Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Benelux CIO Community

Rinke Van De Rhee

Chief Digital Officer


Rinke van de Rhee is the Chief Digital Officer at Alliander, an energy distribution grid company based in The Netherlands. He says his job is to use digitalization to “keep the lights on, houses warm and businesses going, now and in a sustainable future.” At Alliander, his teams are responsible for digital strategy, digital transformation and digital products and services.

Learn more about leaders in the Benelux CIO community here.

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

Leaving school early, I started as a young entrepreneur in multiple international businesses, followed by account executive roles at a global security technology and services organization (Sensormatic Electronics Corporation). Curious to learn more about business change, I joined a global technology and consulting group (Capgemini) to focus on strategic consultancy and enterprise architecture. I had a lot of fun creating service offerings and delivering business and technology transformations for energy and utility companies around the globe. 

At some point, the entrepreneur in me took over again and I co-founded a niche consultancy in the energy and utility sector (UCPartners). Ten years later, I joined one of my most exciting customers in The Netherlands (Alliander) to be at the very heart of the energy transition, leading its digital agile programs and information and operational technology practices. 

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Move from A to B via B.

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?

I believe disruption is here to stay. Digital transformation as a marathon rather than a sprint. I see creating the right balance between agility and resilience as my most important job. I like to call that sustainable digital scalability. For an energy utility that means we need to scale digitization to enable the energy transition and at the same time safeguard continuity of a vital public infrastructure.

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

Take time to understand the business you are in. Connect with the people that make things work. What works at one company might not work in another. Identify core capabilities to focus on and respectfully challenge ways of working as they often evolved in a pre-digital era. Be an authentic leader; it makes life easier for you and your environment.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  • I usually travel with a towel and swimming gear as I like to swim outdoors all year around.
  • Being around people all week, my guilty pleasure is to work on projects that I can do entirely on my own like building a wooden shed in our kitchen garden. 
  • I like to surprise my fellow directors/board with a brief meditation to slow down when we are in a hurry.

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

These are challenging times for business and technology leaders. To keep on track, it is important to take a few steps back every now and then and reflect on what you are doing. Connecting with peers and taking in fresh perspectives through the Evanta community provides an excellent way to do so.

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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