DBS CIO Neal Cross Won Most Disruptive CIO Award for APAC 2016

DBS CIO Neal Cross Won Most Disruptive CIO Award for APAC 2016

by July 31, 2016

Neal Cross, Chief Innovation Officer of DBS Bank, the leading financial services group in Asia, recently won the most disruptive CIO/CTO award at the prestigious Talent Unleashed APAC Awards in Melbourne.


Winners were chosen by an international judging panel including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson. The judges based their criteria on candidates’ technological innovation with integrity, effectiveness and creativity, as well as the impact the business or individual has had in transforming their business or community.

In awarding the prize, the panelists recognised the extensive innovation programme at DBS that has included partnerships with the start-up community, lean start-up and human-centred design methodologies and initiatives such as replacing talent management conferences with hackathons to drive an innovative culture across the Group’s 22,000 employees in Asia.

Talent Founder Richard Earl commented in his awards speech, “The individuals we’re recognising tonight are five of the most passionate, determined, and innovative entrepreneurs and technology leaders in the Asia-Pacific Region.”

Talent Unleashed Awards judges Sir Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak commented as part of reviewing Neal’s entry:

“[A] great and very clever way of creating an entrepreneurship programme within the company and investing in the ecosystem. Very inspiring to know that we have people like Neal who truly care about all of these issues, while still working at a bank!” wrote Sir Richard Branson.

“Organisations today struggle trying to figure out how to enhance entrepreneurship on the inside. This organisation actually does it with an innovative management approach,” Steve Wozniak contributed.

“This award is a great recognition of the strides DBS has made in driving an innovation agenda. We firmly believe that to be successful we need to drive innovation across the bank in partnership with the start-up community” said Neal Cross, who in addition to his role as an innovation leader at DBS, also founded and runs a social enterprise hotel aimed at saving the Sumatran orangutan while providing jobs and education for the local villagers. “I’m delighted and humbled that Talent has recognised the progress we have made with this award.”


The APAC Talent Unleashed winners will go on to the global grand finale event in Sydney on 18 August, when they will compete against winners from the UK and Europe. At stake will be the opportunity for one-on-one time with Steve Wozniak and a trip to Silicon Valley to tour some of the region’s leading technology companies.