Oliver Bussmann, chief information officer at UBS, is stepping down from the role, a move that was announced internally earlier today. The memo didn’t say where Bussmann will be going, and he isn’t yet available for comment. A spokesman for the bank said that the company should be okay, as “technology innovation…isn’t tied to a single person”. Bussmann’s role will be taken on by the group chief operating officer, Axel Lehmann.
In a written statement, Lehmann thanks his predecessor for the establishment of a strong tech foundation. German-born Bussmann joined UBS in 2013, and ever since has been a key player in helping the Swiss powerhouse strengthen its culture of innovation and ramp up its collaboration with the external fintech community. Most notably, he’s recognized as one of the earliest supporters of blockchain technology in banking, having described it as the most “disruptive” innovation for the industry when other senior executives shied away from going near the technology. Under his watch, the bank launched an innovation lab in fintech accelerator space Level39, with the goal of developing ways blockchain technology could be adapted to process financial transactions in a more efficient, cost-effective way.
When speaking to Financial News two years ago, Bussmann said that he believed blockchain technology would both change how we do payment and the whole topic of trading and settlement. Bussmann also introduced internal innovation working groups at the bank, who have dedicated budgets to create new technology. In 2015, the bank also set up an innovation lab in Singapore and launched a global competition for startups. The bank under Bussmann’s watch has sought to simplify IT infrastructure, with UBS investing $1.56 billion in a simplified IT infrastructure and application portfolio over three years starting in 2015. Around 30% of this will be spent on upgrading infrastructure, the rest of it on business process, application simplification and the bank’s IT operating model.
Before UBS, Bussmann worked for the San Francisco-based technology company SAP, where he served as the global CIO. Here, he increased mobility and collaboration while also using big data technology and business-building social media strategies. Unlike many of his peers, Bussmann is an active presence on social media, and in 2012 the software provider harmon.ie dubbed him the “most social” CIE of a Fortune 250 company.
If you’d like to learn more about Bussmann and his decision, you can click here!