10 tech leaders driving success and innovation
The tech sector has more than its fair share of great leaders. The industry embraces innovation, so it follows that its leaders are both dynamic and versatile. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten tech leaders who are helping drive their company to new heights.
David Jeffery – CTO – Moneyfarm
Whilst it’s a no-brainer for many, using big data to speed up business growth is still an underutilised tactic by many companies. But that is exactly what David did in his former company, Last.fm. By leading the charge into the analytics age he facilitated Last.fm’s rapid expansion.
Fast-forward to the present and he’s repeated his past success with current company moneyfarm. His three-year tenure as CTO has seen the company expand into the UK. The first 9 months of trading on UK soil saw the company’s assets under management jump by over 50% to £400 million.
Leadership via the adoption of new technologies is something we love at Venturi and that is why David Jefferys made the list.
James Cherry – CTO – Northdoor
We recognise the value of longevity. In a time where people change companies every few years, it’s refreshing to see someone buck the trend and stick with a business for more than a decade.
A leader needs to understand the trajectory of a company moving forward and appreciate where it’s come from to truly impart knowledge and advice to peers and colleagues. Rising up the ranks from consultant to CTO is an inspirational example of success for anyone working in Northdoor.
Mark Holt – CTO – The Trainline
“Digital transformation is NOT ‘moving to the cloud’; transformation is moving to the cloud and then doing something with it that customers actually care about” – Mark Holt
Mark has made our great leaders list for his unwavering commitment to improving the experience of The Trainline’s customers using analytics. The newest features to the app have allowed passengers to plan their trips and travel through a host of analytics innovations, which Holt groups together under the banner of “bots”.
Ultimately though, he places the success of these bots squarily at the feet of his dedicated staff.
“When investing in bots, my advice would be to hire super-smart people who have expertise managing and analysing huge datasets,” he says. “As ever, there’s no substitute for amazing, motivated people who want to use data to drive growth.”
Tom Blomfield – CEO – Monzo Bank
We can’t talk about great tech leaders and not mention at least one fintech startup. Monzo bank has been disrupting the finance sector for the past three years and ‘making money work for everyone’. Tom has been at the center of this revolution.
Tom wants millennials to be in charge of their own finances. Monzo currently has over 1m customers in the UK and this can be partly attributed to Tom’s foresight, innovation and, most importantly, ability to raise capital.
Revenue last year was 1.8m but he’s not disheartened. With a fresh wave of investors believing in Tom’s vision for Monzo, the bank’s future is looking bright.
Bryan Dove – CEO – Skyscanner
From CTO to CEO, Bryan is now responsible for leading Skyscanner into a new chapter after it was purchased by Ctrip. Former CEO Gareth Williams knew Bryan was the perfect replacement for CEO saying “Bryan’s a natural fit as my successor, having been pivotal in shaping our current strategy and structure. He has a wealth of experience and is additionally supported by a brilliant senior leadership team.”
It’s Bryans commitment to customer care that set him apart as a great leader in our books though. Later in the same interview, he said: “I’ve never been more excited or optimistic about Skyscanner’s future and our ability to make a positive impact on travelers and partners around the world.”
Chris Kelly – Technology Director – Auto Trader
An integral part of Auto Trader’s technology team, Chris has been with the company for twenty years. He started out life as a software developer but moved into leadership after heading up a company-wide tech change when Auto Trader moved from print to digital.
Chris knows the best way to instigate positive change in a company is to lead from the front. You can still find him heading up a team of architects and product managers in the business.
Ben Longden – CTO – Inviqa
Great leaders keep learning outside of the office. Ben Longden contributes to open-source projects when not at work and has an especial interest in RESTful web services. He has been creating software for almost two decades using a wide variety of different languages and methodologies. Passion like that is easy to transfer to junior members of staff and a constantly learning leader pushes his employees to do the same.
Connor Watson – IT operations manager – Pretty Little Thing
Technology leaders need to have their fingers on the pulse regarding matters outside their direct role. If a company’s tech stack wants to remain cutting edge it requires whoever is leading the department to have a knowledge of external effects that may help or hamper the business.
Connor is an excellent example of a leader who, by engaging with other industries, can get the drop on what’s happening in the world. He then uses that knowledge to lead PLT in the right direction. He has a keen interest in business and politics and is a member of The Conservative Technology Forum Think Tank.
Seeking out knowledge and applying it to his own business is what makes Connor a great tech leader.
Dr Nicolas March – Head of Analytics – REWE Digital GmbH
Recently promoted to the Head of Analytics Nicolas joined Rewe Digital from Accenture three years ago and was instrumental in the company’s whirlwind success in 2016. The REWE Group had a record-breaking year in 2016 their total external sales increased by 5% to reach a new high of €54 billion. The division acquired the entire European network of Swiss travel group Kuoni in June 2015, and sales in tourism rose by 16.5% in 2016, the first full year after the acquisition.
Jeanette Glock – Team Lead Advanced Analytics/ Big Data – Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG
A decade at Lidl international has seen Jeanette become the Team Lead for advanced analytics and Big Data. In recent years she has helped launch a large-scale Big Data initiative, initiating a double-digit million European investment into teams and technologies. Lidl is upgrading its IT systems to create a fully integrated business intelligence environment, based on an expanded data warehouse architecture from Teradata. Jeanette has been instrumental in making this happen, adopting new technologies to move the business forward.
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