Phil Pavitt has left insurance firm Aviva to become the Global CIO of opticians and retailers Specsavers.

Pavitt joined insurance firm Aviva, once known as Norwich Union, in January 2013, initially reporting to COO Catherine Riley. At Aviva Pavitt was Global IT Operations and Transformation Director where he was responsible for procurement, rationalisation of the IT estate, building a digital architecture, improving customer service, reducing IT costs and CISO.

Specsavers operates a different business model to that Pavitt has experienced previously. The business consists of close to 2000 locally run businesses, part owned and managed, that focus on the community they operate within. Each of these businesses draw IT, accounting, marketing and wholesale from Specsavers. Specsavers states that it has 1,700 members of its partnership across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Globally Specsavers has operations in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Australia and New Zealand.

In February Aviva announced Monique Shinvanandan as CIO, reporting directly to the chief executive Mark Wilson. Mark Hall, who had been deputy CIO to Pavitt at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) joined Pavitt at Aviva in September 2013 as Director of Service Management.

Pavitt was CIO and Director General of Change at HMRC for three years from 2009 to 2012 and, working with Hall, spearheaded the 13 Machines rationalisation programme that saw the Whitehall department drastically reduce its technology estate and standardise on SAP.

HMRC was Pavitt’s second major public sector role, having been CIO of Transport for London (TfL) from 2007 to 2009; again at TfL Pavitt drove down the size of the technology estate.

When Pavitt was CIO for TfL he told this title that a customer centric model “answers most questions posed”.

Pavitt has been CIO for Centrica, NTL, Onetel and moved into IT having been head of credit control in the textiles industry.