Manchester-based cloud and colocation firm UKFast has appointed two new managing directors as the company formally splits into two arms.
Current MD Jonathan Bowers moves laterally to head up the firm’s fast-growing Enterprise division, while co-founder Gail Jones takes on the role of managing director to facilitate the business’s next stage of growth.
CEO Lawrence Jones said: “Sir Richard Branson once explained to me how he divided his companies in two when they reached 100 strong. It was Richard too who helped me choose Jonathan as MD, I was too close to see who should be my successor.
“Since Jonathan’s appointment in 2012 we have grown from 100 to 400 teammates, more than doubled turnover and quadrupled profits. It was obvious that it was time to reapply the formula."
UKFast Enterprise has grown rapidly and already accounts for 43 per cent of UKFast’s turnover from just 4 per cent of the customer base.
UKFast Enterprise MD Jonathan Bowers, said: “In the past five years we have seen the business go from strength to strength. To continue this momentum, we’re taking the exciting step of splitting into two parts, to ensure that the clients of both areas get the care and attention they require.”
Jones added: “For the last six months we have been recruiting for an MD for Enterprise and we’ve seen over 200 candidates, none of whom I felt were as well placed as Jonathan to take Enterprise division forward. He knows our customers incredibly well and understands our culture better than anyone.
“UKFast continues to grow in spite of pressure from AWS and Azure, and with the enterprise side of the business responsible for 43%, I realised the perfect scenario would be for Jonathan to take Enterprise and Gail to take the role of Managing Director of UKFast.”
Gail Jones, UKFast co-founder and managing director, said: “I am very excited to taking on the managing director role working closely with both Lawrence and Jonathan to continue to provide the greatest level of service in the industry.
“Across all our companies we’ve grown to more than the £50 million turnover mark and I am excited to take on one of those brands to ensure our customers get exactly what they need, whilst pushing the business to the next level.”
The CEO added: “There is no one in the business that knows UKFast better than Gail. She founded the business with me in 1999 and has been with me every single day since. She has all the traits that I value in a leader; she is patient, incredibly smart and she’s a great listener. I know that with Gail alongside Jonathan at the helm the two of them will make a formidable team.”
UK Fast has seen what it calls ‘extraordinary growth’ in cloud sales in recent years, having posted turnover of £40 million in 2016-17 with EBITDA of £17.6m – up 6 per cent on the previous year.