Founded in 2005, Bristol-based Brightside describes itself as "one of the fastest growing insurance broking and financial services business in the UK".
Fairhurst was CIO at Hastings for almost six years and was part of the senior leadership team involved in the management buyout from its previous owner IAG in 2009, and he spoke candidly with this title in a CIO Profile interview in 2014 about his role in the MBO and the challenges facing the insurance sector.
Fairhurst said: "I'm really pleased to be joining Brightside at such an exciting time in its journey. The commitment to achieving excellence and the clear intention to invest in the Group's future that CEO Andrew Wallin and his team has, is what attracted me to Brightside. I am looking forward to developing an infrastructure we can all be proud of."
Wallin added: "The technology we use is fundamental to our success and the capability of our IT systems is crucial to the stability of our business, as a result, we are committed to investing in our infrastructure.
"This investment will ensure Brightside is able to deliver its ambitious growth plans and provide an exceptional experience for our customers. I am delighted, therefore to welcome James Fairhurst whose appointment as Chief Information Officer further strengthens Brightside's management team.
"I am confident that he will help us to swiftly develop a future proof platform capable of adding real value to the business."
Wallin only started his role as chief executive this month following the acquisition of Brightside Group by private equity investor AnaCap in 2014, taking over at the helm from Paul Williams who was in the role for less than a year.