Council Spotlight: Nick Giannakakis

Council Spotlight: Nick Giannakakis

We're spotlighting Nick Giannakakis, Group Chief Information Officer at Motor Oil. Hear from Nick on his career journey, advice, and insights on new technologies.

Innovation Advisory Council Spotlight
 Min read
May 18, 2022

We love to spotlight our Council Members and share brief insights into the person behind the role. As our Innovation Advisory Council spans thirty cities across three continents, we have an incredible and diverse group of Council members leading companies of all sizes and industries. In this spotlight, we caught up with Nick Giannakakis, Group Chief Information Officer at Motor Oil.

Motor Oil is an energy group based in Greece. It was founded in 1970 and its refinery, one of the top refineries in Europe (11,5 Nelson Complexity Index) started operating in the region of Corinth in 1972. It plays a leading role in the sectors of crude oil refining and marketing of petroleum products in Greece, as well as the greater eastern Mediterranean region, supplying its customers with a wide range of high-quality products. It exports to more than 45 countries and has about 2500 employees.

Can you give us an abridged story of the journey through your career and how you got to your current role?

I joined Motor Oil Group at the beginning of 2020 as the company’s first chief information officer (CIO) and member of the executive management team. I hold a degree in Physics, a Master of Science (MSc) in Industrial Systems Management and Administration and am a graduate of the International Institute for Management Development - IMD (Lausanne, Switzerland). I have 20 years of international experience in the positions of Director and General Manager of Informatics in distinguished Multinational Clubs. I started my career in SAP AG, moving from consulting to one of the world’s largest FMCGs, Coca-Cola HBC (Vienna), as Head of Business Intelligence and then to Richemont International (Geneva) as Global Program Director before ending up in one of the largest FTSE Companies (British American Tobacco) as their Global CTO. During this process, I have been awarded as one of the top 100 Chief Information Officers for 2019, 2020 and 2021

What’s on your radar for new trends and technologies that you think will accelerate innovation for you and your company?

Technology evolution in our Industry will be focused on three main pillars:
- Optimize business performance with top technology trends: Intelligent Asset Management, Digital Twins, and Edge computing
- Create new business capabilities: AI, AR/VR, and ML as the key technology themes
- Strengthen technology foundations: 5G, Quantum, and Blockchain as the key themes

The saying that culture eats strategy, technology, etc., for breakfast or lunch is well known. Do you agree with that? If so, how do you work on building a better culture at your company?

We do have our program, called Digital DNA. The idea is to infuse the Digital culture into all Management layers, from Board down to field engineers. In addition, our aim is to become a platform-enabled business, a business model that brings together many participants to interact, build, share and transact. Last but not least, our continuous collaboration with startup entities for quick prototypes and investment remains a continuous focus item.

What kind of leader would you describe yourself as?

I have been both leader and learner, contributor, and digital culture maker. My mandate: help transform the Group’s current operations, focus on a better customer experience, and embed digital DNA in what was a traditional oil and gas business

I do consider myself as a collaborative team player, and always keen to learn. I do not want to be left behind in this new reality, and I always try to bring new ideas to the table.

Do you build in time throughout the year for continuous learning? If so, can you speak to the value of continuously upskilling yourself?

Staying close to the developer community with a continuous engineering culture is always my priority. Participation in meet-ups, self-learning of new capabilities such as Data Science, Graph database, and quantum computing aspects as some of my latest key focus areas.

Interested in joining our Council filled with amazing innovators like Nick? Find out more here.

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