IT heads at Towngas and Hung Hing Printing named CIOs of 2017

(middle) Hung Hing Printing's Yee Yu and Towngas' Susanna Shen won HKCIO AwardsThe Hong Kong CIO Awards has reached its sixth year. Aiming to identify IT leaders who demonstrate outstanding vision and execution, the Awards program is organized by Computerworld Hong Kong and CIO peer network CIO Connect. Winners were announced on March 17, during Computerworld Hong Kong's CIO Leadership Forum 2017.

Selected by a panel of judges led by the panel chairperson Alistair Russell (pictured, right), senior VP at CIO Connect, this year's winners are the CIOs at Towngas and Hung Hing Printing Group.

CIO Awards 2017 winners coverage:
Towngas putting customers first
Hung Hing uses IT to bring its A-game

Towngas: Customers first

Awarded in the Large Enterprise CIO Category is Susanna Shen (pictured, second from right), head of corporate IT at Towngas. She was singled out for her "strong leadership skills that she deploys effectively in working closely with her business stakeholders in a group-wide role," according to the judges.

"She drives the strategic business agenda forward through technology development and adoption. Towngas has made a number of technology innovations to improve customer service and operational efficiencies, e.g., WeChat customer channel; artificial intelligence chatbot to improve customer experience; Bluetooth enabled smart meter; and mobile workforce enablement. Susanna is active contributor to the technology community and we are delighted to recognize her commitment and achievements in awarding her CIO of the year 2017."

"This Award is a recognition of the group effort of my team, as we have a number of very good staff. I also thank my boss for writing a reference for me [in the application nomination]," said Shen. "I also thank the CIOs of other companies here [at the CIO Forum 2017 and the Awards ceremony] for sharing their great insights."

Hung Hing Printing: Transformation 2.0 

Meanwhile, Yee Y. Yu (pictured, second from left), CIO of Hung Hing Printing Group scooped the prize for the Medium Enterprise CIO Category. He was identified by the judges as a well-balanced leader who understands the value IT can provide to improving business outcomes.

"Yee has accomplished a lot in the last six years. He has led a number of significant innovation and business projects in an industry that is undergoing significant disruption. His submission includes strong positive feedback from his Executive Chairman on close, active involvement in business initiatives, e.g., establishment of a new subsidiary. He clearly focused in a balanced manner including customers and business. He is a well-deserved winner who demonstrates how a CIO can enable a traditional business to embrace new technologies and adapt across manufacturing, customer products, shared services with a keen eye on business value and return on investment. Well done!" the judges commented.

"I am truly honored and grateful. I was the first ever CIO of the Group six years ago. Prior to that, that was no dedicated IT executive. So I became the voice from IT," said Yu. "I am thankful for the Board which give us the freedom to try things out, and that it places trust on the team to drive business transformation. Our group has just finished transformation 1.0. We are now moving towards transformation 2.0."

Judging process and criteria

These Awards were created specifically to put the spotlight on IT leaders in Hong Kong and Macau with submissions accepted only if the nominating CIO is based in these two cities. Past winners have come from CLP (2016), Lockton Companies (2016), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2016), Manulife (2015), Ageas (2015), Airport Authority Hong Kong (2015), Hong Kong Broadband Network (2013) and Cathay Pacific (2012).

Award nominees had to provide testimonial from their superior, and complete a detailed submission form to demonstrate their achievement. Judges evaluated the submission based on the following key criteria:

  • Technology-led or technology-enabled innovation
  • Creation of significant business value
  • Delivery of business/technology transformation
  • Development of IT organization and staff

Winners of the award are truly IT leader that deserve recognition and served as an inspiration to the CIO community in Hong Kong.

Judging committee

  • Alistair Russell, Senior Vice President Advisory Services, CIO Connect (Judging Committee Chairman)
  • Andre Blumberg, Director-IT CLP (2016 winner -- large enterprise)
  • Lilian Wong, former CIO Manulife (2015 winner -- large enterprise)
  • Nick Marsh, Managing Director, Harvey Nash
  • Po-Chi Wu, Adjunct Professor, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Raymond Wong, formerly at Immigration Department, HKSAR Government
  • Suk-wah Kwok, Regional CIO, Lockton Companies (2016 winner -- medium enterprise)
  • Tom Sheppard, former CIO of Cable and Wireless HKT
  • YB Yeung, formerly at HSBC

Congratulations to Susanna and Yee!