Insurance provider Aviva has appointed Andrew Brem into the new role of chief digital officer (CDO) at the company to help it become a 'digital-first' company.

As CDO, Brem, who created British Gas's connected homes brand Hive, will be responsible for Aviva's group-wide digital transformation in areas that affect the company's interaction with customers.

This includes product innovation and development through data analytics, customer insights and risk management, direct distribution, interactive communication and claims handling, and marketing and branding across social media and mobile devices.

Building a digital architecture at the company had been under the remit of Phil Pavitt, global IT operations and transformation director, who left Aviva in June to become CIO of Specsavers.

However, unlike Pavitt, Brem will report directly to Aviva's CEO, Mark Wilson. Pavitt joined initially reporting to then COO Catherine Riley, who left in April.

"Andrew is an exciting addition to the leadership team and will ensure Aviva delivers its 'digital first' strategy," Wilson said.

"The insurance industry punches below its weight when it comes to digital propositions that customers are looking for. Coming from outside the insurance industry, Andrew will bring a fresh perspective. I am confident he will drive Aviva's digital transformation."

Brem is joining from British Gas, where he was managing director of commercial and product development between 2012 and 2014. It was in this role that he created Hive, the main product of which is a remote heating control system that allows consumers to turn their heating on and off via an app on their mobile devices.

Prior to British Gas, he was managing director of multichannel, ecommerce and services at Carphone Warehouse. His background also includes senior positions at supermarket chain ASDA and consultancy McKinsey.

Brem will work alongside Aviva's CIO, Monique Shivanandan, who also reports directly to the group's CEO.

She joined the firm in April after Cathryn Riley stepped down as COO of the company. Shivanandan joined the company from a role in the US as senior VP and CTO at credit card services company Capital One.