Speakers List - European Channel Leadership Forum
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Keynote Speakers

Will Carling

Former England Rugby Captain

England National Rugby Union

Will Carling led England's revival in the late-1980s to become a world force.
After being appointed captain of his country in 1988, Will became England's longest-serving and most successful skipper ever.

He captained England for 59 Tests, winning 44 of them. His leadership qualities ensured England dominated the Five Nations in the first-half of the 1990s completing Grand Slams in 1990, 1991 and 1995, plus a further Championship with Triple Crown in 1996.

Will led England to the World Cup final in 1991 and the semi-finals four years later. The Harlequins centre was selected for the 1993 Lions tour and played in one Test.

Since retiring, Will has gone on to be a pundit for ITV Sport, including their coverage of the 2003 World Cup and is a popular after dinner and motivational speaker, addressing companies around the country on leadership and team work.

He is married with children, and lives in Hampshire.

Emma de Sousa

Senior Vice President UK and Marketing EMEA

Insight

Emma de Sousa joined Insight in 2003 and since then has held a number of senior roles covering the UK and EMEA. Emma was appointed Senior Vice President UK & Marketing EMEA in January 2018. In this position Emma continues her role as Managing Director for the Global IT Solution Provider's successful UK business, whilst also leading Insight's EMEA Marketing organisation.

Throughout her time at Insight, Emma has led the execution of major growth initiatives across the business and in the last financial year Emma and her team were successful in generating the UK business's largest revenues to date, as well as accelerating strategic revenue streams in Cloud and Services. With the expansion of her role in 2017 to include EMEA Marketing, Emma is now also responsible for managing the Insight brand across EMEA, attracting and retaining clients as well as leading Insight's digital marketing strategy.

Emma continues to use her breadth of experience to contribute to the UK and EMEA's strategic direction, whilst growing Insight's profitable market share and improving stakeholder relationships including clients, partners and teammates.

Andy Gass

Senior Vice President UK and Ireland & Digital Europe

Tech Data

Andy joined Tech Data in 1993 and has held a number of senior roles both within Tech Data Europe, including Senior Vice President of the Enterprise Division EMEA and Regional Senior Vice President, South and West Europe. Andy has led the execution of major growth and development initiatives across the organization, has been instrumental in the successful completion of several major acquisitions and is now responsible for the digital transformation strategy across Europe as well as contributing the UK & I's strategic direction. Andy was educated at the University of Edinburgh and is a Chartered Accountant.

Donavan Hutchinson

Managing Director, UK & International

PCM

PCM UK has recently appointed Mr. Donavan Hutchinson as its Managing Director. Mr. Hutchinson joined the PCM Family on February 1st 2017 to help develop and create the offering for PCM UK and execute according to PCM's strategic plan. Mr. Hutchinson brings a wealth of experience within the international market having worked for other Global IT solution providers where he was directly responsible for creating and effectively executing collaboration programs to extend service offerings from North America based clients into the UK, Europe and Asia Pacific Markets.

Justin King

Former CEO

Sainsburys

The Vice Chairman and Head of Portfolio Businesses at Terra Firma and the former CEO of J Sainsburys PLC, Justin King harbours a wealth of retail industry knowledge spanning a successful 30-year career.

As a keynote speaker, he draws on international experience across consumer goods and grocery retailing to share insights into change and leadership, including the importance of putting customers and colleagues at the heart of business.

During a decade at Sainsbury's (2004-2014), Justin led the supermarket chain through a major turnaround from tumbling sales to nine years of profit growth.

In 2015, he became Vice Chairman and Head of Portfolio Businesses at private equity firm Terra Firma, which owns Odeon and UCI Cinemas Group and Wyevale garden centres; he sits on the boards of the General Partners and is a member of Terra Firma's Management Committee.

Previously, he was Head of Food at Marks & Spencer and a non-executive director of Staples; he has also worked at Asda, Haagen-Dazs, PepsiCo and Mars.

A board member of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Justin was on the audit committee of both organisations. Moreover, he was a member of the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Group (2010-2012).

Well-known for his interest in motorsport (his son races in GP2), Justin took on an advisory role with the Manor Formula One team after they fell into administration, implementing a company voluntary arrangement to facilitate a full recovery.

A Visiting Fellow of Oxford University's Centre for Corporate Reputation, Justin has an undergraduate degree and Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from the University of Bath.

He was awarded a CBE in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours List and, since then, has been named Most Admired Business Leader by Management Today and Britain's Most Impressive Businessman in the IPSOS-MORI Captains of Industry Report.

Chris Labrey

Managing Director - UK & Ireland

Econocom

Chris Labrey has been with Econocom for 19 years, having joined the company as a Manchester based junior account manager back in 1998.

He moved to London in 2004 to manage the Southern sales operation and assumed the role of Sales Director (UK & Ireland) in 2006. He has been Managing Director of the UK & Irish business since 2012.

Before Econocom, Chris spent some years working in the IBM reseller channel and before that he was managing the new business strategy for a Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) software vendor.

During his career, Chris has seen digital technology jump from the computer room into all aspects of business and personal life.

He is now steering Econocom into its next strategy - strengthening Econocom UK's transition from a digital financing company to a full digital services organisation in the region.

Steinar Sønsteby has been Chief Executive Officer of the Atea Group since January 2014. Atea is the market leader within IT infrastructure in the Nordic and Baltic countries with 7,200 employees and revenue of more than $4 billion.

Sønsteby has comprehensive leadership experience from top-level management positions in the Nordics for more than 25 years and in total, Steinar Sønsteby has 30 years of experience from the IT industry. Since 2015, Sønsteby has been the Chairman of the Board in the Association of the Norwegian IT industry, ICT Norway. Under Steinar's leadership Atea has delivered both solid revenue growth, a doubling of the share price and impressive shareholder returns via dividends.

Steinar holds a Bachelor in Engineering from University of Utah and a degree in Economics from Oslo School of Business. With two grown-up children Steinar lives in Oslo, Norway, with his wife May Karin. He is a keen biker and skier and in general loves spending time outdoors.

Rune Syversen

CEO

Crayon

Rune Syversen is a co-founder of Crayon and has been its chief executive since 2002. Prior to leading the establishment of Crayon, he held a number of senior positions in the Telenor group in Norway and Sweden as well as establishing several companies involved with IT and financing. Mr Syversen has a long track record as an entrepreneur launching more than 10 companies within the industry with the largest being Link Mobility ASA and Crayon Group. He studied at the Norwegian School of Management.​

Graeme Watt

CEO

Softcat

Graeme joined Softcat in April 2018. With 30 years' experience in the IT distribution industry, Graeme was most recently Senior Vice President EMEA, Advanced and Specialist Solutions, Tech Data Corporation ("Tech Data"), a position he held from March 2017. He was promoted to that role when Avnet's Technology Solutions business was acquired by Tech Data in early 2017. Prior to that, he was President for Avnet Technology Solutions, EMEA for almost seven years and a member of the Avnet's Global Executive Committee. He previously spent six years at Bell Micro (as President of Global Distribution) and his earlier career included roles at Tech Data (President EMEA) and Computer 2000 (Managing Director UK & Ireland). Graeme is a qualified accountant (ICAEW).

Speakers

Ian Golding

Interim Chief Information Officer

The Natural History Museum

Ian Golding has been Chief Information Officer, Chief Technical Officer and Data Privacy Officer leading global commercial technology programmes for over 20 years and has a passion for fostering collaboration and innovation to exploit the benefits of technology and data in permanent, interim, fractional and private consulting roles.

He is currently Interim CIO at The Natural History Museum, developing the Technology Strategy and Vision to support its dual role as a centre of excellence in leading scientific research and as a world leading museum. In 2017, as the RNLI's first CIO (Interim) he created the Institution's first digital, information and technology strategy including new capability for fundraising, predictive analytics and data-based insights that will help the RNLI to break the chain of events that can tragically lead to drowning. Ian was also recently Interim IT Director at Southern Housing Group and prior to Interim roles was Group CIO, Data Privacy Officer and Senior Partner for The ERM Group through its largest growth phase over 4 private equity cycles, to 5,200 staff across 140 offices worldwide.

He is a Fellow of The Institute of Directors, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Chartered Professional Fellow of The BCS. He is also an investor and mentors digital startups. By devoting time to assisting emerging businesses and small investments to advance, Ian's aim is to help grow the digital ecosystem. 

Scott Haddow

CEO

MTI

Scott Haddow is Chief Executive Officer of MTI Technology, an industry leading security, IT transformation and managed service provider with a focus on customers in the upper mid-market and enterprise space operating across the globe. Since becoming CEO in February 2017 Scott has lead the largest transformation and investment programme MTI has seen in its 30-year history. Recognising the changing dynamics in the IT market Scott and his management team are remoulding the business to align with the new demands of customers as they embark on their own technology enabled transformation projects. Scott's emphasis on strong execution and the highest ethical standards are central to the ongoing success of the MTI group. Scott was previously CEO of Trustmarque Solutions where he spent seven years leading the executive team, driving the strategic development of the business and delivering sustained value for shareholders and investors, and most notably lead the management buyout in 2013 and the sale of the business in 2016 to Capita. Prior to this, Scott held various senior leadership roles across the IT channel where he built a reputation for delivering results. His resume includes multiple roles at Computacenter as well as Thus PLC a provider of next generation telecommunications and internet services amongst others. In his spare time Scott is a dedicated sports fan and with three boys under 10 years old it's all about sport, sport and sport in the Haddow household

James Hardy

Deputy Managing Director

CCS Media

James Hardy is currently the Deputy Managing Director for CCS Media Limited.

CCS Media is a privately owned UK based reseller with 18 offices, two technology centers and revenue of £180 million (2017). The company has 500 employees who work with over 5000 customers per month.

Previous roles held by James have been Sales & Brand Director of CCS Media, responsible for technology alliances, sales performance and marketing for 4 years. Prior to this appointment, James set up and operated 6 of CCS Media's regional sales offices over a 6-year period as Senior Manager. Managing all aspects of business start-up, training and enablement, sales programs, management training and capability development.

James is a Leader in Residence at the University of Leeds Business School and holds Advisory Board positions for AIMTECH and ManageMagazine.

James holds an MBA (Merit) from the University of Leeds Business School.

Martin Hellawell

Chairman

Softcat

Martin has recently transitioned from CEO to non-exec Chairman of Softcat, a leading UK provider of IT infrastructure technology and services. The company specialises in three main areas: workplace technology which is all the standard technology hardware and software you have on or around your desk, networking and IT security, and cloud and data centre. The company trades with approximately 13,000 corporate and public sector organisations.

Martin joined Softcat as CEO in 2006 taking the reins from founder and major shareholder Peter Kelly. During his tenure, the company grew from approximately £50m to revenues approaching £1bn. This was all achieved organically. He led the IPO of the company on the London Stock Exchange in November 2015. Since the successful flotation and becoming a FTSE 250 company, the Softcat share price has tripled and now has a market capitalisation of well over £1bn.

The company is well known for its employee culture and was named as the Sunday Times No.1 Best Company to Work for and the No.1 workplace by the Great Places to Work organisation.

Martin was named UK Tech CEO of the year in 2016.

Finbarr Joy

Group CTO

Superbet

Finbarr is Group CTO for Superbet, a new entrant into the Global online gaming market.

With over 15 years' leadership experience of technology ‘at the leading edge', Finbarr is dedicated to helping organizations develop breakthrough business models, powered by tech. His prior roles have included stints driving technology transformation at global operators such as BT, William Hill, and Lebara, and he also co-founded and ran a UK-wide e-commerce software development company through the 2000's.

Finbarr's early experiences included two years with Netscape, as a member of the team that brought the Internet to the world, and established the enduring model for digital innovation that propels the best of today's Consumer Internet.

Joey Koonsombat

Head of IT

Thames & Hudson

Joey Koonsombat is a Chartered IT Professional leader and has worked in Information Technology for over 17 years in permanent and contract positions.

Joey is currently the Head of IT for Thames & Hudson (T&H) Ltd, a leading global publisher of illustrated books. Since joining T&H in 2013, Joey is leading the technology refresh of the organisation in all areas and preparing the business to further utilise Cloud-based technologies for future progression with IT Cyber Security in focus.

Prior to T&H, Joey led the change management of the internal messaging system to Microsoft Office 365 Cloud and Blackberry Business Cloud Service for a globally renowned luxury retailer.

Joey is an active member of the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and also a member of the IET, The Institution of Engineering and Technology and has IEng, ITIL and Prince2 certifications.

Helen Slinger

Director

BT Product Supply Business

Helen Slinger is Director of BT's Product Supply Business - the IT arm of BT's Enterprise organisation.

She leads a team of over 220 people providing BT's business customers with end-to-end IT solutions.

Helen has over 25 years' experience in the IT industry, starting out aged 21 at IT reseller, Crown Computers. Since then she's had roles in both distribution and resellers, working across lots of different disciplines including customer service, sales, product management and marketing.

Helen was part of the team that took Dabs Direct online - securing its place as the UK's first online IT reseller. She played a key role in helping it grow to become one of the UK's largest and most successful internet retailers and an attractive acquisition for BT.

Helen is chair of BT's regional board in the North West; a trustee of the Greater Manchester Academies Trust and represents BT on the North West Business Leadership Team.

She is a well known name in the UK IT industry and has a number of accolades to her name. She was named as the IODs North West Young Director of the year in 2016 and in 2017 she was a finalist in their Director of the Year large Company category. She was also named by CRN as one of the Top 50 most influential women in the IT channel.

On a personal note Helen grew up on the family farm in Lancashire. She is mum to Thom, a rugby mad nine year old and lives with him in Lancashire.

 

Host Speakers

Nima Sherpa Green

Reporter

CRN & Channelnomics

Nima Sherpa Green is a British/Sherpa journalist. She currently reports for Channelnomics and CRN, leading B2B publishers on the IT Channel. As a member of the editorial team, she provides insightful market analysis and daily reporting on the events and trends that are impacting businesses

Nima has a multimedia background in newsrooms across the world, as a commissioning editor at The African Business Magazine; producing at the Russian World Radio Service London Bureau; and reporting at Vice Magazine and the Herald Sun in Australia. She has an MA in Journalism from Monash University, Melbourne, and a BA in Southern African political history from the University of Sheffield. Born in Kathmandu, Nepal, Nima has lived and worked in the UK, Uganda, South Africa and Australia.

Stuart Sumner

Editorial Director

Computing, V3 & The Inquirer

Stuart Sumner is Editorial Director of Incisive Media's technology-focused titles: Computing, V3 and The Inquirer. He oversees all content across print, web, tablet editions, rich media and events - including the IT Leaders' Dining Club and Computing Summits. During Stuart's tenure Computing has transformed from a print-reliant business to a bleeding edge multi-channel brand with an industry-leading events portfolio. Previously he spent 10 years as a programme manager in the IT industry, working for companies such as the BBC, COLT, Nortel Networks and Equant. As a journalist he has also worked for Time Out and IPC Media. He is a regular technology pundit and contributor to the BBC News Channel, as well as a published author.

Tom Wright

Content Director

Incisive Media

Tom Wright is Content Director at Incisive Media. As the title suggests he has responsibility for online lead generation, content syndication and content creation services across the technology, retail and institutional finance groups.

A 20 year industry veteran, Tom came into the world of media via the Radio Times, sidestepped into tech publishing and content marketing and has stayed there ever since. Tom has held a variety of roles in the sector, in sales management, moving onto publishing, and now working in branded and unbranded content.

Tom launched Computing's primary research unit with the express aim of offering tech decision makers analyst grade data on the key trends affecting them in their day to day jobs, cutting through vendor hype to deliver actionable data and useful insight. Research is conducted along MRS guidelines using individual in-depth interviews with senior IT practitioners, focus groups, and major quantative studies. Since launch in 2010, the Computing research unit has steadily added to its original brief and now covers topics as diverse as Internet of Things, DevOps, Security and Risk Governance, Data Centre and Infrastructure, Open Source Adoption and IT Leadership, and of course trends in how technology is bought sold and marketed.

Chairperson

Sara Yirrell

Consulting Editor

CRN & Channelnomics

Sara Yirrell left Incisive Media in December 2016 to become a freelance journalist and content consultant specialising in all things IT channel.

Before that she had worked at Incisive-owned CRN since August 2000, holding the title of Editorial Director since October 2014. She was the editorial driving force behind the brand since becoming Editor in 2007, and oversaw the recent expansion to incorporate channelnomics.eu and channelnomics.com, which created the first true global channel network.

Before joining CRN, Sara worked on local daily newspaper The Northampton Chronicle & Echo for three years covering areas such as crime, local politics, education, business and transport.