Barclays, Britain's biggest retail bank, has poached Commonwealth Bank of Australia CIO Michael Harte to fill its own vacancy for chief operations and technology officer in London.
Harte, one of the highest paid CIOs in the world, who enjoyed a take-home pay of A$4.2m in 2010, will be leaving the Australian bank after eight years in its top IT role to take up an expanded position at Barclays.
At Commonwealth Bank, Harte was responsible for a major modernisation in the bank's IT infrastructure, which involved some 1,500 staff over six years updating the bank's legacy banking systems.
These initiatives, which involved investments costed at A$1.5bn, include the development of mobile banking app Kaching, enabling customers to withdraw money from cash machine using their smartphones, and a point-of-sale platform called Pi, which the bank describes as an "open platform for business, enhancing face-to-face customer interaction at point of sale, while offering secure payments".
Barclays has been looking for a new technology head since the departure of Shaygan Kheradpir in November, who left to join Juniper Networks.
According to the Australian Financial Review, Harte tried to buy an Italian island in the Mediterranean last year, but was scuppered when the Italian government opted to turn it into a nature reserve instead.