NEW YORK -- Outspoken bank technology executive George P. DiNardo has been hired by Citicorp to run the bank's systems for its fast-growing operations in Asia.
Mr. DiNardo, 55, is best known for his 21-year, high-profile career at Mellon Bank Corp., where he led a drive that helped put Mellon in the forefront of many bank technology businesses.
Mr. DiNardo began his new job on Monday, heading technology for Citi's Asian offices. He and his wife left for Singapore late last week, and Mr. DiNardo says he expects to be there for a year or two.
"This is the most exciting opportunity I've had yet," he said.
|Lead the Charge'
Just before moving to Citicorp, Mr. DiNardo worked as a bank consultant at Coopers & Lybrand's New York office.
But he seems more at home heading a technology effort, rather than advising those who would lead. "This is who I am," he said. "I like to lead the charge."
He will work closely with Colin Crook, Citicorp's technology chief in charge of consolidating systems and putting in place standards to allow Citi's plethora of disparate computers and date networks to communicate.
From the Old School
Mr. DiNardo is one of the old school of bank technology chiefs who, like Bipin Shah, formerly of CoreStates Financial Corp., and John Singleton, who worked at Security Pacific Bank, came into their own in the mid-1980s. The technology czars oversaw the building of multimillion-dollar systems to automate branches and back offices, and commanded to titles and high salaries.
He was known for pushing Mellon to become a pacesetter in using and managing technology. His authoritarian approach to managing was also wellknown: He kept a Prussian army helmet in hi office as a symbol of his iron-fisted style.
Record a Accomplishment
In 1970, he pushed through the completion of a central customer information system, something some banks are still working on.
Mr. DiNardo finished installing the first teller automation system in 1974, years before some big banks even started such projects.
He also pushed Mellon to become the only bank to enter the business of running technology gyoperations for nonbanks. Mellon recently sold that business to Fiserv Inc. of Milwaukee.
Mr. DiNardo also missed some opportunities, and said he did not foresee the need for a standard computer screen that would make it easy for anyone anywhere in a bank to access information.
Mr. DiNardo left Mellon abruptly in January 1991, after he oversaw a change in reporting structures that dispersed much of the technology organization he had built up into the bank's lines of business.
Of his year at Coopers & Lybrand, Mr. DiNardo said it was well-spent - "it was great for the resume."
"When you're a consultant, the customer is always right," Mr. DiNardo said. But sometimes, he said, it was hard to suppress his own views of how things should be done. "With me, what's right is right," he said.