Chief executive and founder, UKFast
Career so far
When I first moved to Manchester, I played the piano in the Midland Hotel. This inspired my first business, The Music Design Company, which I eventually sold to Granada in 1998. The following year, I set up UKFast with my wife Gail. Since then, we have grown from a two-man team in a tiny office, to a £20m+ turnover hosting, cloud and colocation provider with a portfolio of four datacentres, a 50,000sq ft HQ in Manchester and a 200-strong team. It's been an incredible journey but we are not done yet.
What was your first job and were you any good at it?
My first job was at a screen printers in Wales. My role was to throw old signs in the skip and save the perfect ones. Instead, I noticed that the signs were in a whole range of conditions, so spent my time categorising them and recycling the various usable parts. I saved the firm thousands. The job taught me the importance of considering strategy and knowing when to take action.
Who was your top teenage pin-up?
I was never allowed to have a favourite pin-up. My mother would never have let me have posters on my walls.
My colleagues won't know this about me but...
There are no secrets; everyone at UKFast knows everything about me.
What is your favourite snack?
Gluten - and dairy-free Cherry Bakewells.
What has been your career high point to date?
The whole journey is a rush, but I have still not achieved my high point... yet.
Has 2013 been good, bad or ugly?
It has been an awesome year.
What do you say when asked at a party what you do for a living?
I usually tell them that we build datacentres but we do so much more than that.
If I wasn't working in the channel I would probably be...
What will be the channel's biggest challenge in 2014?
Everyone coming to terms with us taking the place by storm.
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