Boeing’s latest hire may be one of its smartest. The Seattle aircraft manufacturer has just filled the role of chief information officer, hiring Susan Doniz.
Ms. Doniz has an impressive track record and a long history in IT-related leadership roles. The CIO at Boeing role has been filled temporarily since October 2019 by Vishwa Uddanwadiker.
A smart hire by Boeing
Susan Doniz has been the chief information at Qantas since early 2017. She joins another senior Qantas employee, Billy Nolen, in leaping across the Pacific to a new job in North America.
Before working at Qantas, Ms Doniz worked in roles at SAP, Aimia and Procter & Gamble. In a statement, Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun said;
“Susan is a proven, customer-focused technology leader with extensive global experience across multiple industries, including commercial aviation.
“She brings deep insight and skills to digital transformation, data analytics and artificial intelligence – all essential to our long-term growth strategy as well as our continuous drive for operational and safety excellence. She brings as well a passion for STEM education and diversity and inclusion.”
Like Billy Nolen, the move back to North America is a case of going home for Susan Doniz. She was raised in Canada and attended the University of Toronto. Multi-lingual, Ms. Doniz has lived and worked in countries around the world.
In North America, Susan Doniz has worked as CIO for Proctor & Gamble, global CIO at Aimia (a data analytics company that grew out from Aeroplan) and sat on the boards of several for-profit and not for profit organizations. In 2011, Ms.Doniz was named as one of Canada’s most powerful women.
In her role at Qantas, Susan Doniz oversaw a shift to cloud computing, high-speed inflight WiFi introduced onto domestic services, a focus on big data opportunities, and new mobile tools for customers and employees.
IT as a tool for change in the aviation industry
But in an interview with Accenture last year, Ms. Doniz spoke of how she sees IT as facilitating change for good within businesses.
“Customers are increasingly expecting a personalized experience and we need to rise to the challenge of addressing this as an industry. A customer’s last interaction in any industry sets their next expectation.
“The aviation industry is so dynamic and has been a leader in delivering great customer-centric experiences.
“We have a reputation for rapidly adopting new technology and digital continues to respond to opportunities and open new avenues for the airline industry. I find this (IT) context incredibly exciting to work with.”
Work cut out for Ms. Doniz at Boeing
Susan Doniz will have her work cut out for her. She joins Boeing at a time when it is being rocked by a series of ongoing problems and outgunned by its competitor, Airbus.
In her new role as chief information officer at Boeing, Ms. Doniz will be in charge of information technology, information security, data and analytics. She will also oversee IT- and analytics-related revenue-generating programs.
Qantas’ loss is Boeing’s gain. It is not known if Qantas shouted Susan Doniz one final ticket back across the Pacific.