November 20, 2007

Industry experts continue to recommend the value of outside expertise as key to insurers' attempts to become more consumer-oriented, and ING seems to have heeded those recommendations with the appointment of Ed Steinike as its new CIO. If consumer-focused CIOs are a recipe for success, then Steinike is "the real thing": his last role was CIO of Coca-Cola North America, and he has spent 26 years of his career at General Electric."The consumer focus at Coca-Cola was phenomenal, and I think that some of the things we've done there may be interesting to take a look at within ING," Steinike comments.

Steinike joins the carrier at a time when solid IT plans are well underway, put in place by his predecessor Steve Van Wyk, who has been drafted by ING Group to head operations and banking in Amsterdam. Thus, unlike CIOs hired to put out fires, Steinike may enjoy a better opportunity to apply his customer-focused experience to ING's growth objectives. "It's a wonderful opportunity for me to join a fantastic company and bring some of what I hope are key strategies and ideas that I have exercised over the years in two big-brand companies," he remarks.

Steinike also hopes to apply his experience to continue to transform and advance process excellence at ING Americas, and says he is focusing on the company's business priorities as he ramps up to the challenge. "Right now I have a lot to learn about the business, the teams and the people," he says. "I'm in the listening and studying mode."If consumer-focused CIOs are a recipe for success, then Steinike is "the real thing."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek ...