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DX Group CIO Mike Sturrock's special delivery service

Mark Chillingworth | July 30, 2013
"All my career has been about rapid change," says Mike Sturrock, Group CIO of logistics specialists DX Group, the company he joined in 2011 with the express mission to put technology in the driving seat of a high-end delivery services company.

"I don't want people hacking up and down the motorway," he says.

Sturrock has had to increase salaries to get the quality people he wanted for his technology teams, but more than money, he puts a lot of effort into team culture.

"When people don't know me or the company, you create the environment so then the issue is not the money, it is about doing good things; in the process, we retain people," he explains.

Former yacht skipper Sturrock has personally sponsored charities to encourage team members to quit smoking, has held team meetings on his boat and organised challenges such as a round the Isle of Wight race where half of the team cycled and the other half sailed.

High flyer
Despite his seafaring experience, it is his time at airline easyJet that has had the most influence on Sturrocks career.

"EasyJet had the most profound impact on thinking and I had the most success in my career in terms of results so far," he says.

Although the two businesses may seem a world apart, Sturrock points out the healthy amount of overlap between DX and easyJet in strategy and personnel, with the chairman of DX Group having once recruited Andy Harrison, then CEO of the airline and now CEO of Whitbread. Sturrock's easyJet career overlapped with that of current CIO Trevor Didcock, hired by incoming CEO Carolyn McCall.

Sturrock has no need to hide the fact he wanted the CIO job at the airline but missed out to Didcock.

"I spoke openly to Trevor about it and we worked really well together and did a lot together," he says of the handover.

"For the nine-month handover I did a plan of three months to make sure he was a success, three months for my career and three months for my exit. We are still mates and still work well together."

Sturrock's ability to work well with people in difficult situations and for being a clear and concise communicator go back to the origins of his career.

"At 18 I was skippering yachts and I've learnt a lot from that. I build crews, but not to command and control. Each member is a watch leader, they get freedom to do what they do and the get support from me through collaboration and conversation, not politics."

Sturrock has competed in the Race to the Azores yacht race and is currently planning to sail to Svalbard in the Arctic Circle. When not relaxing on a boat, he's a keen cyclist who rides mostly off-road, and the outdoors team-oriented nature of Sturrock is one that permeates throughout the organisation, he says.

As digital business becomes the norm, physical objects will need an organisation that understands and utilises digital opportunities. DX Group and Mike Sturrock look to have the package secure and ready to deliver.


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