Tech Leaders Awards 2019 – winners revealed

The UK’s top tech leaders, innovators and disruptors were revealed last night at the inaugural Tech Leaders Awards at Royal Lancaster London.

The event, presented by Information Age and sponsored by Frank Recruitment Group, Appointedd and Infosys Consulting, brought together the highest achievers in technology in the UK to showcase their extraordinary contributions to the economy.

While the ceremony was designed to recognise the different talent involved in tech leadership, all winners shared the same desire for using technology to disrupt industries, drive business value and find better ways of doing things.

The UK’s world-leading tech sector is a vital part of the British economy, with digital industries growing 32% faster than the rest of the economy, according to Tech City UK. The UK’s digital tech industries have a combined annual turnover of £161bn, and the benefits are felt well beyond digital companies. Nearly half of digital jobs today exist in traditionally non-digital industries, and organisations in all sectors must now ingrain technology in all facets of their business or face the consequences of being disrupted.

Tech Leaders Awards recognised the leading figures at the forefront of this disruption and innovation, playing a central role in helping organisations use technology to its full potential as a driver of business value, both at the top line and bottom line, as well as in the public sector for the benefit of UK citizens.


Business Leader of the Year: Jenny Davies, CEO, M247

Jenny’s has a great career track record; she has developed fairly fast while being exposed to many different environments. Her performance and achievements at M247 are very impressive, given the short amount of time. She stands out on being both an excellent business leader as well as a team leader.

Data For Good: David Ivell, CTO, Semta and founder of tech charity Energise Resources

Energise Resources has become one of the fastest-growing social enterprises which provides charities with the funding and sometimes missing know how to achieve their ambitious objectives. David has brought together many prolific and senior leaders from across the industry on a pro bono basis to help across various charities. These charities have a wide and lasting impact not only in the UK but also on an international scale.

Data Leader of the Year: Jason Teoh, head of business intelligence, Openreach

In a highly competitive category, Jason’s submission stood out. Apart from the community work to promote Data to different audiences, Jason is highly invested in his team and their development and together, they have proven their effectiveness. There is a long way to go when it comes to data literacy, but Jason is blazing the trail.

Data Scientist of the Year: Miguel González-Fierro, senior data scientist, Microsoft

Miguel’s career to date covers several areas: commercial, entrepreneurial, social and research. This has given him the opportunity to build a track record within data that is stronger than commonly found. The variety of projects, and their achievements commercially, as well as the social impact, made his submission one of the strongest.

Digital Leader of the Year: Roxane Heaton, deputy CTO, Morrisons

Roxane has delivered some fantastic digital transformation over the past 18 months. She transferred learnings between organisations and these are now benefiting the public sector in innovation and cost savings of up to £10m. She is an Inspiring leader – humble, focused with a sense of humour and great energy.

Disruptive Leader of the Year: Jasmina Mularska, BT

Jasmina has an impressive span of influence and has managed to disrupt and innovate within a very large organisation, that does not change easily. Her success and global impact of the Da Vinci challenges as well as her work in developing and encouraging young people, especially young women, make her the Disruptive Leader of the Year.

Diversity Leader of the Year: Fiona McDonnell, European director, beer, wine & spirits, Amazon

The judges were impressed by the breadth of activities Fiona is involved in when it comes to diversity. This is not only limited to work within Amazon but also within the wider industry. The judges felt it was refreshing and encouraging that diversity was seen as a lever towards business success, rather than a compliance target to be hit. Fiona’s commitment and hard work make her this year’s Diversity Leader of the Year.

Future Leader of the Year: Mia Baker, partnership implementation & project manager, Prenetics

Mia has had an impressive career. She moved from maths to coding, then to an internship and is now well respected in her field already. She has had a meaningful impact on her current company in just six months. While building a stellar career, she is giving back to the community, through girls coding groups or school visits. She is inspirational and our Future Leader of the Year.

IT Team of the Year: Cognizant Technology Solutions & Network Rail

The IT Team at Cognizant has had a big impact, and they have delivered tangible and solid results. Their work with Network Rail came with its own unique challenges, considering the scale of modernisation required. Most importantly they not only digitally improved and transformed Network Rail but through their work brought about a mindset transformation.

Open Source Leader of the Year: Stuart Mackintosh, CEO, OpusVL

Stuart is a clear champion of Open Source. He has built a strong and successful career around the promotion of open source. What is applaudable is the business benefits that have been achieved and delivered for some fairly sizeable clients.

Tech Evangelist of the Year: Andrew Wierzan, technology evangelist, Pixit Media

Andrew’s submission stood out for his passion and his commitment to bring others along for the journey. His conviction that technology and best practise within tech is a mean to all improve and innovate all aspects of life impressed the judges. He is an engaging ambassador for the industry and is a firm believer in the future of voice UI.

Security Leader of the Year: Nazim Ali, Information Security Lead, KPMG LLP

Nazim is clearly an asset to KPMG, which is able to deploy his leadership and experience across many organisations and industry sectors. Some of the stand out things for Nazim is his ability to blend the seriousness of operations with an element of fun and excitement to raise awareness and promote a subject that is number one (or fast becoming) on every organisation’s risk register.

Transformation Leader of the Year: Philip Clayson, CIO, SSE Energy Services

Philip has displayed visionary leadership of automated reporting. The leadership he has shown and the time and effort to persuade and convince the organisation and different departments show the scale of the transformation required. Culture and attitude is everything when undertaking a transformation, and this is evident clearly in Philip’s case and makes him the Transformation Leader of the Year.

Young Leader of the Year: Jasleen Budhiraja, engineering lead, Tata Consultancy Services

Not only has Jasleen seen a meteoric rise within Tata, but it is clear that she strives to deliver demonstrable customer benefits and delivering maximum value for her clients. What is particularly impressive is her continual drive to push new technology, gaining knowledge, but also sharing this both within and outside the organisation. It is also great to see someone putting something back into the organisation where she has clearly benefited from, a great example of a young tech leader.

Employer of the Year: dxw digital

dxw digital’s submission showed that the company has a real focus on the company culture, which is not only limited to their employees but contributes positively to the wider community. They are an example of what a modern-day workplace can, and should, be and are deservedly the Employer of the Year.

CIO of the Year: Louis Brook, first direct

Louis has an impressive appreciation of how a variety of tech can improve business performance in many ways. His submission showed evidence of the business impact that he and his agile team delivered. That has resulted in increased business revenues as well as having pushed the boundaries of a CIO into ‘transformation” area.

CTO of the Year: Andy Brown, Mobliciti

Andy has played a crucial part in the transformation of Mobliciti, which have helped to double revenues. As a creative thinker with a commercial mindset, Andy has not only built a track record in a short amount of time but has also proved himself to be an integral part of the business

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Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future