By Duncan Mackay

Gerry_PennellSeptember 12 - London 2012 have recruited Gerry Pennell (pictured) from the Co-op to be the new chief information officer for the Olympics and Paralympics, they announced today.

Pennell is currently the executive director of business transformation and shared services at The Co-operative Financial Services.

He will leave his current role on October 3 and join London 2012 in November and be responsible for the design, procurement and operation of the technology programme before and during the Games.

Pennell's role will include the core delivery areas of telecommunications, venue technology services, results technology services and business technology services, all of which will be vital to the smooth running of the Olympics and whether they are considered a success or not.

Atlanta in 1996 is chiefly remembered as a failure by many members of the media because the computer systems did not work properly.

But 50-year-old Pennell has the experience of working on a major multi-games event before having been the director of technology for the Commonwealth Games at Manchester in 2002.

There he designed and delivered the IT strategy and operations for the Games.

Prior to this role, he spent 20 years in general consulting, financial services and IT roles, including software management and design.

Paul Deighton, the chief executive of London 2012, who Pennell will report to, said: "The Olympic Games and Paralympic Games are the biggest peacetime logistical operation in this country, and technology is critical to the success of the Games.

"We need a world class team in place to deliver the technology strategy and systems which will underpin the operation of the Games on every level, and I’m delighted that, in Gerry, we have found the person to lead and develop our world class team.

"He brings experience of board level technology leadership, combined with a tried and tested knowledge of technology delivery at the Commonwealth Games - including working with sponsors, suppliers and a range of different and complex client groups.

"He’ll be a great addition to our team."

Pennell said: "This is a once in a lifetime role.

"My experience at the Manchester Commonwealth Games was one of my most enjoyable and challenging times in my career, and gave me an insight into the strategies, skills and structures needed for the London 2012 technology brief.

"I’m joining at an exciting time, as London officially becomes the next Host City, and I'm looking forward to leading a strong team and delivering a technology solution which underpins a truly memorable Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012."

Pennell will work closely with BT, Nortel, ATOS Origin, Omega, Panasonic and Samsung, the London 2012 technology partners.

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