Virgin Australia Names New CIO

4th Dec 2015

Australian airline Virgin Australia has a new chief information officer in Cameron Stone. The now former general manager for IT strategy and business engagement will replace Lawrie Turner on this position as the previous CIO will take on the newly-established position of group executive for business services.

A spokesman for Virgin Australia refused to comment on what Turner's new role will exactly be in the company.

The new CIO Stone joined Virgin two years ago in October. Before that, he held several IT managerial positions in Aurizon, Queensland Health, Lexmark and Suncorp.

Virgin Australia spokesperson said the following about the new CIO:

"Cameron has 20 years of experience in senior management, including as acting senior vice president and chief information officer at Aurizon. As chief information officer, Stone's immediate focus areas are to further embed Virgin Australia's strategic relationship with Sabre, mature our agreements with partners, and continue to build customer-centric technologies.

Stone will be the second chief information officer since that position was established in October 2013 after a series of embarrassing IT-related hiccups at Virgin Australia, most notably check-in systems outages, data centre blackouts and website booking errors.

Thanks to Turner, the IT situation is now under control at the Australian carrier. He introduced a multi-year IT optimization program that implemented the new Sabre reservation system.

In addition, the operator also improved it frequent flyer program by acquiring an analytics group called Torque Solutions. This allows Virgin to offer its services to third parties.

Meanwhile, the carrier is facing some social media outrage after a pregnant woman took to Facebook to complain about the ground crew treatment of her. The passenger, Meghan-Rachel Cochrane, who is 36 weeks pregnant, posted a picture of her lying on the floor and wrote a lengthy comment that got shared more than 2000 times so far.

Among other things she said:

"Way to look after your customers Virgin Australia. I understand that the weather wasn't your fault, but it also wasn't mine, and a little compassion can go a long way."