Michael Gindy quits IAG for cloud venture

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By Brett Winterford

Insurance Australia Group CTO Michael Gindy has resigned to take on a new role at Cisco Systems, where he will be charged with delivering an OpenStack-based cloud for Telstra.

Gindy wound back his work schedule at the insurer in February and later decided to leave permanently at the end of this month.

“It’s time to move on,” Gindy told iTnews. “I miss the tech, it’s where my heart is.

“I was missing the pace of vendor-land. There is an amount of change you can do at an organisation, then there is the change you can provide a whole industry.”

Gindy will be Cisco’s new cloud delivery executive for the region, which he confirmed would involve some work on the Telstra-Cisco venture announced earlier this week.

The former Westpac CTO has delivered similar projects for EDS and the Commonwealth Bank.

Telstra’s OpenStack-based cloud

On Tuesday, Telstra announced it would engage in a joint-development effort with Cisco for the deployment of an IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) cloud based on Cisco’s Evolved Services Platform (CESP).

CESP is based on OpenStack orchestration and the OpenDaylight standard for software-defined networking.

Telstra already offers enterprise customers a cloud computing service, developed in conjunction with VMware and Accenture, but it has struggled to compete with multinational cloud suppliers.

The telco has not clarified whether its CESP cloud – due to be live by late 2014 – will replace this stack or run concurrently with it.

IAG looks ahead

In a statement to staff, AIG group chief information officer Donna-Maree Vinci thanked Gindy for his “contribution, achievements, insight and technical vision” which had “served IAG well.”

Vinci confirmed she would recruit for a replacement, but no decision had been made as to whether to seek internal or external candidates.

Separately, former Westpac chief technology officer Jeff Jacobs has been contracted by IAG to assist Vinci with IT strategy and planning. The company said Jacobs’ appointment was not related to Gindy’s departure.

Jacobs departed Westpac in December 2013 as part of a major technology executive reshuffle that also saw CIO Clive Whincup defect to Woolworths, and has since been working as an independent consultant.

IAG’s Australian insurance operations include the NRMA, CGU Insurance and SGIO. It also offers insurance products in New Zealand and the wider Asia Pacific.

By Jarrett Neil Ridlinghafer 
Chief Technology Analyst & Consultant
Compass Solutions, LLC 
Atheneum-Partners 
Hadoop Magazine 
Cloud Consulting International 
CTO – 4D Healthware
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