On 19 April 2012 during CIO CITY, European Commissioner Neelie Kroes will hand out the European CIO of the Year Awards 2012. Kurt De Ruwe, CIO of Bayer Material Science is one of the 13 nominees. Check out his profile below.
Kurt De Ruwe (44) reacts fast and keeps his cool under all circumstances. Such was the praise of the German magazine CIO, when proposing this CIO, with roots in West Flanders, as ‘Best CIO of the Decade’. In this list, De Ruwe rubs shoulders with the IT-managers of companies as Lufthansa, BMW, Deutsche Post and Adidas. After studying Applied Economics in Antwerp, De Ruwe started his career as a business analyst at IBM, before moving shortly afterwards to Mobil. However, it was but when he joined U.S. chemicals producer ICI/Huntsman that he really scored. During his fourteen year stint at that company, he rose through the ranks to become Global IT Manager.
“My basic principle is simplify, standardize and automate”, he says, “starting from the premise that everything can and must be questioned. To successfully implement a project, you start with the employees. They should understand why it may be useful to do things in a different way, and they must be able to make an optimal use of the tools.”
In 2007, De Ruwe was lured away to Bayer. There was a realization that the complexity of the business processes and systems had to be addressed. End 2007 De Ruwe started a program to would redesign the whole landscape. Next to the design of global processes and the implementation of a greenfield SAP environment the business model was changed, legal entities were merged and a full review was initiated to optimize the customer and product portfolio. ProgramOne was successfully completed in January bringing Asia in as the last region.
Kurt De Ruwe has been a pioneer in using social media capabilities to drive knowledge and information management. After the successful adoption of Bayer MaterialScience he has now been given the responsibility to make this work for the whole of Bayer reaching out to potentially 126.000 users.
In his free time, the top manager works on the go-kart of his eldest son, who won the Open World Series in Spain in 2010. On Saturdays you can also find him on the hockey field as a referee when he joins his youngest son. In summer he likes sailing and kite surfing, and during the winter months there is always a ski trip in his agenda. In 2003, De Ruwe was already honored` by Data News as IT Manager of the Year for large companies.