers coming back to Very "Matt is a talented technologist and leader, with a track record for driving strong performance through tech and new ways of working. Under his stewardship, I am confident we will continue to deliver the platforms we need to support our ambitions and make changes to the customer experience faster than ever before." Grest added: "The Very Group has a history of reinvention powered by technology and this is an exciting time to be joining the business. With more people shopping online than ever before and continued appetite for flexible ways to pay, providing the best possible experience – powered by technology and data – has never been more important. North East Property Matthew Ord Helen Gordon Listed housing giant Grainger believes it is in "very good shape" as it continues to navigate the ongoing economic challenges.

For the year to 30 September, revenues dipped from £222.8m to £214m while pre-tax profits were also down from £131.3m to £110.8m. The second half of the year was "dominated" by Covid-19, with the business having "successfully withstood these testing times" without furloughing any employees or seeking government assistance. Chief executive Helen Gordon said: "We have continued to invest, grow and improve the business, while delivering strong results and attractive returns for our shareholders. "This year has emphasised the importance of a good home like never before, and Grainger's unrelenting focus on providing good quality, safe homes with great customer service, has proved as relevant as ever during these challenging times. "Our strategy to respond by innovating, communicating and improving underpinned our strong performance for the year." Chief financial officer Vanessa Simms added: "While there may be some near-term economic challenges ahead, the fundamentals of our business remain in very good shape.

"Our strong balance sheet ensures that we will be well placed to optimise on the market opportunity and continue to grow our business." The Very Group has announced the appointment of former BBC tech director Matt Grest as chief information officer, effective 21 December. In his new role, Grest will lead the British retailer's 350-strong technology team as it continues to transform its technology and platforms. "The Very Group has a history of reinvention powered by technology and this is an exciting time to be joining the business," Grest said in a statement. Grest joins from the BBC where he led a 400-strong team that oversaw the transformation of the corporation's digital and broadcast products into a fully integrated tech platform. Prior to the BBC, Matt worked at Sky as digital platform director where he was responsible for IT delivery and transformation across the company, including for Sky Sports, Sky News and Sky.com.

The Very Group CEO Henry Birch commented: "Technology and data underpin everything we do, including the digital journey that keeps our customers coming back to Very. Prior to that, he was at Sky, where as Digital Platform Director he was responsible for IT delivery and transformation across the company, including for Sky Sports, Sky News and Sky.com. He also led the creation of the company's digital hub in Leeds. Also of interest: The Very Group CTO Andy Burton set to depart as retailer returns to profit Birch says: "Technology and data underpin everything we do, including the digital journey that keeps our customers coming back to Very. Matt is a talented technologist and leader, with a track record for driving strong performance through tech and new ways of working." "Under his stewardship, I am confident we will continue to deliver the platforms we need to support our ambitions and make changes to the customer experience faster than ever before." Grest comments: "The Very Group has a history of reinvention powered by technology and this is an exciting time to be joining the business." "With more people shopping online than ever before and continued appetite for flexible ways to pay, providing the best possible experience – powered by technology and data – has never been more important. I can't wait to get started."