Len De Villiers

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About Len De Villiers

Len de Villiers is the Chairman of the CIO Council of South Africa. He is a previous Group CIO at Absa Bank, Nedbank, First National Bank, Transaction Capital, and Telkom Group. Currently, Len is serving on 4 Company Boards as a Non-Executive Director with specific accountability as Chairman of their IT Board Sub Committees.

Len has 41 years of experience in the IT industry. He is considered to be one of the top CIOs in South Africa. De Villiers was voted the most admired CIO in South Africa by the CIO Council of South Africa. It consists of the top 200 CIO's in the country. Len was also voted as one of the Top 10 CIO's in SA by IITPSA / MWEB in 2016.

Len's career began in 1978 in IT management positions at BP, Metro Cash and Carry, and Gencor. He joined First National Bank as GM of IT in 1986. Followed by 3 years as MD of Microdata and as an Executive Director at Datakor Holdings.

Later, Len was appointed Managing Director of Nedbank's Group Operations in 2003. Then he was MD of Nedbank's Group Technology and Support Services (GTSS) in August 2004. That then incorporated the Shared Services with 16,000 staff.

De Villiers was a member of Nedbank's Executive for 5 years. He reported to Tom Boardman and won several top achiever awards as well as the highest award in Nedbank (the CEO award in 1998). He spent 15 years with Nedbank. He left as the Group CIO and joined Absa Bank as Group CIO from 1 August 2008 until December 2011.

A 5-year Strategic Technology Plan was created for the Absa Group. He articulated the technology plans and initiatives necessary to create and support the underlying Technology required for their One Absa' Strategy.

Len joined Transaction Capital in January 2012 as Group CIO. His responsibility was for Bayport and Chairing the IT Steerco for the Transaction Capital Group. Len was appointed to Telkom South Africa as Group CIO. He became a member of Telkom Group EXCO from 1 November 2013 until 31 March 2018.

The CIO Council

The CIO Council of South Africa is a local initiative. Their objective is to provide a platform for CIOs and IT Decision makers from Businesses, Governmental Institutions, and NGOs. The aim of the council is to share knowledge and experience. In 2009, The CIO Council was initiated by some of the CIO alumni together with Microsoft South Africa. Many of the top CIOs in business and Government have registered.

The chairman is Len de Villiers. He is the CIO of the Bayport Group. Some of the CIO course facilitators are represented by the Council's management executive. The CIO Council has arranged a number of workshops on topics of general interest. Participation in this council enables CIOs to meet the top 200 to 300 CIO's every quarter. They talk about the challenges of being a CIO.

De Villiers was voted in as the most admired CIO in South Africa by the CIO Council of South Africa. The CIO consists of the top 100 CIO's in the country.

Pete Janse van Vuuren, a director of the CIO Council of South Africa believes CIOs must move from aligning IT to the business to becoming an integral part of the value delivery process to the customer. This can be achieved by evolving from an information technology provider to a business technology expert, says Janse van Vuuren, who is also CEO of The Thinking Cap.

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