PCR Brit List 2015: UK's top 50 tech execs

PCR rounds up the most influential UK tech execs
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Directors, CEOs and MDs have all made their mark over the last year, contributing and inspiring the tech industry. We list the top 50 movers working in the UK channel today.

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GAVIN PARRISH, COUNTRY MANAGER, ACER UK AND IRELAND

After joining Acer in 2011, Parrish has gone on to become the company’s country manager to lead Acer’s UK business forward. Before this, he held a position as consumer and B2B business unit director at Acer. Prior to joining Acer, Parrish held management positions at HP and Kimberly-Clark.

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JON ATHERTON, DIRECTOR, ENTATECH

Entatech continues to grow, while Atherton remains a key part of the team having worked for the distributor since 1992. Away from work Atherton enjoys golfing and spending time with his family, plus Atherton has also won a host of industry awards and collected several PCR Awards on behalf of the distributor.

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PATRICK BLIEMER, MD, INTEL NORTHERN EUROPE

Bliemer is responsible for all sales development, marketing and branding undertaken by Intel across the UK, making him the man in charge of ensuring Intel continues to look good. He is an Intel veteran, having worked there since 1996. During his spare time, Bliemer loves biking and is a collector of fine wines.

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PAUL BUTLER, UK AND IRELAND REGIONAL SALES DIRECTOR, AOC/MMD

Butler has been working in the IT channel for over 20 years, bringing his technical knowledge of the monitor and TFT industry to each of his brands. He currently looks after two separate brands in the UK, which have enjoyed a large growth throughout 2014. Prior to this, he worked at Meko as analyst director.

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STUART CARLISLE, MD, EBUYER.COM

Having worked within various fields, including marketing and sales, Carlisle has been in the industry spanning 12 years. He has had his current role as MD with Ebuyer.com for over a year and previously worked at Wilkinson, where he increased the turnover of multi-channel from £3 million per year to £38 million.

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MIKE CHEN, MD, SYNOLOGY UK

Responsible for the growth and development of the team in Synology’s Milton Keynes office, Chen first joined the company in 2012. A highly respected member of the team, he first started working for Synology over 10 years ago in the technical support team in Taiwan and then worked his way up to European sales manager.

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JOHN CHURCH, HEAD OF BUYING (TECHNOLOGY), SHOP DIRECT

As a senior manager at Shop Direct, Church has over 20 years of experience in buying, sourcing, negotiating and new product development in the CE and FMCG arena. His expansive career has seen him take on various roles including senior buying manager at Dixons Retail.

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JOHN CLELAND, CEO, MAPLIN

A former grocery veteran responsible for the sale of Somerfield to The Co- operative Group, Cleland took control of Maplin in 2012, where he quickly announced major plans for a three-year £40 million investment in new stores and multi-channel schemes to boost the retailer’s presence on the UK High Street.

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WILL FLETCHER, TECHNOLOGY BUYER, TOYS ‘R’ US

Fletcher specialises in television, tablet, audio and mobile purchases for the global retailer Toys ‘R’ Us, as well as evaluation and planning of the range and selection of technology products. In his role, he directly influences the output of one of the foremost child- focused retailers in the UK.

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DAVID FURBY, DIRECTOR, NOVATECH

Developing strategy, leading the senior management team and managing financial and physical resources are some of the key responsibilities for Furby. Before taking on the role as director at Novatech, he was the director of Fred and Ginger London and studied for his Bsc(Hons) at the University of Portsmouth.

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ANDY GASS, MD, TECH DATA UK AND IRELAND

As head of an organisation with almost 1,000 employees, Gass leads one of the largest distributor businesses in the UK and Ireland. He first joined the company in 1993 and has occupied various senior positions since. He also played a key role in the acquisition of the SDG business and its integration into the Tech Data Group.

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MARC GODIN, VP AND GENERAL MANAGER, LENOVO UK AND IRELAND

Godin started his career at Lenovo in 2005 within the company’s marketing team. He has since worked in various roles within the IT industry, including sales manager, account executive and in IBM’s PC division. Godin also gained his Masters in Management at Rouen Business School.

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DARREN GRASBY, CORPORATE VP GLOBAL SALES AND GM EMEA, AMD

Grasby is responsible for driving growth in the EMEA region and managing all regional sales and marketing activities, including the successful launch of the Radeon R9 290X graphics card. He has over 20 years of experience in the industry, including the creation of several other companies.

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TIM GRIFFIN, VP AND MD, DELL UK

With over 22 years of experience across a range of industries including media, communications, and technology, Griffin brings a broad spectrum of expertise to his role. He is responsible for driving growth across all of Dell’s end-to-end products and services, as well as managing a team of over 2,500 members.

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ANDY GRIFFITHS, MD, SAMSUNG UK AND IRELAND

Griffiths is in charge of overseeing Samsung’s portfolio of devices, and has driven some of the firm’s biggest campaigns including sponsorship of the 2012 London Olympics and the launch of the Galaxy smartphone range. He is involved in many initiatives, giving opportunities to youth.

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MICHAEL GROOM, MD, ZF ELECTRONICS UK

Starting out as Cherry’s general manger in 2005, Groom has since gone on to become the UK MD for ZF Electronics. He is responsible for developing new business, coaching and mentoring, marketing and sales strategies and restructuring. The keyboard brand Cherry was acquired by ZF Electronics in 2008.

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STEVEN HASTINGS, IT DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL DIRECTOR, RICOH UK

Hastings is responsible for overseeing the strategy, development and growth of Ricoh’s printer range, through the IT distribution channel in the UK. He has worked at the company for more than five years within different roles, including priport business development manager Europe.

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ANDY ISHERWOOD, MD AND SVP, HP UK

Isherwood became the UK MD in October 2013, having previously managed HP’s enterprise business in EMEA, holding responsibility for the sale of HP’s products and services into the company’s top 5,000 accounts. He worked in HP’s worldwide sales team and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

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SEBASTIAN JAMES, CEO, DIXONS CARPHONE

James has been the CEO and director of the UK’s largest High Street electrical retailer since February 2012, following several years helping to guide it to its successful position today. James, who is an Oxford graduate and obtained an MBA from INSEAD, has also held board directorships of three start-up companies.

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DEREK JONES, MD, SYNAXON UK

Working at the German parent company of Synaxon during 2008, before helping to launch it in the UK in 2009, Jones has since directed the UK business and established it as one of the biggest dealer groups within its field. In the spare time that he has, Jones says that he is an avid reader as well as an enthusiastic golfer.

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MARTIN KENT, UK TERRITORY MANAGER, HANNSPREE

Appointed in 2006, Kent set up and heads Hannspree’s operations in the UK. Kent has established sales channels, brand placement, and the company’s marketing activities for both the HannsG and Hannspree brands, and continues to develop winning strategies for the company.

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MATT LEESER, HEAD OF BUYING, JOHN LEWIS

Matt Leeser joined John Lewis in March 2010 and is now head of buying for communication technology categories. He is responsible for the leadership of the buying teams. Prior to this, Leeser was the buyer for John Lewis’ computing business having joined from Tesco, where he was a senior buying manager.

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STEVE LING, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CASEKING/ OVERCLOCKERS UK

Ling has worked with distribution, reseller, retail, etail and system builders throughout Western Europe and is currently the executive director at Overclockers and distributor Caseking. He used to work at The Computer Center as operations manger and Foxconn as sales and marketing director.

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PHYLIP MORGAN, MD, NETWORK GROUP

Morgan has worked as MD at Network Group since 2010, and is responsible for delivering results for the company’s stakeholders and delivering winning results for the Board of Directors. He was also the director of the West Wales Development Trust and co-founded Morgan and Morgan Business and Technology.

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PETE MORLEY, COUNTRY MANAGER, BULLGUARD UK AND IRELAND

25 years of successful sales and marketing experience have propelled Morley within the industry. He has worked at BullGuard for over a year, and previously worked as sales director for UK and Ireland at G-Form. Away from work, Morley enjoys cycling and walking his dog along the nearby beach.

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CLIVE MURPHY, MD, TROJAN ELECTRONICS LTD

Murphy has 25 years of experience within the tech industry, having worked at Reeves PLC and Pixel. In 2000 Murphy left his position as managing director at Pixel to form Trojan, which has since extended its services to include managed ecommerce solutions, from the likes of eBay, Amazon and Rakuten.

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CHRISTOPHER NORTH, MD, AMAZON.CO.UK

North took control of the online retail giant at the start of 2011, and has overseen the investment of over £1 billion into the UK, massive expansion and a continuing popularity among consumers, including being voted the UK’s favourite brand in a 2012 survey. Before joining Amazon, he worked in book publishing.

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GERRY O’KEEFFE, MD, EXERTIS UK AND IRELAND

Exertis’ managing director O’Keeffe has remained at his current role since 2013, where he is based in the company’s Basingstoke office. Prior to this, O’Keeffe also worked as managing director at Micro Peripherals, at Dextra Solutions as finance and operations director, and as finance director at Ecommercell Limited.

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RAJ PANDYA, HEAD OF PRO AV AND DIGITAL SIGNAGE, INGRAM MICRO EUROPE

Pandya was formally promoted to this role earlier in 2014, after taking on the job in addition to his head of category role for Pro AV in the UK. Pandya is also responsible for developing Ingram Micro Europe’s Pro AV strategy and overseeing its execution, as well as developing the business.

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ALEXANDER PHILLIPS, DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY, NORTHAMBER

Phillips has worked at the distributor since 2013, helping to lead Northamber back to growth. The company first emerged 35 years ago, while Phillips is the current director of strategy. He also worked as a consultant at Monitor Group where he was responsible for B2B electronics.

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JAMIE PLUMRIDGE, DIRECTOR, THE TECH CROWD/CHANNEL DRAGONS

Plumridge is responsible for launching the Channel Dragons, a service designed to help new or emerging vendors enter the UK market. He has worked alongside various distributors, system builders and vendors and founded The Tech Crowd Limited in 2009.

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NELSON QIAO, GENERAL MANAGER, TP-LINK UK

After studying for his bachelor’s degree in Applied Biology Technology at Zhejiany University, Qiao began his career within the tech industry at TP-LINK. He first started out as a management trainee, and soon grew within the company taking on other roles such as e-commerce and retail manager assistant.

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ELAN RAJA III, DIRECTOR, SCAN COMPUTERS

Raja has over 20 years of experience in the tech industry, having started up his own company Scan Computers. After studying accounting and finance at Leeds University, Raja has been able to secure Scan’s place in the IT market as an independent retailer. Scan is a family run business which started out in 1987.

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RAFI RAZZAK, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN, CENTERPRISE

Razzak has led Centerprise to become one of the biggest IT service providers in the UK, with its success apparent in its place as the longest-standing provider to the Ministry of Defence. He is also the son of a former Prime Minister of Iraq, and was honoured with the Basingstoke Ambassador award in 2012.

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JATTI SAHNI, CHAIRMAN, VIP GROUP

Sahni was responsible for the start-up of VIP Computers in 1990. His long-term strategic focus secured strong year- on-year growth for the VIP Group. He then followed 16 years of growth with two major acquisitions – PC gaming specialist Realtime Distribution in 2006 and system builder CMS Computers in 2011.

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IAIN SHAW, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, BRIGANTIA

After a brief spell as a director and shareholder in the Computer Office Group, Shaw formed the Brigantia Group as a group for small to medium-size computer solution providers in 1998. Brigantia has since developed over the years and now offers a wide portfolio of services and products for its members.

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VAUGHAN SHAYLER, DIRECTOR OF CHANNEL STRATEGY, COMPTIA UK

Before joining CompTIA, Shayler spent seven years leading the design, development and implementation of a specialist ICT certification scheme for SMEs in the UK. Shayler now runs the membership service in the UK, ensuring it engages with partners in the IT channel.

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KIRILL SLAVIN, MD, KASPERSKY LAB UK

Russian, French, English, German and Spanish are among some of the languages Slavin can speak. He first joined Kaspersky in 2013, where he secured his role as MD for the UK side of the company. Before this, Slavin was the director of Slavin and Associates Limited and gained an MBA at the University of Cambridge.

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HELEN SLINGER, CEO, DABS.COM

After studying at the University of Central Lancashire, Slinger has gone on to work at various tech organisations. She first started out as the head of product marketing at Dabs.com and then moved on to Ebuyer.com in marketing. She moved back to Dabs.com in 2010 and became BT Business Direct's sales and marketing director in 2012, before becoming CEO of the two firms (as well as BT Shop) in May 2014.

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PHIL SMITH, CEO, CISCO UK AND IRELAND

Smith has been working at Cisco Systems for more than 20 years, having started in 1994. In addition to his UK and Ireland CEO role at Cisco, Smith also became the chairman for the IT and Telecoms board for E-skills UK in 2011. He has since gone on to become the chairman for the Technology Strategy Board, also in 2011.

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ALEX TATHAM, MD, WESTCOAST

With 17 years of experience in the IT industry, Tatham has a breadth of knowledge. He has worked within the component, software and electronic markets in the industry, and was appointed MD of Westcoast last year. He has also taken a chartered accountancy course and supports the RNLI Bembridge lifeboat station.

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GEMMA TELFORD, MD, THE IT MARKETING AGENCY

A strategic marketer and consummate networker with 20 years experience, Telford has been focused on marketing for the IT channel for many years. In 2013 she set up The IT Marketing Agency, which has gone from strength to strength, helping vendors, distributors and MSPs alike maximise the return on their investment.

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PAUL TOMLINSON, MD, MIRUS IT SOLUTIONS

Tomlinson has been involved in IT support for SMEs since 1994, having started his first business in 1996, which grew to nearly 20 staff members. He developed his second business in 2002, which has now grown into a large IT provider supporting various SMEs. As well as this, he also worked at CompTIA as the company’s vice chair.

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PAUL TURNER, SALES DIRECTOR, SPIRE TECHNOLOGY

Distributor Spire Technology was first established in 1990, and Turner started his career at the company in 2006 as sales manager. He has since been promoted to sales director this year. The company currently employs over 60 members of staff contributing to its sales and marketing teams.

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MICHEL VAN DER BEL, MD, MICROSOFT UK, VP, MICROSOFT INTERNATIONAL

A 13-year Microsoft veteran, Van der Bel holds a track record of building diverse teams, developing relationships, improving sales and operational excellence. Van der Bel has a MBA and background in electronics. In his free time, he enjoys playing the piano.

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JULIET WARD, TECH TRADING MANAGER, ARGOS

Large computing, tablets and mobile tech fall under the responsibility of Juliet Ward at Argos. She plays a key role in developing the retailer’s technology business, as well as enjoying life as a mum of two. Prior to this role, Ward was also trading manager for jewellery and watches at the retailer.

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MARK WILLIAMS, CEO, PENSAR

Well regarded by members of the industry for his contribution to the IT community through his role as the chair of the CompTIA UK Community Group, Williams joined Pensar in 1996. Having also served in the British Army, Williams has a wealth of experience in the IT industry spanning over 29 years.

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MATT WRIGHT, CHANNEL SALES MANAGER, NVIDIA NORTHERN EUROPE

Wright has been at Nvidia since January 2011, playing a pivotal role in expanding distribution networks and sits at the forefront of Nvidia’s channel business. Overseeing the development of Nvidia’s European business sales strategy, he ended 2013 with record- breaking success.

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RENE WRIGHT, HEAD OF BUYING AND CATEGORY MANAGEMENT, TESCO

A commercial retailer with around 15 years’ buying, marketing and trading experience gained within the consumer electronics retail environment, Wright has previously worked as head of trading for PC World, head of computing at Best Buy as well as head of tablets at Carphone Warehouse.

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BENJAMIN YEH, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, UK AND NORDIC, ASUS

An Asus veteran, Yeh has overseen the operations of the popular PC maker in the UK during several significant product launches and the firm’s rise to become the third biggest tablet maker in Europe during 2013. Yeh has a degree in International Business from the National Taiwan University.

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