Alex Baldock has cast the recruitment net beyond the retail sector as he continues his digital transformation of Dixons Carphone.
Mark Allsop will join the executive team from Merlin Entertainments in the newly-created role of chief digital officer, while Dyson executive Andy Gamble has been appointed the retailer’s new chief information officer.
These are significant hires for Baldock who plans to bring together Dixons Carphone’s IT, ecommerce, data management and information security teams under the leadership of Allsop when he joins in the New Year.
Allsop may be a new name for many in the retail sector but his track record at his current employer goes a long way to explaining why Baldock sees him as the ideal candidate to deliver his vision of making technology work for the retailer’s customers and staff, despite Allsop’s lack of high street retail experience.
At Merlin Entertainments, which owns iconic tourist attractions like Alton Towers, London Eye and Madame Tussauds, Allsop was the architect of the ‘Merlin Digital’ concept, which brought together the business’s ecommerce and digital customer experiences.
A key focus was on improving the end-to-end user journey via new apps, wearables and in-attraction innovation and it’s this experience across digital marketing and technology that will have held particular appeal for Baldock.
Earlier in his career, Allsop spent 12 years at Sony Pictures Entertainment where he was responsible for all IT services for the EMEA region, having previously worked for Universal Pictures International as an IT programme manager.
His new team at Dixons Carphone will include the likes of IT director for digital and development operations Henrietta Baring; director of ecommerce Stuart Ramage; and IT transformation director Steven Woollvin.
Allsop will also have line management responsibilities for Gamble who from January will replace Leonidas Athanasiou as chief information officer.
Like Allsop, Gamble is a board-level executive with a wealth of experience working for technology-led businesses and driving digital transformation initiatives.
He has spent the past two and a half years working as chief information officer at Dyson, the British electronics brand renowned for its ability to disrupt established product categories.
Prior to Dyson, Gamble worked as CIO of packaging supplier Essentra and spent the bulk of his early career in Sony’s electronics division where as CIO has was responsible for creating new digital platforms that enabled Sony to shift toward a more direct to consumer business model.
Gamble has also worked professionally as a mentor, providing guidance to senior technology leaders – experience that will prove invaluable as Baldock looks to nurture and retain the next generation of Dixons Carphone digital talent.
Of more immediate significance is the fact that, with these key hires, Baldock moves two steps closer to his aim of creating a leaner leadership team with digital know-how in its DNA.