Group managing director, Exertis UK, Ireland & MEA
Which tech figurehead do you admire the most?
Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, which became the world's largest PC software company. He founded "The Giving Pledge" and will leave half of his wealth to charity.
What's the biggest challenge facing the industry no-one is talking about yet?
I think the biggest challenge the industry is facing is attracting new dynamic talent that sees mainstream IT as a way to them building their fortunes. Generally, I feel the average age of the distribution/reseller community is ageing and the hunger for commissions that will drive the industry in the early days is not quite the same.
If you could invite three famous people to dinner, who would they be?
Rosa Parks, activist in the civil rights movement who would not stand to give a white person her seat on a bus. Her famous quote: "I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear"; Neil Armstrong, astronaut and the first person to walk on the moon who spoke the famous words: "That's one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind"; and Marilyn Monroe, a famous actress and model. All Marilyn ever wanted was to be herself, to be allowed the freedom to be more than just the blonde bombshell.
How has 2017 been for you?
2017 has been a good year. We've brought Hammer, Medium and MTR and TOS in Ireland into the Exertis fold. A huge highlight of the year was our "Plug into Exertis" event at Twickenham in April attended by 950 resellers. We've moved into a new office in Technology House and opened our new warehouse at Burnley, upgraded our Harlow offices to accommodate the Computers Unlimited Team from Harlow and significantly expanded our offices and presence in the UAE.
Personally, I enjoyed a great trip to New Zealand for the Lions Tour, with 10 mates, and seeing the Lions win at Wellington was a huge highlight.
What's the most extravagant business lunch you've ever had?
Having worked in distribution for the last 20 years in Crewe, Basingstoke and Burnley, extravagant lunches are few and far between. However, I've always enjoyed the Acer and Samsung Christmas events, times when I always block out the afternoon or the following mornings.
Which global city best matches your personality?
I love Dublin, London and Manchester where I've lived over the years, but closest to my heart is Sydney where I lived for eight years. Blue sky, proximity to the sea, great food, a party city that is always optimistic.
What would be your super-hero power?
Time travel; both backwards and forwards in time. Imagine going back in time to see your favourite band play in their heyday. Better yet, preventing your rival from being born, acquiring future technology, or getting winning Lottery numbers. Time travel is one of the greatest fantasies of all, opening the entire span of world history as your playground.
Complete this sentence. The worst thing about our rivals is… that they are all very good at what they do.
What makes you nervous?
Every year on holiday in France I go with my two boys to Les Gorges D'Heric, where they jump off rock ledges 40ft down into the rock pools. Every year I bottle it and go down to the 20ft ledge. They are really not impressed by me.
If you could eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Thai curries; green or red.
Sum up the channel in three words
Never, ever dull.
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