Dawie Olivier, Westpac

Dawie Olivier

Beyond the big A, the things no one tells you about Transformation Journeys

Having led through 3 journeys to adopt agility as an enterprise capability, Dawie and his teams have seen the triumphs and tribulations, with scars and lessons aplenty. Once the hype settles, what should leaders know about these journeys?

“The satisfaction of seeing a team, comprising of diverse talents and skills, pull together and unlock the value of a welldesigned strategy is one that cannot be underestimated. More so when these results are achieved through the delivery of complex, cutting edge technology solutions in support of strategic initiatives with immediate economic paybacks.”

Dawie joined the Westpac Group in April 2015 as the CIO for Westpac New Zealand based in Auckland. In August 2019, he accepted the role of General Manager, Westpac NEXT based in Sydney, Australia.
In a world of technology, data, zeros and ones, Dawie Olivier is a human-centered, human being with a track record of success driving cultural and technological change.

Dawie has held senior level leadership and Board Executive roles for 15+ years in banking and finance working across three banks on two continents. In his 4+ years working with Westpac New Zealand, Dawie led his team to face into the most significant transformation in the bank’s history.

Responsible for a team of nearly 700 employees, this 4 year program of work introduced agile and DevOps practices to the Technology environment initially and culminated in the bank-wide adoption of an adaptive and integrated agile-based operating model, combining Product, Marketing, Digital, Data, CX, UX and Technology functions. This approach has created empowerment in the delivery of work and better collaboration around customer outcomes than ever before and a culture of flexibility, energy, ambitious goals, clear strategies and passion for great people doing great things.

Born and raised in South Africa, Dawie commenced his career as a seagoing officer in the South African Navy before making the move to focus on technology in a civilian career commencing as Technology Trainer with Torque IT in 2000. Successive roles followed before he moved to Sasfin Bank in 2006 as a Project Manager. Over 5 years he would hugely reduce time to value in customers hands and shorten feedback loops by creating change efficiency improvements of well over 20% with clear revenue and return improvements resulting in his appointment as CIO in August 2008.

In 2010 he joined Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank Group, where he held roles as Director, CIO and Executive Head of Group Technology. In 2015, Dawie and his family made the move to New Zealand where he accepted the role of CIO with Westpac New Zealand, and a Board member role with Paymark, who provide nearly 80% of all card switching in New Zealand and is a key part of the payments landscape.

Described (by the CEO/his boss) as “a bit of a maverick”, Dawie will only wear a suit when ‘absolutely necessary,’ and a tie is only ever donned under duress. But with a decade as an Officer in the South African Navy behind him, there’s method to the maverick. The spirit of learning and growth has led to the adoption of large-scale agile working practices, new technologies and capabilities, and unlocked unprecedented value across the business.

Dawie holds a degree in Maritime Studies from Cape Peninsula University of Technology and has completed the Banking Board Leadership Program at Gordon Institute of Business Science, the Executive Program in International Business at Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Digital Transformation & Strategy Program at Sloan School of Management MIT