DBS’ Neal Cross the most disruptive chief innovation officer globally

  • Edged out competition across Europe and Asia
  • Judges included Steve Wozniak and Richard Branson

DBS’ Neal Cross the most disruptive chief innovation officer globally


DBS’ chief innovation officer, Neal Cross was judged as the most disruptive CIO/ CTO globally at a recent Talent Unleashed competition.

A judging panel which consisted of prominent business innovators including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson voted in the competition, which recognises exceptional individuals and organisations who are unleashing technology in the workplace and community.

Cross edged out competitors from across UK, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand to be recognised as the most disruptive CIO.

The panel was impressed with Cross’ authenticity in catalysing innovation, enabling it to permeate the organisation, as well as his down-to-earth and practical approach in helping to roll out innovation across the bank.
Led by DBS CEO Piyush Gupta and his senior leadership team, together with Cross and DBS employees from virtually every part of the organisation, the bank has made re-imagining banking a significant part of its agenda.

In July, DBS received worldwide recognition for its digitisation efforts and was the first bank to be named “World’s Best Digital Bank” at the Euromoney Awards for Excellence.
In recent years, DBS has undertaken an innovation programme that includes the introduction of lean start-up thinking and human-centred design methodologies.
In 2015, DBS also enhanced its engagement with the start-up community with the launch of DBS HotSpot, a pre-accelerator programme for fintech, social enterprises and digital start-ups to encourage entrepreneurialism. The pre-accelerator received over 250 applications in the second run of the programme.
Wozniak, who led the panel selecting the Global winners, said: “The Talent Unleashed awards represent people who have had ideas, started companies and created products that either do good for society, help people or give us more in our life.”
The other winners at Talent Unleashed included:

  • ODOCS as Best Start-Up – Social Impact
  • CleverTar as Best Start-Up – Tech Innovation
  • TherapyBox as Best Digital SME
  • ResApp Health for Best Tech IPO/Venture Capital Raising

The five winners will travel to Silicon Valley for a tour of some of the world’s leading technology companies and receive individual time with Wozniak to be guided on their continued innovation journey.
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