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(Aktualisiert 2020-09-16)

Interim CDO/CTO/CIO/PM (+25y experience)

Wien, Austria | Italian, Dutch, Croatian, English, Serbian, Spanish, German

  • 25+ years of experience in IT program / project portfolio management
  • Helps completing highly complex, critical IT projects gone off track
  • Top industry experience: Finance (Banks/Insur/Fintech), Life Sciences

Fähigkeiten (81)

System Integration


Product Owner







Digital transformation




















Project Management


MS Office 365


Business Intelligence

Change Management







Business Analysis















Scrum Master













Agil coach











Agile Coach


Thomas Pacal is an experienced change manager specializing in digital transformation, strategic change management, innovation management and crisis prevention, intervention and re-stabilization of organizations. In 2014, with over 20 years of professional experience in this field, he founded EMBRACE - a small, effective, extremely flexible & globally operating management consultancy specializing in managing change. In addition to EMBRACE’s primary business activities (Business Transformation, Innovation Think-Tanks and Transfer of Business), he defines his company’s technical focus as follows:

"Our services include strategy consulting, organizational development, executive sparring and leadership coaching. At the core of our business, we help organizations and the people who lead them get better in what they're naturally best at. We catalyze strengths, combine them with talents, align them with goals and help create true innovation from within. Rather than fearing change, we embrace it and turn it into a never-ending, unlimited und thus truly sustainable stable resource."

In a nutshell:

Expert in Change Management • 20+ years of leadership experience • 140+ projects & assignments • Extensive international experience • Multilingual speaker • Passionate about innovation & change as an infinite resource



2014-11 - Jetzt

Change Manager / Digital Transformation

2018-01 - 2019-01

Operational setup of the Digital Office as a central control platform for all Group digitization projects as well as consolidation of continental market leadership through the agile introduction of a scrum-based Digital Innovation Hub in parallel with the adaptive implementation of organizational change measures and the system integration of decentralized applications in terms of a turnkey preparation for the CDO (Chief Digital Officer) prior to his 2019 onboarding

• Definition of a comprehensive and clear digital governance leaving no room for interpretation, featuring far-reaching implications for all divisions of the entire group of companies regarding decision-making authority, process and contract allocation transparency (in over-fulfillment of government requirements), for example in the context of PPPs (Public Private Partnerships), developed and synthesized from the findings of the preceding analysis of the degree of digitization, existing competence overlaps, operational effective multilateral process flow delays as well as digital bottlenecks of the umbrella organization at interfaces with communal network partners

• Setup of the Digital Office at HR level (recruiting, team composition, role distribution), physical level (rooms, infrastructure, logistics), educational level (workshops on change, innovation, scrum, crisis communication, de-escalation) and organizational level (embedding at executive level to ensure workable decision-making, clear governance regulation & professional demarcation towards IT); Concept/Digital Roadmap

• Consolidation of the continued existence of strategic competitive advantage through implementation of a Digital Innovation Hub for the generation, execution and control of disruptive innovation measures, including, for example, the massive reduction in scheduling and administrative overhead through automated interaction with all nearshoring network partner companies over a dedicated Digital Contractor Platform

• Integration of mission-critical legacy systems in close collaboration with Group IT, revision of non-functional components as well as identification, planning & control of the development of suitable interfaces to be able to meet - from its onset, and as frictionless as possible - the requirements of a market designed for private-sector economic conditions

• Conceptual design and implementation of 27 (sub-)projects of various sizes in preparation for the turnkey handover to the CDO starting 2019, ensuring unrestricted leadership-less self-sustaining of the Digital Office over up to 9 months in order to counteract possible image damage in public perception


▪ Disruptive reduction of project throughput times to a fraction of the initial value - and thus enormous, PR-effective savings at municipal level 
▪ Establishment of the Digital Office and, in particular, the i-Hub as an innovation driver and competent, central contact for all digitization topics 
▪ Fail-safe setup of the Digital Office with 3Q-buffer without immediate need for leadership in order to remain able to cushion PR risks in the event of a CDO failure

Change Manager / Digital Transformation

2015-01 - 2017-01

Strategic realignment to significantly increase the competitiveness of a non-contemporary business model by implementing profound operational change measures, organizational development and project management for system integration as well as upgrade of core applications and technology platforms (Secure Translation Brokerage Platform)

• Comprehensive fundamental analysis of both, organizational structure, processes, standards and business-critical processes as well as strategic partnerships in particular (triage of a globally distributed, qualitatively highly inhomogeneous network of experts), internal & external corporate communication, go-to-market strategy, diversification efforts, competitive environment, market regulation aspects & industry-specific normative requirements, non-HR sourcing aspects and existing legacy systems

• Design and implementation of all BPRE measures, including: repositioning the institution from a pure translation service provider to a full-service translation agency in the sense of a broker by shifting their core business from pure translation to project management, so that onshore resources (time, material, human resources) can be utilized more efficiently

• Creation of a clear strategic competitive advantage through the introduction of disruptive innovation measures, including radical cost reduction through more efficient utilization of their global offshore contractor network across all time zones

• Comprehensive technology analysis, redesign and implementation of the entire ICT sector by means of significant adaptations through multi-level, incremental and complete cross-system and cross-platform migration of the existing legacy enterprise software environment using agile methods (Scrum, Kanban)

• System integration & upgrade of all operating systems of all internal ICT components (notebooks, servers, back-up systems, external data storage, cloud storage connection, audio & video communication systems, mobile devices) while maintaining ongoing operation through seamless integration of all stakeholders.

▪ Significant reduction of in-house process complexity, resulting in shorter go-to-market intervals 
▪ Reduction of qualitative and organizational inhomogeneity to avoid further critical HR situations 
▪ Disruptive reduction of project lead times by about 80%

Change Manager / Senior Program Manager
Global Blue

2014-11 - 2015-04

Crisis intervention, re-stabilization and coordination of a large, intercontinentally distributed expert team, project & program management, system integration, upgrade of the big data applications and technology platforms directly relevant for the core business (Tax-Free Shopping Processing & Real-Time Currency Conversion)

• Immediate triage & intervention of a previously repeatedly failed, historically grown, success-critical project intertwined closely with the client's core business, including a large number of on, near and offshore teams involved in various matrix levels (in overall coordination of an average of 2,000 intercontinentally distributed subject matter experts)

• Re-stabilization of massive fluctuation effects caused by latent leadership weaknesses and psychologically related attachment complications in many of the on- & near-shore teams (national, supra-regional and interdisciplinary) and unification of particularly fragmented teams to ensure the re-establishment of fast and efficient decision-making processes

• Integration of legacy systems and DWH-ready processing of data from economically unsustainable end-of-life cycle systems with parallel substitution and/or homogenization of highly divergent technology stacks (for example Microsoft .Net alongside IBM BPM etc.)

• Definition of a successful approach to seamlessly embed and operationalize newly created processes based on IBM BPM throughout the enterprise; continuous analysis and recurrent overall progress information at board level

• Program management in a highly dynamic, agile development environment (hybrid approach with Scrum and Kanban parallel to Waterfall) with ever-changing business requirements; immediate bridging function between involved departments and IT (requirements to implementation); consolidation of existing internal success control mechanisms

• Mediation of team leads, elimination of toxic behavioral patterns in teams, resection of all foundations for hidden bullying; significant reduction of silo thinking and restoration of interdisciplinary cooperation across all levels - vertical, horizontal and intercontinental

• Overall responsibility for conception and sustainable implementation of an appropriate change management program while maintaining agreed parameters from cost, time and quality assurance perspective

Senior Consultant

2012-01 - 2014-01

Project management, business analysis, presales & use case design in Big Data environments, with a focus on Data Warehousing (DWH), Business Intelligence (BI), Content Analytics and Business Process Re-Engineering (BPRE)

• Multi-project manager for an average of 17 clients at the same time with completely different business requirements (companies predominantly from industries such as banking/finance, oil & gas/energy, transportation & logistics/forwarding, electronic engineering) across all project phases (initiation, planning, analysis, conception, implementation, test and rollout/stabilization) with bridging function between individual departments and IT (requirements to implementation)

• Management of a 10-member development team, coaching & mentoring of a provided Junior Project Manager as well as management of external implementation partners

• Senior Business Analyst and DWH/BI Solution Architect (high-level) for Raiffeisen Bank International (analysis, re-engineering, transformation, integration and migration of the existing cDWH-based core banking system to an eDWH-based overall solution including all internal and external data sources, further including the conception of a master test plan for the entire project and all areas of the bank (i.e. retail, corporate, markets, treasury, risk, finance)

• Digital transformation project for a leading European machine manufacturer for the automotive and robotics industry; introduction of a real-time streaming sensor data evaluation using a Big Data capable DWH solution in combination with predictive analytics to enable reliable machine failure forecasting as part of a comprehensive, digitally integrated factory monitoring (Legacy Hardware Interconnected) including monitoring via mobile devices with AR functionality (Augmented Reality).

• Analysis, planning & implementation of management dashboards/cockpits in IBM Cognos for the simplified representation of complex relationships, trends & tendencies for clients with comprehensive, highly inhomogeneously structured information architectures

• PreSales, primarily through use case design with immediate involvement of existing, optimizable business processes of future clients as well as demonstration of concrete solutions from the entire spectrum in the BI area via on-site pre-sales presentations

• Additional professional specialization in the sector of Business Intelligence in the areas of Customer Insight, Market Analytics, Supply Chain and HR (Human Resources)

Change Manager; Council Consultant
Gerson Lehrman Group

2010-01 - 2014-01

Numerous consulting projects in the field of contactless/wireless/mobile payments, mobile banking, AML, KYC, CRM, etc. with, for and/or on behalf of companies in sectors such as strategy, packaging or investment banking 
• Strategy (Bain & Co, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, Ernst & Young) 
• Packaging (MeadWestvaco) 
• Investment Banking (Goldman Sachs, MFC Global Investment Management, Fir Tree Partners, La Financière de l'Echiquier)

Head of Treasury BackOffice
DenizBank Financial Svcs, Dexia Group

2008-01 - 2010-01

• Restructuring of the entire Treasury B/O, including the departments for securities settlement, foreign payments and domestic payments 
• Planning & conducting treasury trading-specific testing, usability evaluation and expert assessment as a final step before fully migrating the IBM AS400-based core banking system to an MS Windows-based contemporary system 
• Self-initiated analysis, conception, planning & implementation of the integration of separate banking applications to the core banking system (SWIFT, SEPA, Reuters, Bloomberg, Svenson etc.) 
• Publication of a complete, multi-part manual for the creation and operation of the Treasury and Treasury B/O of a bank with hundreds of screenshots, graphics, illustrations and in-depth details including descriptions of special cases, worst-case scenarios and their troubleshooting. Deliberately written in such a way that also people with no prior bank experience are enabled to start without any training at all

Strategic Consultant
PetroSA, South Africa

2007-01 - 2008-01

• Introduction of a risk management system; intensive multi-level training of all employees of the Trading Department as well as the Department of Supply & Logistics 
• Publication of a manual on functionality, possibilities, special variants & special cases of commodity trading, supply & logistics including troubleshooting

Strategic Consultant
HPCL - Hindustan Petroleum Corporation

2007-01 - 2007-01

• Introduction of a risk management system; intensive multi-level training of all employees of the Trading Department as well as the Department of Refineries 
• Publication of a manual on functionality, possibilities, special variants & special cases of commodity trading, refineries including troubleshooting

Strategic Consultant
Essar Oil, Hutchison Group

2006-01 - 2007-01

• Co-introduction of a risk management system; broad, in-depth training of risk management team members on opportunities for hedging strategies against physical load loss of both large-scale vessels such as mega-oil tankers as well as stationary oil & gas platforms in shallower, offshore marine areas of the Indian Ocean 
• Publication of a manual on functionality, possibilities, special variants and special cases of risk management including troubleshooting

Change Manager
Galenika Fitofarmacija Serbia

2005-01 - 2005-01

• Implementation of large-scale organizational development measures after full evaluation of all corporate divisions, using Green Field and Blue Ocean approaches, with the goal of transforming the entire organization into an international player with no internal friction loss 
• Company-wide instatement of innovation teams (Internal Micro Think-Tanks©) and corresponding monitoring of this key process with the participation of select internal experts, mid-managers and plant personnel previously assembled through in-depth, situational test series; goal: transforming from differentiation through low-cost manufacturing processes or low-cost products towards of a successful re-branding as the SEE region’s innovation driver 
• Restructuring, re-establishing, coaching, mentoring & training of the sales executive team, i.e. both the General Sales Director as well as all 14 Regional Sales Directors to achieve better sales results, particularly in negotiations with international, primarily Western European business partners (as a result of market liberalization) 
• Conception, planning and execution of a multi-part intercultural training for the entire management of the company to secure competitive advantages over now international competitors 
• Introduction of an open, far less restrictive patriarchal culture of communication to promote internal know-how transfer based on co-operative, reciprocal confidence building across top management (approach: Nash Equilibrium)

Online & Wireless Marketing Manager
Universal Communication Platform Group

2003-01 - 2004-01

• Transformation of the entire market communication into a pure permission marketing based landscape of communication measures (e.g. by introducing a multiple opt-in for digital newsletters or their mobile counterparts) 
• Achieving a hitherto unprecedented highly customizable customer master data quality delineation that allowed completely new direct marketing measures (targeted to customer preference rather than being unspecific & unsolicited) followed by tremendous success in click-through rates and concomitant unusually high customer ROI (using the multiple opt-in method mentioned above to enhance those data that remain part of the inventory after a clean-up communication measure)

Project Manager Digital Transformation
Zurich Insurance Group

2002-01 - 2002-01

• Prime digitization of all internal & external forms of the entire Group (in sole responsibility) 
• Complete elimination of manual data entry, which until then was operated under tremendous personnel costs 
• Enabling automated data transfer to internal ERP systems

Senior Product Marketing Manager
Goldbach Media Group

2001-01 - 2002-01

• Introduction of Permission Marketing (to clarify: at that time, spam was still unofficially considered as the means of choice to reach as many potential customers as possible ...) 
• Preparation of the merger with Goldbach Media

Co-Founder; Head/Sales & Media Planning
Buongiorno Digital

2000-01 - 2001-01

• Co-founder of the 1st company branch outside Italy 
• Strategic planning & preparation of expansion into other European countries with expected affinity for the -then- new idea of newsletter marketing 
• Execution of the entire corporate roll-out for UK, CH, AT, DE 
• Preliminary exploration of the US market for the later merger with Vitaminic to Buongiorno Vitaminic (USA)

Project Manager Reconciliation/Treasury
Raiffeisen Service Center

1999-01 - 2000-01

• Creation & implementation of a fast, accurate, software-based automated method of reconciling securities accounts

Project Manager; Trade Fair Coordinator
The Vienna Fair & Congress Center

1998-01 - 1999-01

• Conception, planning & execution of a music fair lasting several days, which, despite a minimal advertising budget and exceptionally tight deadlines, ultimately attracted 26,000 -paying- visitors, a groundbreaking success for Austrian conditions and spatial capacities at that time 
• Repositioning and resuscitation of the severely damaged IFABO, Austria's then largest information technology trade fair, which was threatened by competing trade fairs

Project Manager / Smart Grid
One / Hutchison

1998-01 - 1998-01

• Comprehensive analysis of internal processes with a focus on network optimization; Integrative migration and homogenization of decentralized inventory data in a unified central database 
• Digitization and qualitative purification of all plan data from legacy systems to represent the existing network architecture & topography (Austria in its entirety) using MS Visio 
• Conception of a smart grid considering regional regulatory requirements through optimal coordination of base transceiver station positioning (BTSP) and maximum required Tx transmission power 
• Support at Austria's first experimental proto-UMTS tests (under laboratory conditions/indoor) as a basis for decision-making for the acquisition of corresponding mobile licenses and the associated grid upgrade

Marketing Manager / IoT
Evtacon Ltd.

1996-01 - 1997-01

• Leading-edge analysis, planning, development & implementation of Evtacon's market communication strategy for the entire EU & US market to promote the sales of a completely groundbreaking modular microprocessor ("Universal Emulator") for the mutual, universal connection of heterogeneous hardware components with omnidirectional data exchange capability, a direct precursor to a IoT solution (Internet of Things) 
• Programming of Evtacon's first website (in 1996, Evtacon was one of the first microprocessor manufacturers in the world to have its own website - absolutely natural from today's perspective, yet back then unusual, scarce and avant-garde and with industry-internal pioneering character) 
• Creation of a company-wide uniform CI (Corporate Identity) and a corresponding CD (Corporate Design); consistent use in all areas (print types, website, email, press releases, giveaways, trade fair stand look & feel, etc.)

Jr Project Manager / Telemkt Coordinator

1994-01 - 1995-01

• Introduction of the Routex Billing & Fleet Management System on the Austrian B2B market 
• Expansion of the telemarketing team deployed for this purpose by 250% 
• Reduction of standard costs to 33% by redefining or bundling the target group (fleet or truck fleet operators, transport & logistics; later expansion to SMEs via their Chamber of Commerce lobby and other interest groups)

IT Know-How

2021-01 - Jetzt

▪ Epicor iScala 
▪ SAP Business Objects / Crystal Reports 
▪ MicroStrategy Analytics 
▪ IBM Cognos, InfoSphere, WebSphere 
▪ Planview Enterprise One, Innotas, Projectplace, LeanKit 
▪ Microsoft Project, CRM, SharePoint, Power BI 
▪ Atlassian JIRA, Confluence 
▪ Workday 
▪ Agile methodologies: Scrum, Kanban 

▪ Reuters 
▪ Bloomberg 
▪ Swift Alliance Server, Workstation, Web Platform SE 
▪ InterNext 
▪ Svenson 
▪ AML / KYC / CRM Applications 

▪ MS Office 2019 & 365 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, Outlook, InfoPath, Skype, ...) 
▪ OpenOffice (Writer, Impress, Calc, Base, etc.) 
▪ Adobe CC 2019 (Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Premiere, InDesign, After Effects) 
▪ Cisco WebEx, Zoom Video Communications, Google Hangouts, Google Duo 
▪ AT&T Mobile Network Ops Suite 
▪ AutoCAD 

Coding / Languages 
▪ HTML 5 
▪ XML 
▪ WML 
▪ ASP 
▪ CSS 
▪ CL for IBM AS/400 
▪ SQL 

Systems & Cloud Services 
▪ Microsoft Windows 10, Microsoft Azure 
▪ Apple macOS 
▪ Unix, Linux, AIX, Solaris, HP-UX 
▪ Google Android, Google Cloud Platform 
▪ IBM OS/400

Akademischer Hintergrund

Master Class in Change Management
Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)

2014-01 - 2014-01

Executive MBA
Hult International Business School (Boston, MA)

2012-01 - 2014-01

BSc in Innovation & Change Management
The OU Business School (Milton Keynes, UK)

2004-01 - 2005-01


ISO/IEC 17024 PMI/M&A Advisory
ISO/PRF 20700 Management Consultancy
ICF-accredited Diploma in Systemic Coaching

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