Uktech50

UKtech50 2012 - The most influential people in UK IT

Bryan Glick

Computer Weekly has announced the third UKtech50, our annual definitive list of the real movers and shakers in UK IT - the CIOs, industry executives, public servants and business leaders driving the role of technology in the UK economy.

Our aim was to once more identify the 50 most influential leaders in UK IT. An expert judging panel, representing every aspect of the IT profession, helped decide the results, along with a reader vote to determine who holds the most influence over the future of the UK IT sector in 2013 – and hence the future of IT professionals across the country.

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Here is the list of the 50 most influential people in UK IT.

1. Warren East - chief executive, ARM

ARM is at the heart of the digital revolution, arguably the UK's leading home-grown technology company. At the top of its field globally, ARM chip designs are used in many Apple products and most mobile devices – even Microsoft launched its first tablet based on ARM chips. East is a role model for UK technology firms and budding entrepreneurs, and one of the major global representatives for the UK IT industry. According to ARM, its chips power around 95% of the world’s smartphones, with over 10 billion products shipped with ARM chips. The company's next goal is to produce energy-efficient chip designs for servers to extend its reach into Intel's datacentre heartland.

Read our exclusive interview with Warren East about winning the UKtech50.

2. Iain Lobban - Director, GCHQ

Iain Lobban is the director of intelligence gathering facility Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), one of the three UK intelligence agencies, working with MI5 and MI6 to protect the UK's national security interests. The agency’s cybercrime strategy has seen GCHQ taking a more proactive and collaborative role in helping companies and public sector bodies tackle the growing cyber threats, and Lobban has increasingly been the public face of this initiative.

3. Mike Bracken - Executive director, Government Digital Service

Mike Bracken is responsible for improving the government’s digital delivery of public services in a cross-Whitehall role that covers all the government’s online presence. His team recently launched Gov.UK, the new single government website, and introduced a digital strategy that will see major transactional services brought online in 2013. Bracken is the figurehead for a cultural change in how public services are delivered in a digital world.

The UKtech50 2012

1. Warren East - chief executive, ARM

2. Iain Lobban - Director, GCHQ

3. Mike Bracken - Executive director, Government Digital Service

4. JP Rangaswami - Chief scientist, Salesforce.com

5. Jane Moran - Global CIO, Thomson Reuters

6. Mike Lynch - Entrepreneur, angel investor, Autonomy founder

7. Liam Maxwell - Deputy government CIO

8. Jonathan Ive - Senior vice president of industrial design, Apple

9. Ralph Rivera - Director of Future Media, BBC

10. Phil Smith - Cisco UK CEO, chairman of Technology Strategy Board

11. Andy Nelson - CIO, HM Government; CIO, Ministry of Justice

12. Phil Pavitt - CIO, HM Revenue & Customs

13. Gerry Pennell - former CIO, London 2012 Olympics

14. Joanna Shields - CEO, Tech City Investment Organisation

15. Simon Moorhead - CIO, Bank of England

16. Tim Kelsey - National director, patients and information, NHS Commissioning Board

17. Francis Maude - Cabinet Office minister

18. Matt Brittin - CEO, Google UK

19. Catherine Doran - CIO, Royal Mail Group

20. Martha Lane Fox - UK government digital champion; Chair, Go On UK and RaceOnline

21. Dana Deasy - Group CIO, BP

22. Philip Langsdale - CIO, Department for Work & Pensions

23. Denise McDonagh - IT director, Home Office; director of G-Cloud programme

24. Tim Berners-Lee - World Wide Web inventor; director of Open Data Institute

25. Jonathan Kirby - CIO, AstraZeneca

26. Bill Crothers - Chief procurement officer, HM government

27. Lesley Cowley - CEO, Nominet

28. Ian Livingston - CEO, BT group

29. Simon Meredith - CIO, IBM UK

30. Dame Wendy Hall - Professor of Computer Science at University of Southampton

31. John Douglas - CTO, Burberry

32. Paul Cheesbrough - CTO, News Corporation

33. Willem Eelman - CIO, Unilever

34. Mike McNamara - CIO, Tesco

35. Christine Ashton -Head of global strategy, security and performance, BG Group

36. Paul Coby - IT director, John Lewis

37. Darrell Stein - Director of IT & logistics, Marks & Spencer

38. Michael Gove - Secretary of State for Education

39. Susan Cooklin - CIO, Network Rail

40. Ailsa Beaton - Director of information, Metropolitan Police

41. Elizabeth Varley - Co-founder & CEO, TechHub

42. Jennifer Rigby - CIO, Department of Energy and Climate Change; chair of government green IT

43. Kate Craig-Wood - Managing director, Memset; Intellect board member

44. Tom Steinberg - Founder of MySociety, Theyworkforyou.com, Fixmystreet.com

45. Simon Wardley - Researcher, CSC Leading Edge Forum

46. David Clarke - CEO, BCS the Chartered Institute for IT

47. Hossein Yassaie - CEO, Imagination Technologies

48. David Willetts - Minister for universities & science

49. David Henderson – CIO, A&N Media

50. Joe Baguley - Chief technologist EMEA, VMware

4. JP Rangaswami - Chief scientist, Salesforce.com

The former BT chief scientist, JP Rangaswami is one of the UK’s best known technologists, an evangelist and innovator who was among the first to see the potential of social media in the enterprise. In his current job, he promotes the development of social business worldwide, in a far-reaching role that involves speaking at major conferences and advising companies on the implications of social networks.

5. Jane Moran - Global CIO, Thomson Reuters

As global CIO for Thomson Reuters, Jane Moran brings over 25 years of financial services and IT expertise to the organisation. She was voted the most influential woman in UK IT in a Computer Weekly poll in 2012. She is an active promoter of women in IT and diversity in the workplace on both sides of the Atlantic, with roles in Women in Technology International, the Anita Borg Institute and the National Center for Women in Technology

6. Mike Lynch - Entrepreneur, angel investor, Autonomy founder

Mike Lynch won the 2011 UKtech50 award as the most influential person in UK IT following the £7bn sale of the company he founded, Autonomy, to HP, which made him the most senior UK IT leader in the world's biggest IT company. To the surprise of many, he was sacked from HP in May, with sources suggesting his style was incompatible with HP's management culture. Nonetheless, he remains hugely influential in the UK IT scene, and is currently bringing together investors to create a fund to support UK tech start-ups.

7. Liam Maxwell - Deputy government CIO

Despite the "deputy" in his job title, Maxwell is the driving force behind a major overhaul of government IT. He believes that Whitehall spends far too much on IT, and is championing policies to introduce open standards and open source, to use more small IT suppliers, and to reduce the influence of the oligopoly of major systems integrators that dominate government IT projects. In the process, he is changing the relationship between government and the IT industry, and if successful will bring huge changes in how IT is delivered in the public sector.

8. Sir Jonathan Ive - Senior vice president of industrial design, Apple

As senior vice-president of industrial design at Apple, Ive is more responsible than most for the consumer technology revolution. Since introducing the iMac in 1998, Ive led a design team widely regarded as one of the best in the world to create ground-breaking Apple products including the iPod, iPhone and iPad. He was knighted in 2012, and after the recent departure of other senior Apple executives has taken on wider responsibilities including the software user interface for Apple's products. The products designed by Ive have prompted huge changes in corporate and consumer behaviour that are likely to be felt for years to come.

9. Ralph Rivera - Director of Future Media, BBC

Ralph Rivera is responsible for delivery of all the BBC's digital media products on the web, mobile devices and internet-connected TV platforms. The corporation's CTO, John Linwood, reports to Rivera. His remit also includes overseeing the development of the BBC's digital products – such as the iPlayer – and enabling ways in which these products can be experienced on desktops, mobiles, tablets and connected TVs. Rivera is also responsible for shaping and leading the BBC's R&D activities and ensuring that the broadcaster is up to speed with developments in technologies such as 3D and HD.

10. Phil Smith - Cisco UK CEO, chairman of Technology Strategy Board

Phil Smith started 2012 as the new chairman of the Technology Strategy Board, the government-backed innovation agency charged with dispersing millions of pounds of public sector funds to boost science and technology. As Cisco’s UK chief, he also had a big role to play in 2012, with the networking firm’s $500m investment supporting London’s Tech City and other tech start-ups. Cisco was a key London 2012 supplier, and as part of its contribution to the Olympics legacy the firm set up 30 Cisco Network Academies in East London schools. He was voted leader of the year at the latest National Business Awards.

11. Andy Nelson - CIO, HM Government; CIO, Ministry of Justice

Andy Nelson took over as government CIO following the retirement of his predecessor Joe Harley, in April. He fulfils the role on a part-time basis combined with his position as CIO at the Ministry of Justice. He is also senior responsible owner for ICT capability and the G-Cloud as part of the government IT strategy, and is one of the main promoters of cloud computing in Whitehall.

12. Phil Pavitt - CIO, HM Revenue & Customs

With one billion computer transactions processed per year touching virtually every person in the UK in one of the biggest technology operations in Europe, Pavitt has one of the most challenging tasks in public sector IT. When he took the role at HMRC, Pavitt joined an organisation with a poor reputation for IT - caused by failures such as tax credits, a controversial deal with EDS, and the scandal caused by the loss of CDs containing the child benefit records and other personal data of 25 million people. Pavitt went on to deliver a programme of considerable IT change across HMRC, cutting spending by more than £160m per year.

Update: Phil Pavitt announced on 22 November - the day the UKtech50 list was announced - that he is leaving HMRC in January 2013 to become global director of IT transformation at insurance giant Aviva. He will be succeeded as HMRC CIO by his deputy, Mark Hall. 

13. Gerry Pennell - former CIO, London 2012 Olympics

For a few weeks in 2012, Gerry Pennell was arguably the most important IT executive in the UK. Building, integrating and managing the technology supporting the London Olympic Games was one of the most complex and high-profile assignments in IT, and Pennell has been widely lauded for the success of the IT programme. He left Games organiser Locog in November 2012 and is looking for a new challenge – with his Olympic success, he will be greatly in demand and is expected to turn up in a high-profile IT leadership role in 2013.

14. Joanna Shields - CEO, Tech City Investment Organisation; Former managing director, Facebook Europe

Joanna Shields was recently announced as the new chief executive of Tech City Investment Organisation, the Number 10-backed body promoting tech start-ups in London, and also acting as the government's business ambassador for the digital industries. She starts the role in January, after a successful stint at Facebook, where she was responsible for building the company’s revenue and for developing strategic partnerships across Europe.

15. Simon Moorhead - CIO, Bank of England

As Bank of England (BoE) CIO, Moorhead oversees the technology implementations which are made as a direct response to policy decisions. The BoE is also responsible for banks settling with one another, and its IT systems are crucial to transactions worth £570bn every day. He is growing the IT team at BoE to fill roles created as the bank takes on its new responsibility for financial services watchdog the Prudential Regulatory Authority.

The top 5 current IT leaders in UKtech50

Jane Moran - Global CIO, Thomson Reuters (5th overall)

Liam Maxwell - Deputy government CIO (7th)

Andy Nelson - CIO, HM Government; CIO, Ministry of Justice (11th)

Phil Pavitt - CIO, HM Revenue & Customs (12th)

Simon Moorhead - CIO, Bank of England (15th)

Twenty-three of the UKtech50 (46%) are CIOs, CTOs or other IT leaders

16. Tim Kelsey - National director, patients and information, NHS Commissioning Board

Tim Kelsey is the senior IT leader in the NHS, responsible for overseeing the Power of Information strategy that succeeded the widely criticised National Programme for IT. The 10-year strategy aims to transform the way patients access and use information about their health. As such, he is responsible for delivering on commitments to make patient records available online by 2015, and will be central to overhauling the role of IT across the health service.

17. Francis Maude - Cabinet Office minister

As minister for the Cabinet Office, Maude has significant influence over the direction of the central government IT juggernaut. When cuts are announced, they are announced through him, with departmental CIOs watching to see where his gaze will fall next. He has already delivered billions of pounds worth of cuts in government IT, and more are expected. He has focused on cutting consultancy fees, renegotiating contracts with big IT suppliers and reviewing hundreds of IT projects to see if they are worthy of continued funding. His political support is vital to plans for overhauling government IT.

18. Matt Brittin - Chief executive, Google UK

Matt Brittin leads an operation that is Google’s second largest after the US and the most advanced in terms of e-commerce and online advertising spend. Brittin has defined himself in interviews as “fiercely supportive of the UK media landscape” and has positioned Google as a key player in a new environment where traditional publishers are still working out how to survive in the digital age. Under Brittin’s watch, Google is actively supporting UK start-ups through initiatives such as Tech City in East London.

19. Catherine Doran - CIO, Royal Mail Group

As the third Royal Mail CIO in less than 18 months, Doran inherited a controversial IT transformation programme, as well as splitting off the Post Office as part of the reorganisation of the UK postal service. She joined Royal Mail in September 2011, responsible for devising and delivering the IT strategy to transform the technology estate to underpin the business transformation agenda that will lead to the privatisation of Royal Mail.

20. Martha Lane Fox - UK government digital champion; Chair, Go On UK and RaceOnline

Martha Lane Fox is the UK's digital champion and founder of Go On UK and RaceOnline, which aim to bring millions of people with no internet access onto the web. She is also chair of the Government Digital Service's advisory board and sits on the Cabinet Office efficiency and reform board. She is perhaps still best known as a co-founder of Lastminute.com in 1998.

Top 5 women in IT in UKtech50

Jane Moran - Global CIO, Thomson Reuters (5th overall)

Joanna Shields - CEO, Tech City (14th)

Catherine Doran - CIO, Royal Mail Group  (19th)

Martha Lane Fox - UK government digital champion (20th)

Denise McDonagh - Director of G-Cloud programme (23rd)

Thirteen of the UKtech50 (26%) were women this year.

21. Dana Deasy - Group CIO, BP

Appointed as BP's first global CIO in 2007, Dana Deasy is responsible for IT at one of the UK's most important companies. He has overseen changes to IT strategy and supplier relationships that have saved $800m from the firm's $3bn IT budget.

22. Philip Langsdale - CIO, Department for Work & Pensions

In 2012, Philip Langsdale moved from BAA, where he transformed the IT at Heathrow following the debacle of Terminal 5's opening, to the Department for Work and Pensions, the biggest IT user in Whitehall. He oversees the IT behind Universal Credit, the government's flagship welfare reform.

23. Denise McDonagh - IT director, Home Office; director of G-Cloud programme

Denise McDonagh has worked in government IT for 31 years, and in 2012 took on the leadership of the G-Cloud programme to move public sector IT systems to the cloud and open up IT purchasing to more small suppliers.

24. Sir Tim Berners-Lee - World Wide Web inventor; director of Open Data Institute

Undoubtedly the most famous UK computer scientist, Berners-Lee boosted his profile with an appearance in the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics, to widespread geek joy. As well as his evangalising of the web, he advises the government on open data as a director of the Open Data Institute.

25. Jonathan Kirby - CIO, AstraZeneca

Kirby became CIO of pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca in 2010, managing a $1bn IT budget with operations in over 100 countries. He has led a global transformation programme, delivering significant value to the company.

26. Bill Crothers - Chief procurement officer, HM government

Crothers became government chief procurement officer in July 2012. He oversees the government’s strategic supplier programme, which will manage the commercial relationships of government’s top 40 suppliers. He has a reputation among IT suppliers as a fierce negotiator.

27. Lesley Cowley - CEO, Nominet

Lesley Cowley has been chief executive of UK domain registry Nominet since 2002, where she is responsible for leading the organisation and the development and implementation of strategy. As such, she represents the UK on Icann, the body that oversees the administration of internet addresses worldwide.

Top 5 in public sector

Iain Lobban - Director, GCHQ (2nd overall)

Mike Bracken - Executive director, Government Digital Service (3rd)

Liam Maxwell - Deputy government CIO (7th)

Andy Nelson - CIO, HM Government (11th)

Phil Pavitt - CIO, HM Revenue & Customs (12th)

Sixteen of the UKtech50 (32%) are in the public sector

28. Ian Livingston - CEO, BT Group

As CEO of the UK’s biggest technology firm, Livingston oversees the telco’s £2.5bn investment in fibre-based superfast broadband roll-out – a key driver for the future of the UK economy.

29. Simon Meredith - CIO, IBM UK

Simon Meredith is the CIO for IBM in the UK & Ireland. In this role, as part of a global team, he has responsibility for leading corporate technology operations in the region, closely aligned with strategic business initiatives to enable innovation and growth for IBM.

30. Dame Wendy Hall - Professor of Computer Science at University of Southampton

Wendy Hall is one of the most respected computer science academics in the UK. She is founding director, along with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, of the Web Science Research Initiative, which was launched in 2006 as long-term research collaboration between the University of Southampton and MIT.

31. John Douglas - CTO, Burberry

As CTO of one of the UK's most influential fashion brands, John Douglas has led the drive to make the firm a leading social enterprise, using social networking technology both for customer engagement and to improve internal collaboration.

32. Paul Cheesbrough - CTO, News Corporation

In 2012, Paul Cheesbrough was promoted from CIO of News International in the UK, to take over as CTO at Rupert Murdoch's global News Corporation, taking a leading role in the firm's digital publishing strategy. He is a strong supporter of cloud computing and has led the company's move to the cloud.

33. Willem Eelman - CIO, Unilever

Eelman became global CIO at consumer goods giant Unilever in April 2010, with an innovation development budget of some €300m. Among his major initiatives is a global business intelligence and analytics strategy to deliver real-time customer information.

Top 5 from IT industry in UKtech50

Warren East - chief executive, ARM (1st overall)

JP Rangaswami - Chief scientist, Salesforce.com (4th)

Mike Lynch - Entrepreneur, Autonomy founder (6th)

Jonathan Ive - Senior vice president of industrial design, Apple (8th)

Phil Smith - Cisco UK CEO (10th)

Fourteen of the UKtech50 (28%) are from the IT industry

34. Mike McNamara - CIO, Tesco

McNamara last year faced the unenviable task of succeeding his new boss, Tesco CEO Philip Clarke, as the retail giant’s CIO. Technology is one of the two major strategic investment priorities at Tesco, alongside stores, and he oversees a £150m plan to grow online channels.

35. Christine Ashton - Head of global strategy, security and performance, BG Group

Christine Ashton is responsible for the strategic direction of IT, its overall performance and security, at gas giant BG Group. Prior to joining BG in 2010, she was group strategy and technology director at Transport for London.

36. Paul Coby - IT director, John Lewis

Paul Coby spent nearly a decade as CIO at British Airways, before leaving the airline last year. Soon after, he became IT director at department store chain John Lewis, tasked with improving the retailer’s multichannel customer shopping experience.

37. Darrell Stein - Director of IT & logistics, Marks & Spencer

In 2006, Darrell Stein became CIO at Marks & Spencer. By the second year of his tenure, he had reduced incremental IT spend by 60%. He is leading M&S's development of its new retail website. He also has a seat on the operating board and responsibility for logistics.

38. Michael Gove - Secretary of state for education

In 2012, Michael Gove scrapped the much-derided GCSE ICT curriculum, and called for the development of a new course that includes a far greater degree of computer science. His reforms are aimed at creating a new generation of IT professionals.

39. Susan Cooklin - CIO, Network Rail

Susan Cooklin is the CIO at Network Rail where she leads activities that underpin a large and complex technology portfolio focused on reducing the cost of running the railway by 21% by 2014.

Judging the UKtech50

The UKtech50 list was decided by a judging panel representing every area of the UK IT profession – along with a reader vote on who they thought should top the list.

The panel was chosen to represent different perspectives within IT – so each individual acted as both an impartial and expert judge, as well as an advocate for their area of interest.

The judges were:

  • Charles Ward, chief operating officer, Intellect
  • Adam Thilthorpe, Director for Professionalism, BCS
  • John Harris, chairman of IT leadership group The Corporate IT Forum
  • Marc Dowd, principal of the CIO Group, Forrester Research

Our judging panel selected the top 50 based on the following criteria:

Influence - What authority or ability does the person have – either through their personal position or the role they hold – to personally influence the development of UK IT, or to influence others in positions of authority?

Achievements - What has the person achieved in the past 12 months to help the development of the UK IT?

Profile - Is the person recognised as a role model for aspiring leaders? How widely are they acknowledged by their peers as an authority and influence on UK IT?

Leadership - Does the person demonstrate the skills and experience necessary to be seen as a leader in the development of IT in the UK? Do they have a leadership role and does that help them to develop the role of IT in the UK?

Potential - How likely is it that the person will have a significant impact on UK IT in the next 12 months? Will their authority and responsibility grow?

40. Ailsa Beaton - Director of information, Metropolitan Police

Ailsa Beaton not only runs the IT for the UK’s biggest police force, but also plays a significant role establishing the new semi-private organisation that will run national police IT systems.

41. Elizabeth Varley - Co-founder & CEO, TechHub

TechHub is at the heart of the London Tech City movement to attract start-ups to East London and boost investment and innovation in UK IT, with Varley as its CEO.

42. Jennifer Rigby - CIO, Department of Energy and Climate Change; chair of government green IT

Jennifer Rigby plays a leadership role in promoting sustainability across government. In January 2012 she became chair of the Green Delivery Unit responsible for the delivery of the Government green IT strategy.

43. Kate Craig-Wood - Managing director, Memset; Intellect board member

Kate Craig-Wood is co-founder and managing director of cloud company Memset. She is an advocate of green IT and cloud computing, chairs Intellect’s climate change group and was also a key player in the technical architecture of the Cabinet Office’s G-Cloud project.

44. Tom Steinberg - Founder of MySociety, Theyworkforyou.com, Fixmystreet.com

Steinberg has shown the public, private and voluntary sectors how powerful technology can be when used in a practical way to improve people's lives. He is the founder and director of several democracy websites in the UK, and was a member of the government’s Public Sector Transparency Board.

45. Simon Wardley - Researcher, CSC Leading Edge Forum

Wardley is a thought leader advising some of the biggest UK companies on the intersection of IT strategy and new technologies. He is an evangelist for cloud computing and the use of open source technologies.

46. David Clarke - CEO, BCS the Chartered Institute for IT

As CEO of the Chartered Institute for IT, David Clarke represents the UK IT community to government and across the IT industry.

47. Hossein Yassaie - CEO, Imagination Technologies

Yassaie is chief executive of Imagination Technologies, a British maker of mobile graphics and microprocessor chip technologies that power many of the most advanced mobile phones, media players, and tablets.

48. David Willetts - Minister for universities & science

David Willetts is a key player in the government’s plans for improving science and technology education and boosting IT apprenticeships.

49. David Henderson – CIO, A&N Media

As CIO of the publisher of the Daily Mail and Metro newspapers, Henderson is transforming the company's IT by moving key applications to the cloud.

50. Joe Baguley - Chief technologist EMEA, VMware

As one of the leading UK influencers at virtualisation company VMware, Baguley helps drive the strategy of a supplier that has transformed datacentres and helps customers moving to the cloud.


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