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UKtech50 2018: Vote for the most influential person in UK IT

Tell us who you think should be chosen as the most influential person in the UK tech scene for 2018 by submitting your vote now

Computer Weekly has opened voting for the ninth annual UKtech50, our definitive list of the real movers and shakers in UK IT – the CIOs, industry executives, public servants and business leaders driving forward the UK’s digital economy. 

Whoever tops the list will be the person who, in the opinion of our judges and readers, holds the most influence over the future of the UK IT sector in 2018 – and hence the future of IT professionals across the country. 

Our expert judging panel has selected a shortlist of 50 leaders – shown below – chosen from more than 100 nominations that were suggested by readers, the Computer Weekly team, and the judges themselves. Now we want your vote on who you think deserves the coveted top spot on this year’s list.

This year’s nominations are clearly influenced by the UK’s exit from the EU drawing nearer, the government’s increased focus on technology, and the country’s booming digital economy, with candidates driving the agenda forward and leading significant digital transformation, both in the private and public sectors.  

There are also several new faces in the top 50, which highlights changes in the private and public sectors over the past year.

Whoever tops the list will be the person who, in the opinion of our judges and readers, holds the most influence over the future of the UK’s digital economy.

Read more about UKtech50 2018 here and submit your vote now – simply click on the button next to the person you wish to vote for and click the “Submit” button below the list. Voting closes at 5pm on Friday 30 November 3018. 

Note: You will only be able to vote once, and subsequently the list will be hidden from view on further visits, so, for reference, the full list of names on the shortlist is also shown below, in alphabetical order:

UKtech50 2018 shortlist

  • Amali de Alwis, CEO, Code First: Girls
  • Andrew Brammer, IT and shared services director, Allen and Overy
  • Anne Boden, CEO, Starling Bank
  • Bob Strudwick, CTO, Asos
  • Brent Hoberman, entrepreneur; chair of Founders Factory and Founders Forum
  • Charles Ewen, CIO, Met Office
  • Charles Forte, CIO, Ministry of Defence
  • Chi Onwurah, shadow minister for industrial strategy, science and innovation
  • Christina Scott, CTO, News UK; deputy CTO, News Corp
  • Ciaran Martin, head of the National Cyber Security Centre
  • Cindy Rose, CEO, Microsoft UK
  • Conor Whelan, group CIO, JLT
  • David Henderson, director of technology and operations, Global
  • Debbie Forster, CEO, Tech Talent Charter
  • Demis Hassabis, founder and CEO, DeepMind
  • Didier Lebrat, CTO, Sky
  • Eileen Burbidge, chair of Tech Nation; partner, Passion Capital; government special envoy for fintech
  • Elizabeth Denham, UK information commissioner
  • Gavin Jackson, EMEA managing director, Amazon Web Services
  • Gerard Grech, CEO, Tech Nation
  • Greg Clark, secretary of state for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Ian Bromwich, CIO – digital and transformation, Lloyds Banking Group
  • Jacky Wright, chief digital and information officer, HMRC
  • Jacqueline de Rojas, president, TechUK
  • Jeremy Wright MP, secretary of state, DCMS
  • John Seglias, group chief digital and information officer, Defra
  • Julian David, CEO, TechUK
  • Juliet Bauer, chief digital officer, NHS England
  • Kevin Cunnington, director general, Government Digital Service
  • Maggie Philbin, CEO, TeenTech
  • Margot James, digital minister, DCMS
  • Mark Hughes, CEO, BT Security; chair of Cyber Growth Partnership
  • Martyn Wallace, CDO, Scottish Local Government Digital Office
  • Matt Brittin, president, EMEA business and operations, Google
  • Matt Hancock, secretary of state for health and social care
  • Matthew Gould, director general for Digital and Media Policy, DCMS
  • Matthew Postgate, chief technology and product officer, BBC
  • Mike Potter, director, EU exit capability, Cabinet Office
  • Mike Young, CIO, Centrica
  • Paul Fletcher, CEO, BCS – the Chartered Institute for IT
  • Philip Jansen, incoming CEO, BT
  • Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates
  • Sarah Wilkinson, CEO, NHS Digital
  • Sharon White, CEO, Ofcom
  • Simon Segars, CEO, ARM Holdings
  • Steve Millward, global CIO, BAE Systems
  • Stuart Birrell, CIO, Heathrow Airport
  • Tabitha Goldstaub, co-founder, CognitionX; chair of government’s AI Council
  • Theo Blackwell, chief digital officer to the Mayor of London
  • Tim Berners-Lee, World Wide Web inventor; director of Open Data Institute

Editor’s note: The final UKtech50 list will be chosen by combining the decision of the judging panel with the votes of our readers. The combined reader vote will carry the same weight as that of one judge, and will provide the UK IT professional input into the order of the list. The editor’s decision on the UKtech50 list will be final.

Judging the UKtech50

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

  • Blaise Hammond, marketing director, TechUK
  • Cathy Holley, global head of digital and technology leaders practice, Savannah Group
  • Joanna Poplawska, executive director, The Corporate IT Forum
  • Adam Thilthorpe, director of policy, professionalism and public affairs, BCS

Our judging panel chose the top 50 candidates 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 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 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?


Read more on CW500 and IT leadership skills

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A lot of these names are people who are negatively influential (or potentially so), especially those related to Government IT posts.
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