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27 April, 2017: Cait O’Riordan, chief product and information officer (CPIO) at the Financial Times, ranked 9th among the UK’s 100 most influential CIOs in 2017. The CIO 100 recognises the value senior business technology executives provide to their organisations.
O’Riordan was appointed to CPIO at the FT in February of 2016, where she is now responsible for product and technology across the FT Group, leading platform and product strategy, development and operations. O’Riordan has piloted the successful launch of the new FT.com, now the fastest major news website in the world. The redesign focused heavily on reader engagement and satisfaction while also increasing ad viewability and directly impacting revenue.
Cait O’Riordan said: “I am honoured to feature in this year’s CIO 100. It is inspiring and motivating to have the work of my great team at the Financial Times recognised by the industry, particularly because of our commitment to approaching technology from a product perspective.”
Edward Qualtrough, editor of CIO UK said: “As a CIO with product ownership responsibilities, who has worked in startups and has experience outside ‘IT’, Cait is the epitome of what many believe the CIO role should be: a board-level operator and strategic customer-focused business executive with a dose of technology leadership.”
Ian Cohen, CIO 100 judge and former CTO at FT.com, said: “It’s rare to see a CIO place so well in their first year in a role, but Cait has hit the ground running at time of immense change and challenge in the media sector. In my view Cait beautifully summarises where I believe technology leadership needs to be: extending beyond its traditional boundaries embracing product and customer engagement alongside technical excellence. Indeed, it sets the standard for where the CIO should be focused as part of the current digital narrative.”
O’Riordan is a former broadcast journalist with a deep understanding of the news media. Prior to joining the Financial Times, she worked in a number of senior product roles, including overseeing the BBC’s cross-platform digital product for the London 2012 Olympics. She was most recently vice president of product at digital music company Shazam.
6 April 2017: The Financial Times was recognised in two categories at last night’s newsawards, winning News Website of the Year for FT.com and National Supplement of the Year for luxury lifestyle magazine How to Spend It.
FT.com remains one of the fastest news sites in the world, loading in 1.5 seconds on desktop and 2.1 on mobile. The judges said the “standard of journalism across FT’s editorial spectrum was of the highest standard” and when “coupled with it’s improved speedier site, makes it a gold standard website.”
Bede McCarthy, director of product at the FT, said: “We are delighted that FT.com has been globally recognised at both the newsawards and Press Awards in the past month. The site’s success is testament to the incredible commitment and tight integration of our research, UX, design, engineering and product management teams, and close collaboration with our editorial colleagues”.
FT’s award winning luxury supplement How To Spend It was repeatedly described by the judges as “excellent”. The “fantastic high-end product” was praised for “maximising the established brand with confidence”. The judges also applauded the “eye-catching glossy” for its “print quality, choice of paper stock, reproduction and design.”
How To Spend It editor Gillian De Bono commented: “This is the fifteenth time we have received this award and it is a huge testament to the skills and commitment of our tremendously hard working team that How to Spend It is consistently recognised as the industry leader.”
The FT was commended in the National Newspaper of the Year and International Digital Innovation of the Year categories.
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About the Financial Times
The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. In 2016 the FT passed a significant milestone in its digital transformation as digital and services revenues overtook print revenues for the first time. The FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of 850,000 and makes 60% of revenues from its journalism.