DIGIT Movers and Shakers November 2018
In what will be the last Movers and Shakers column published in 2018, we explore some of the top recruitment and awards announcements for the month of November.
Business and IT consultancy, Waterstons, has appointed Robert Cowan as the new lead consultant for manufacturing.
Cowan joins the firm having served as Lead Practioner for the West of Scotland at the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS), where he led the team to deliver more than £11 million of added value annually.
Cowan commands more than 40 years of experience as well as an in-depth knowledge of the UK manufacturing industry.
In his new role, Cowan will help businesses integrate traditional manufacturing processes with both current and future digital technologies.
Commenting on the appointment, Cowan said: “Waterstons shares my vision to drive positive change within the UK manufacturing industry by enabling businesses to reap the benefits of Industry 4.0.
“With my manufacturing expertise and Waterstons’ broad delivery capability, we hope to engage the UK’s manufacturing businesses on the value of these progressive technologies.”
Waterstons CEO Susan Bell commented: “It’s my pleasure to welcome Robert to Waterstons. We’re an ambitious company with the capability to support our customers through innovative technology and process improvements.
“We’re confident that with Robert’s exceptional manufacturing industry knowledge, combined with our IT expertise, we’ll provide a strong offer to help businesses realise Industry 4.0 and integrate the right solutions for them.”
The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) has welcomed Gary Ritchie to the Centre as the new Head of Retail and Tourism Resilience.
The appointment follows a previous three-year secondment to the Centre.
With more than 20 years of experience with Police Scotland, Ritchie has worked in a broad range of roles – primarily in response policing and safer community initiatives. Most recently, he held the position of Response Inspector in Greater Glasgow.
In his new role, Ritchie will bring a wealth of experience to help enhance Scotland’s business resilience capabilities within the retail and tourism sectors.
Commenting on his appointment, Ritchie said: “There have certainly been some enormous changes since my last stint at SBRC. The types of issues remain the same but the threat has definitely evolved, with the spectre of cybercrime touching on almost every aspect of business life.
“My new role will allow me lots of face-to-face time with Scottish organisations looking at all aspects of resilience and helping to protect staff, customers and the wider business community in Scotland itself.”
SBRC’s Chief Operating Officer, Lynsae Tulloch, commented: “Gary is a long-term friend of SBRC and we’re delighted to welcome him back.
“The role will be fundamental in driving further development in our retail and tourism partnerships, where Gary has extensive experience at both strategic and operational levels.”
Drinkly has announced two management appointments ahead of its Glasgow expansion.
Forlan has extensive experience both in marketing and the food and drinks sector, having previously held roles at Montpeliers and East Lothian Food & Drink.
In her new role, Forlan will help to develop and implement the company’s marketing strategy, while driving core market activities.
Finlayson joins the firm from commercial shop-fitting contractor organisation, SES Concept Group.
Similarly, he commands a wealth of expertise in his respective field, having managed the global supply chain of Blu/SKYCIG’s UK and Europe fulfilment centre.
Finlayson will oversee Drinkly’s operations while managing launch operations and increasing the company’s driver fleet. Commenting on the move, Finlayson said: “I’m very excited to join Drinkly and help drive their operational strategy. It’s an exciting startup and I’m looking forward to working with the talent team to achieve Drinkly’s expansion plans of being in ten new cities by the end of 2019.”
John Robertson, Founder of Drinkly, said: “Drinkly is an entrepreneurial technology business passionate about drinks with big ambitions and so the parameters of a typical job description don’t really apply.
“Talent goes beyond skill and experience. It’s as much about initiative, resourcefulness and work ethic and both Ailidh and Paul demonstrate all these traits. They’re real assets to the Drinkly team.”
Edinburgh-based fintech company Lending Crowd announced Darren Cairns as its new Chief Marketing Officer this month.
Having previously worked at London-based fintech firm Neyber, as well as 4finance, Cairns has more than two decades of experience in digital and mobile technology marketing – Cairns has also held senior positions at Sony, Yahoo! and BT.
Stuart Lunn, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at LendingCrowd, commented: “Darren’s experience and expertise will be a valuable asset as we continue to serve the country’s small and medium-sized businesses by building the most exciting fintech lending company here in Scotland.”
The appointment comes hot on the heels of Sir Sandy Crombie’s appointment in October. The former CEO of Standard Life joined the firm as chairman during a period of exciting growth for the company.
Edge Testing Solutions
Broner will lead the DevOps service from the software testing company’s Glasgow and Birmingham Digital Test Hubs as part of a drive to support organisations looking to move to DevOps.
Having previously held the position of Chief Technology Officer at Tesnet (UK) for 14 years, he brings with him a broad range of experience in test automation, agile methodology, requirements analysis and more.
Sharon Hamilton, Managing Director at Edge Testing, commented: “With the rapid acceleration of DevOps’ uptake within the business community, we wanted to offer our clients access to a greater pool of senior consultants.
“We hired Gal-on to lead our growing DevOps practice as he has the knowledge necessary to provide a balance of technical test capability and application of best-fit tools.”
Tech-enabled translation provider Lingo24 announced a significant senior hire in November, with Juan Gil Fernandez de Sanmamed joining the firm as the new Head of Consulting (Europe).
This hire, the firm said, will enable Lingo24 to support its growing localisation strategy (LocStrat) consultancy business. The service helps companies with – or planning to have – significant translation requirements understand how their current practices compare with industry best practice.
Gil was previously the Chief Technology Officer at the Oxford-based recruitment software company, Talentful.
Speaking on his appointment, Gil said: “I am excited about the opportunity to join a company with the drive and vision of Lingo24 and I am very much looking forward to contributing to the ongoing successes of Lingo24’s consulting practice. ”
Christian Arno, Lingo24’s Founder and President, commented: “We have been looking for someone of Juan’s calibre for some time now, and are very happy we will be able to expand our consulting service.
“Juan will help us in our efforts to bring exciting technology-led developments to more companies and more people, allowing improved understanding between global teams and their customers.”
The appointment follows Raven’s successful deployment at this year’s Ryder Cup in Paris, as well as the European Championships in Glasgow.
Dutch boasts a strong range of skills, having spent more than 15 years working in the digital technology sector. In 2007, he founded mobile app development agency, Kotikan – developing apps for a number of major companies such as Skyscanner and Standard Life.
Following FanDuel’s acquisition of the firm in 2015, he joined the company’s Product Development Leadership team, where he worked alongside C-level executives to enhance the delivery culture of the organisation’s rapidly expanding software development.
Working closely with Raven Controls MD, Ian Kerr, Dutch will help to build and cultivate a strong development team while laying the groundwork for the company’s planned global expansion.
Kerr said: “It’s great to have Gavin working with us as we develop our technical strategy. We’re building a developer team from scratch so having Gavin’s expertise to call upon as we shape our culture is a great asset which will ensure we are on a good footing moving forward.”
Dutch said that Raven is placed in a “unique position” to rapidly scale and achieve “global prominence”, underlining the exciting time in which he has joined the firm.
“It’s an exciting time to join the company,” he commented. “Having worked with Skyscanner and FanDuel early in their journeys, it’s great to be part of another innovative Scottish company showing such great promise.”
Ahead of rapid growth plans, customer loyalty app Swipii has brought on board three senior technology executives.
Skyscanner Growth Director Janet Balneaves has joined the executive team, while 5pm.co.uk founder Ronnie Somerville and former Skyscanner COO Mark Logan have been appointed as non-executive directors on the company’s board.
The hat-trick of appointments follows the appointment of ex-Google content strategist, Mark Crabbie, as product owner. In addition to Crabbie’s appointment, Stephen Mclintock joined the company as Customer Operations Manager from CoStar Group.
During her time at Skyscanner, Balneaves was responsible for implementing a growth-focused marketing structure to the company’s operations. As well as her position on the executive team, she will assume the role of growth director to help the firm establish a scalable expansion model for both the business and its users.
Similarly, Logan will assist Swipii to scale up with the implementation of new governance strategies, while helping the company to prepare for future growth. Before his appointment as non-executive director, Logan had been involved at the company as an angel investor.
Somerville was one of Swipii’s first investors in 2015. His experience in working closely with both local markets and brands will enable the company to focus on its product development and service offerings.
Swipii CEO and Co-Founder, Chitresh Sharma, commented: “Our goal is to build the world’s largest local marketplace by connecting businesses, consumers and brands on one shared platform, and our recent senior hires are a vital step in helping us achieve that vision globally.
“They’ve already made a huge difference to the business, changing behaviours and helping us create the baseline infrastructure we need to realise our ambitious growth strategies.”
Irvine joins the firm from BTO Solicitors and is acknowledged as one of the country’s top data protection and cybersecurity specialists. Earlier this year, she wrote the Law Society of Scotland’s GDPR guide and has chaired a number of GDPR events during the run-up to the implementation of the regulations in May this year.
As the new head of the Regulatory Team, Irvine will lead a group which supports companies and individuals involved in regulatory disputes, as well as providing advice and support on matters of data protection.
Andrew Chalmers, Managing Partner at the law firm, said: “Laura is a hugely talented, experienced and respected legal professional who brings added depth to Davidson Chalmers.
“Her appointment marks another exciting development in the growth of the firm, enabling us to provide the highest level advisory services for businesses on data protection matters and support for those involved in regulatory disputes.
Lorraine Gray made it into the top 50 of an annual guide to the most influential figures in the UK’s tech sector.
Gray, who is the Group Operations Director at Glasgow-based Pursuit Marketing, was featured on the CRN A-List 2019. She is the only Scottish-based tech figure to make it to the top 50 of the list, which features nearly 140 movers and shakers from the sector across the UK.
During her time at Pursuit Marketing, Gray has played a crucial role in the development of Pursuit’s employee health and wellbeing initiatives, which are aimed at attracting and retaining the country’s top talent.
Speaking on inclusion on the A-List, Gray commented: “It is an honour to be featured in the latest CRN A-List. Being included is a great boost alone but ranking in the top 50 is an incredible endorsement of Pursuit, our staff, our services and the strong results we achieve for our clients.
Charlie Hosier, a 19-year-old student from Edinburgh Napier University, has been named the Cyber Security Challenge Champion 2018.
Hosier saw off competition from 41 other contestants during a three-day event at Barclays headquarters.
The challenge involved contestants putting their knowledge to use in a simulated work environment, where they were asked to solve cybersecurity problems that professionals encounter in their daily work. They were required to demonstrate technical, interpersonal and decision-making skills.
This year, participants were tasked with taking on a cyber attack involving a number of fintech and cryptocurrency clients, after which they had to present their findings at a mock press conference.
Hosier said: “It has been an amazing experience to take part in the Cyber Security Challenge UK Masterclass. The challenges and tasks really pushed us, but throughout we have had fun and I’ve met some great people.
“I still can’t believe I won! It’s an amazing feeling and has given me a great opportunity to get my dream job in cybersecurity.”
Cyber Christmas Lectures
The Cyber Christmas Lectures, headed up by Martin Beaton, cybersecurity cluster coordinator for ScotlandIS, has been named Scotland’s cybersecurity Champion of Champions at this year’s Scottish Cyber Awards.
The Champion of Champions award represents the best of the awards nominees. To be eligible for this prize, candidates need to have won at least one other award on the night; Beaton was also named the winner of Best Cyber Education Programme for his work in the Christmas Lectures.
Beaton told DIGIT: “It’s very surprising to win when you think about who we were up against. It’s amazing to have won. We hope that with this win we can encourage more kids to go into cybersecurity.
“Events like this are important because it is crucial that we bring the cyber community together. Over the past seven years, we have done the Scottish School Cyber Security Christmas Tour. The support we have had from the community has been indispensable to us.”