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UKtech50 2019: Vote for the most influential person in UK technology

Our judges have picked a shortlist, now we invite readers to tell us who should be chosen as the most influential person in the UK tech scene for 2019 by submitting your vote now

Computer Weekly has opened voting for the tenth annual UKtech50, our definitive list of the movers and shakers in UK technology – 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 tech sector in 2019 – 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 130 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 influenced by a number of important tech trends – the growth of artificial intelligence; cyber security and data protection; the success of British tech startups; and the economic and political uncertainty created by Brexit, to name just a few.

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

Last year’s winner of the UKtech50 was Jacky Wright, chief digital and information officer at HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Wright was responsible for leading the digital transformation at HMRC and overseeing its critical work in preparations for Brexit. She recently ended her two-year contract with HMRC and returned to work for Microsoft, so there will definitely be a new winner this year.

Whoever tops the 2019 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. The winner will be announced at a special UKtech50 event in London on 28 November, which takes place at Code Node, near Liverpool Street station.

Read more about UKtech50 2019 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 15 November 2019. 

The full shortlist is also shown in alphabetical order at the end of this article.

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 judging 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:

  • Adam Thilthorpe, director for professionalism, at the BCS.
  • Joanna Poplawska, CEO, at CITF, the collaboration, innovation and technology forum.
  • Sue Daley, associate director, technology & innovation at TechUK.
  • Toby Macfarlane, team leader, executive search, at our event partner Spinks.
  • Paul Hunt, pre-sales director, at our event sponsor NashTech.
  • Wendy Devolder, CEO at our venue partner, Skills Matter.

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 technology, 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 technology?
  • 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 tech?
  • Leadership: Does the person demonstrate the skills and experience necessary to be seen as a leader in the development of the tech community in the UK? Do they have a leadership role and does that help them develop the role of technology in the UK?
  • Potential: How likely is it that the person will have a significant impact on UK tech in the next 12 months? Will their authority and responsibility grow?

The UKtech50 shortlist

  • Adam Banks, Group CTIO, Maersk.
  • Adrian Joseph, Partner, EY.
  • Aidan Hancock, CIO, Network Rail.
  • Alexandra Bolton, Executive director, Centre for Digital Built Britain.
  • Alice Bentinck, Co-founder of Entrepreneur First.
  • Alison Pritchard, Director General, Government Digital Service.
  • Andy Isherwood, EMEA managing director, Amazon Web Services.
  • Anne Boden, CEO, Starling Bank.
  • Bob Strudwick, CTO, Asos.
  • Brent Hoberman, Entrepreneur; chair of Founders Factory & Founders Forum.
  • Charles Forte, CIO, Ministry of Defence.
  • Ciaran Martin, CEO, National Cyber Security Centre.
  • Cindy Rose, Microsoft UK CEO.
  • Dame Wendy Hall, Professor of Computer Science at Uni of Southampton, UK's AI skills champion.
  • Damian Collins MP, chair of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee.
  • Debbie Forster, CEO of Tech Talent Charter.
  • Demis Hassabis, Founder & CEO, DeepMind.
  • Eileen Burbidge, Chair of Tech Nation; partner, Passion Capital.
  • Elizabeth Denham, UK Information Commissioner.
  • Gerard Grech, CEO, Tech Nation.
  • Jacqueline De Rojas, President, techUK.
  • Jane Moran, CIO, Unilever.
  • Jeni Tennison, CEO, Open Data Institute.
  • Jo Twist, CEO of UKIE.
  • Joanna Davinson, Chief digital, data and technology officer, Home Office.
  • Joanna Shields, CEO, Benevolent AI.
  • Julian David, CEO, TechUK.
  • Mark Holt, CTO, Trainline.
  • Marta Krupinska, head of Google for Startups UK.
  • Matt Brittin, President, EMEA Business & Operations, Google.
  • Matt Warman, Digital minister, DCMS.
  • Matthew Gould, CEO, NHSX.
  • Matthew Postgate, Chief Technology & Product Officer, BBC.
  • Mohamed Hammady, Group CTO, Sky.
  • Nigel Toon, CEO, Graphcore.
  • Paul Clarke, CTO, Ocado.
  • Phil Swan, CIO and digital lead, Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
  • Philip Jansen, CEO, BT.
  • Poppy Gustafsson, Co-CEO, Darktrace.
  • Rachel Coldicutt, CEO, Doteveryone.
  • Reshma Sohoni, founding partner, Seedcamp.
  • Robin Tombs, CEO, Yoti.
  • Russ Shaw , Founder of Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates.
  • Sarah Burnett, Vice President-Research at Everest Group and Chair BCS Women.
  • Sarah Wilkinson, CEO, NHS Digital.
  • Shashi Verma, Director of strategy and CTO, Transport for London.
  • Sherry Coutu, Angel investor; founder of ScaleUp Institute; founder of Founders4Schools.
  • Tabitha Goldstaub, Co-founder, CognitionX; chair of government's AI Council.
  • Theo Blackwell, Chief digital officer to the Mayor of London.
  • Tom Blomfield, CEO, Monzo.

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