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Pioneer for women in IT dies aged 63

Karen Gomm

Dame Hilary Cropper, former chief executive officer of IT services company Xansa, director of Barclays Bank and one of the most prominent women in IT, died at the end of last month, aged 63.

Cropper became chief executive of Xansa in 1985 and led an employee buy-out in 2001 and placed the company on the London Stock Exchange in 1996. By 1999 she was the highest-paid woman in Britain, earning £17m in one year. During her 17 years at Xansa the company’s revenues rose from £7m to more than £500m.

Just six months ago she was made a Dame of the British Empire for the second time for charitable work having already won the honour in 1999 for her services to the finance industry. Cropper also won awards for pioneering women in the IT industry.

Cropper started her career as an apprentice in a factory in Trafford Park after completing a degree in maths at Salford University, she stepped down from her post as chairman of Xansa in 2003 due to ill-health.


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