Pieter Schoehuijs – CIO of AkzoNobel

On 19 April 2012 during CIO CITY, European Commissioner Neelie Kroes will hand out the European CIO of the Year Awards 2012Pieter Schoehuijs, CIO of AkzoNobel is one of the 13 nominees. Check out his profile below.

Pieter Schoehuijs, Chief Information Officer, AkzoNobel

Pieter Schoehuijs (46) has a broad experience and excellent track record in various industries.  Based on a solid foundation of a Masters in Computer Science from the Technical University Delft, Mr. Schoehuijs joined the Royal Dutch Navy where he rose to officer rank. Next, at IBM and Ernst and Young he was active in systems engineering, outsourcing, and obtained his degree in IT Audit.

Broadening horizons, he left the Netherlands for the US where a fast career propelled him to CIO ranks after six years in Texas with Flowserve in two IT Director roles. In New Jersey he first was CIO at Engelhard, a $4½B chemicals company, which was acquired by BASF 2 years later.  Pieter remained CIO at this entity, now called BASF Catalysts, for the following year during which all IT staff, infrastructure and systems were integrated; including migrating 57 manufacturing facilities globally onto the central SAP system.

He then became VP & CIO at Church & Dwight, also in New Jersey, a Consumer Packaged Goods company with well known leading brands such as Arm & Hammer and Trojan.  During this tenure a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system was implemented, enabling smooth collaboration between R&D and Operations with better insight in pipeline and reformulation opportunities.

Eventually he was tempted back to Europe, after a decade in the US. AkzoNobel is the largest global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, a Global Fortune 500 company with 57,000 employees in more than 80 countries.  Joining AkzoNobel in 2009, he found the €15B giant in transition from its diverse background of acquisitions and portfolio changes, tracking back 360 years, to a focused matrix organization.  The IT department of 900 people in 43 countries with an annual budget of over €300 million needed a transformation to continue to best serve the company.  He has since defined the IT functional excellence roadmap to be based on consolidation and shared services where possible, on transparency, and on differentiation and innovation where valuable.  So far, for example, 182 ERP systems have been consolidated to less than 100 with a target of 6 in the coming four years.  His focus to achieve this is on building effective teams, often geographically dispersed, and strong alignment with business processes. In addition, he supports our profession in various ways including being on the program review board of an MBA in Business & IT.

Pieter is an avid rugby player and you will find him running around the rugby pitch many weekends.  In any remaining free time, he likes to ski, dive, and be on the water in his boat or watching his sons row. His approach to life?  “The best day is always today!”

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