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Australia's longest-serving CIOs on the changing role and staying engaged

George Nott | July 11, 2017
Though five years is a typical tenure, a select few have held the same position for a decade or more. Here's what they had to say.

Alpe said at RFBI there is always a new challenge in hand.

"There's just always something to do. I've been here a long time but I feel like there's always something else to do. Certainly in the CIO space I don't think that will ever change," Alpe said. "I've got to be a bit of an all-rounder I'd say now. You've got to have your eye over everything, it's certainly a big challenge."


Culture counts

All three CIOs noted that the culture of their companies was a big reason for them remaining loyal employees.

"The constant pace of change, the culture of our company, the opportunities for challenges, and a relatively new leader who believes in me and inspires me to strive for better and be the best leader I can be, has kept me here," said Chakour-West.

Alpe noted the enthusiasm of his co-workers at RFBI and company schemes like head office staff spending a number of weeks each year working from one of the organisation's residential care homes.

"I've never worked for a company that has such a great atmosphere about it," said Alpe. "The mission of the organisation is really important. The colleagues I work with are outstanding people who are all here for the right reasons."

Fleming said Deloitte was an "amazing and fascinating organisation", and has remained so despite being four or five times larger than when he joined.

"I have to say that the culture of our organisation is wonderfully positive and inclusive, which makes it a pleasant place to work!" he added.


Green pastures

Our long-serving CIOs admitted they had occasional considered pastures new, but never for long.

"Every organisation has its disadvantages, but the advantages outweigh the bad, and the grass is not always greener on the other side," said Chakour-West. "When you accomplish amazing things, it is enough to inspire you to achieve more. When you have a vision and passion, this is why I get up every morning, and have done for the last 13 and a half years, 11 of those as IT Manager. I definitely get an itch 'sometimes' but no great opportunity has presented itself and I haven't been actively looking."

Alpe said that as long as his interest in the field and belief in the company continues he sees no reason to move. "I'd be happy to stay here for longer," he said.

Fleming agreed, saying if he were to make a move it would be for something 'very different'.

"Of course over the years there have been times when things weren't going so well and the grass looked a little greener elsewhere, but my next move will be something very different. My partner is very keen on a lavender farm!" he said. "The constant stimulation here at Deloitte, and the achievements of my team - of whom I am in constant awe - get me up in the morning."


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