Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Benelux CIO Community

Jennifer Crites



Jennifer Crites is the CIO of PostNL as of August 2022, following 20+ years in the IT industry working across several industries (FMCG, retail, SMCG, logistics), countries (U.S., Netherlands, Belgium) and business models (public, cooperative, private equity). As an IT leader, she aims to bring IT organizations into a leading position within companies, organized for effectiveness and efficiency. As part of that, she focuses on developing her teams and people to be the best possible business partners that they can be.

Learn more about leaders in the Benelux CIO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I started working as a hard-core mainframe programmer (if that doesn't date myself, I don't know what will!). After working at IBM and getting our client through the potential Y2K end-of-the-world scenario without incident, I moved into Procter & Gamble where I stayed for 14 years working across various roles and departments in more project, program, portfolio and service management roles. 

From there, I was invited to take a Director role in the Netherlands, which started a series of role opportunities focused on deploying digital technologies, client management, retooling entire platforms of best-of-breed solutions to update capabilities for omnichannel, IT strategy in general and later, data and analytics strategy definition, operating model optimization roles, then on to the CIO role. 

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

  • Be curious, not judgemental.
  • No one comes to work in the morning hoping to fail.  
  • When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment, not the flower.
  • If you can't trust your people, you may be in the wrong position.
  • If your goals don't scare the <xxxx> out of you, they aren't big enough.
  • Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll still land among the stars.

With disruption being a key theme of the past few years, where do you see your role as a CIO going in the next 1-2 years?

Surrounding myself with the type of leaders who want to stay on top of innovation and exploit it in the most responsible way, also leaders who are able to weather the uncertainty and volatility with a level head, and for myself, I must be willing to continually iterate on our actions plans, operating models, and objectives given the wild swings we see happening in the world around us. 

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CIO?

Buckle up and enjoy the ride! Talk...  talk... and talk some more. Ask questions. Ask how you can help. Do NOT act like you know the answer already, because you cannot possibly and nobody expects you to. It's simply not a good look.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  • I am American but have lived in Belgium 2 times in my life for 3 years each, and now I have been in the Netherlands for 10+ years.  
  • I have one son in the UK for university doing an internship with an EPL football club!  
  • I have run 6 full marathons and many more halves, despite not being a runner growing up at all!

What is the value of participating in a professional community through Evanta?

I am looking forward to learning from each other, sharing knowledge and simply networking.

Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.

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