I'm a software technology executive with over 20 years of software engineering and software product development experience, spanning:
- consumer internet (Yahoo);
- SaaS (CloudPay, my current gig)
- banking and financial services (SunGard, Misys);
- enterprise software (Talgentra, now part of Experian Decision Analytics);
- speech recognition-based IVR solutions (SRC Telecom, now part of Syntellect);
- secure electronic payments (Thales e-Transactions, now part of Hypercom); and
- high-tech R&D in the areas of artificial intelligence and machine perception (Canon).
Technology-wise, I have worked across the spectrum of server-side, thru' client side to real-time embedded, using all of the "usual suspects", i.e. LAMP, Java, and Microsoft, and – naturally – the "holy trinity" of web front-end engineering: HTML, CSS and JS.
Even though I'm not too hung up re job titles, my business card (what a quaint concept!) typically contains words like: CTO, VP Engineering, Technical Director, Head of Development, etc. No matter what I'm called, I'm usually found doing one or more of the following:
- Building and leading high performance software product development teams;
- product and technical strategy;
- bringing agility to larger, more mature organizations;
- adding process and structure to smaller, less mature organizations, enabling them to scale;
- turning around problematic programmes and teams;
- continuous improvement and transformational change;
- bridging the business and technology domains;
- controlling chaos
Having worked in both large international corporations running geographically-distributed teams, and in smaller, early-stage companies where a more “hands on” approach is needed, I'm equally comfortable managing “in the large” as I am managing “in the small” and can adapt my approach accordingly (and I can even do both at the same time!)
In addition to software product development (both product management and engineering), I'm also an experienced business leader / executive, and I typically represent the technical interests of the business in the senior management teams of the companies in which I work.
You can find me on LinkedIn and get more details on my professional background there. But if you don't want to jump to LinkedIn, keep reading below for some more details...
I'm CTO of CloudPay, a privately-held (Rho Ventures-backed) enterprise software company which is solving the challenge of global payroll complexity as a managed service built on a SaaS platform. I joined CloudPay in April 2011 and am a member of the executive management team with responsibility for IT, engineering and product development. I'm based in the UK but also have teams in the US and Singapore.
Before joining CloudPay, I worked for SunGard Financial Systems as Chief Technology Officer of Alternative Investments (before Alternative Investments was organizationally absorbed into Institutional Asset Management) and was responsible for technology across the six SunGard businesses which service the alternative investments space:
- APT: A risk management, portfolio construction and optimization solution for asset managers, hedge funds, pension funds, broker-dealers and proprietary traders.
- FastVal: Independent portfolio valuation for derivatives and structured products used by banks and brokerages, hedge funds, corporates and central banks.
- Monis: An analysis, modeling, pricing, trading and portfolio management solution for derivatives.
- InvesTier: An investor accounting and reporting solution providing partnership accounting, fee calculation and equalization accounting for domestic and offshore hedge funds and funds of funds.
- Investran: An integrated application suite that automates front-, middle- and back-office processes for private equity and alternative investment firms.
- VPM: An integrated portfolio accounting solution for hedge funds.
I was based in London with engineering/IT teams in the US and other locations in Europe.
Prior to SunGard, I worked at Yahoo in two senior leadership roles:
- (Initially as) VP Engineering, Europe and Canada
- I led the engineering teams in Europe and Canada and was responsible for all Yahoo’s regional properties - which weren't simply localized versions of global properties that Yahoo had developed elsewhere! This included the various Yahoo "home pages" (such as uk.yahoo.com) and media channels (News, Finance, Sports, etc) for all of the European (UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, etc) and Canadian markets (both English and French Quebec).
- In addition to all of the properties in those regional markets, I was also responsible for Yahoo Answers, the 4th largest property in Yahoo’s global network, which was engineered and operated out of Europe.
- In total, my European and Canadian teams developed, delivered and operated the products for 250MM unique Yahoo users who performed 15BN page views each month.
- In addition to running engineering, I was also a member of the management team which runs Yahoo’s European business (one of the [then] four businesses/P&Ls which constitute the Yahoo business globally).
- (Latterly as) VP Custom Solutions, International Markets
- I was responsible for delivering ‘custom solutions’ advertising products – predominately branded experiences and custom targeting – for Yahoo's advertisers in all global markets outside of North America.
- My product and engineering teams were distributed across 12 locations (in the Americas, EMEA and APAC) and worked very closely with Yahoo's Ad Solution Sales teams in all international markets to deliver the solutions that advertisers couldn't simply buy 'off the shelf'.
Going Further Back...
Prior to Yahoo, I have been:
- Head of Development at Misys Banking, initially working in core/retail banking, but quickly moving to lead the development of Misys's (then) new BankFusion banking platform.
- Technical Director at Talgentra Ltd, a privately-held UK company –
since acquired by Experian Decision Analytics –
where I was responsible for the product development of Tallyman, a 'credit and collections management' enterprise solution. In addition to the Tallyman product line, I was responsible for IT globally and was also a member of the executive management team which ran Talgentra's Tallyman business.
- Head of Development at SRC Telecom. SRC was –
and remains –
a privately held UK company, the Telecom division of which first acquired by Fluency Voice Technology and subsequently by Syntellect. I was a member of the executive management team and responsible for the development of SRC Telecom’s speech application
hosting platform and delivering new speech recognition-based IVR solutions for CRM, call centres and DRTV.
- Technical Director at Thales e-Transactions Ltd, where I was responsible for all product development in the UK, leading a team of ~60 hardware and
software engineers, focusing on EMV IC card payment systems at the point of sale to support the
launch of “Chip and PIN” payment solutions in the UK market. I was also a member of the executive
management team which ran the e-Transactions business in the UK. Hypercom have since acquired the e-Transactions business from Thales.
- R&D Director at Canon Research Centre Europe Ltd. Canon's European research centre (aka CRE) has since closed but the "waybackmachine" can take you back to www.cre.canon.co.uk. CRE focussed its R&D in the areas of artificial intelligence / machine perception (specifically on speech recognition, natural language processing and computer vision), information retrieval, 3D modeling and image processing. I worked at all levels of the organisation, starting as Research/Software Engineer (in the NLP area specifically) and culminating as Director, with responsibility for the overall R&D organisation in the UK.
Going Way Back...
And prior to all of that, I spent 7 years at the School of Computing at University of Leeds in the UK where I obtained both a BSc and
PhD in Computer Science, the latter focusing on computational linguistics and statistical
natural language processing in Systemic Functional Grammar (under Dr Eric Atwell, a well-known expert in the field of corpus linguistics).