CIOmover Michael Loechle has been through a lot in his (professional) life. He was at home in Switzerland for many years but has travelled the world – with companies such as Roche, Ciba, Alstom and GE. Most recently, he was CIO of ABB and, in the same role at Hitachi ABB Power Grids, delivered the Transitional Service Agreement (TSA), which he then completed on time and on budget as CIO of Hitachi Energy in summer 2023.
These were extraordinary years, not only for Michael, “a fantastic opportunity for a new adventure with a Japanese company”, as he says himself. With a smile in his eyes he describes Hitachi Energy as “the biggest start-up in the world”, and Michael had the task of equipping the 35,000 people – with a cloud-based IT infrastructure. “It’s an opportunity you only get once in a lifetime,” says Michael.
Now would be the time to think about retirement, but Michael waves it off: “Now it’s just getting started: AI, cybersecurity, a business alignment that paves the way for a globally successful company to develop a sustainable digital strategy. It’s an exciting task to be part of this in Hitachi Energy. I’m far from finished!”
At the upcoming CIOmove, Michael will certainly be happy to talk about his experiences during this “once in a lifetime moment” at Hitachi Energy.
What does that do to the people, he asks himself, who on the one hand – his – side of the IT organization at Hitachi Energy first had to plan the development of the IT infrastructure, then pull it through despite the pandemic and massive bottlenecks in the supply chains and then mediate? What does this do to the other side, the employees who had to work with a completely new, often completely different infrastructure and a variety of platforms almost overnight?
Michael recalls three things that were particularly important to him when joining a company with a Japanese culture like the Hitachi parent group: “Hitachi thinks long-term, five years is no problem at all.” After a time when people thought in terms of quarters rather than years, this is an opportunity for him to set up a viable and sustainable strategy.
“There is a very authentic commitment to quality at Hitachi,” Michael makes the second point. This may sometimes seem annoying, because the commitment is also evident in many small things, but in principle Michael thinks this is exactly right, because it enables him and his team to build up the IT of a critical infrastructure company carefully and well.
And the third point? “For me, it’s the very respectful and polite interaction with each other”. Michael is certain that the Japanese culture makes a positive difference to the company and ways of working.
Based on his experiences, Michael also formulates his first topics and theses for the upcoming CIOmove in Morocco: