Winner

Nina Bhatia

Centrica

Nina leads the team responsible for developing Centrica’s technology-led home management products and services which have transformed the company into a byword for innovation. She oversaw the launch of the Hive Active Heating smart thermostat, as well as the acquisition of AlertMe, which now underpins its Internet of Things capabilities. In 2016, the company acquired FlowGem, a leak detection company, and launched BoilerIQ, which gained 20,000 customers by the end of the year.

The Hive Hub has 500,000 customers, and a growing ecosystem of products, including thermostats, motion and contact sensors, lights, and plugs, with Amazon Echo and IFTTT integrations. 75% of customers have recommended Hive to others, and over 50% use Hive Active Heating daily during winter.

Nina not only persuaded Centrica to create the Connected Homes business, she secured £500m of investment for future innovation. Her work has transformed Centrica’s employer brand and culture, enabling it to attract the best talent.

Runners up

Bertrand Bodson

Bertrand Bodson

Sainsbury's Argos

Bertrand has been one of the key figures at Argos since joining in 2013, driving through a highly successful digital transformation through investments in mobile, reengineering the supply chain, and reimagining the in-store experience.

Last year’s Sainsbury’s acquisition was orchestrated by Bertrand; he saw synergies between the companies, and a way for Argos to drive more footfall via Sainsbury’s customers. Since the acquisition Argos has launched in another 250 locations.

Bertrand oversees a team of around 1,000, 250 of whom are technical. He is currently spearheading efforts to develop the company’s data and machine learning capabilities.

Carlos Torres Vila

Carlos Torres Vila

BBVA

BBVA is widely seen as being a flagbearer for the transformational use of digital technology and data science. Its marketleading net promoter score across Spain and swathes of Latin America is testament to its success.

BBVA has released numerous innovative products over the past year, including a Personal Finance Manager, and One Click Loans. This has been coupled with new relationship models, Remote Managers, Digital Onboarding, and ‘Experiencia Única’, leading to a significant increase in digital and in particular mobile adoption. It is also working to develop open banking APIs.

The company has also made several investments into FinTech companies, in addition to its acquisitions of Simple, Holvi, and a stake in Atom Bank. And a new digital ventures division has been created, designed to act as the bank’s own internal challenger.

Shortlisted

  • Andrew Brem

    Aviva

  • Lubomira Rochet

    L'Oréal

  • Ian Rogers

    LVMH

  • Mayank Prakash

    Department for Work and Pensions

  • Sean Cornwell

    (Formerly) Travelex

  • Sigridur Sigurdardottir

    Santander

  • Rian Liebenberg

    Schibsted Media Group