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John Sullivan

Virgin Trains
John is an experienced IT leader who focuses on where IT can improve business performance and delivering to the ideas. He is also very focused on innovation and has driven a number of new solutions in hospitality and Rail. The highlights are:

• PizzaExpress App (global first for a solution allowing customers to pay their bill via a mobile App)
• Delivering growth of Digital tickets from 1% to 20% in one year
• Outlining a vision for on-board customer entertainment systems
• Designing and delivering Automatic Delay Repay which was another rail first

He has worked at a few major retailers including HMV, Disney Store, Gondola Group and now Virgin Trains. His career started in IT many years ago as a computer operator and he has performed a number of roles within IT which have given him a broad understanding of the industry. Over the years he has seen IT change dramatically; not only with hardware / software performance but also how IT now engages with the Business. With the advances in customer facing systems and mobile technology, he believes that IT can now be a true enabler. He is also a believer that there are many options and an incredible number of ways IT can bring value, but selecting the right one which delivers most value is key.

His is a great believer in ‘looking after the staff (as we do at Virgin Trains) and they will look after the customers’. This ethic has a significant influence in the solutions that are implemented for our colleagues, ensuring that the solutions are intuitive and show the relevant information at the right time.

He now has overall responsibility for ‘change’ within Virgin Trains and believes that one of the key aspects for successful project delivery is getting the right innovation process. If you can capture the imagination of your stakeholders using your vision, you are half way to success.