Kelly Simkiss

CEO, Cybit Group

Doug Woodburn
clock • 2 min read
Kelly Simkiss

What has been your business highlight of 2022?

Rebranding our three businesses: Perfect Image, Cyphra and Technique to Cybit and the holding company Pixel Group to Cybit Group. Although I knew a rebrand was needed when I joined just over 12 months ago, I hadn't anticipated how difficult it would be to choose a new name and brand and ensure that the heritage of the amazing businesses was retained while portraying our exciting future together as a single business. It's been a lot of hard work, but I'm really proud of what we've achieved and so are our colleagues and customers.

If you were ruler of your own country, what law would you introduce first?

Silly answer: only good wine allowed! Serious answer: abolish homelessness and ensure that no one is living in poverty.

Which channel or tech leader (outside of your own company) has impressed you most in 2022?

This is probably more a 2021 answer but Paul Shannon at ANS bringing in PE and then taking on UKFast into the ANS Group was very impressive!

If you had a warning label, what would it say?

"Must contain Coke Zero!"

What was your first job?

A babysitter on a Saturday night each week when I was 13 to 14 and then a shop assistant in a newsagents on a Saturday afternoon (after dancing) and Sunday morning when I was 15… I remember being frustrated that I had to wait a whole year to be allowed to operate the lottery machine!

What was the last book you read, and was it any good?

The Familiars by Stacey Hall and it's honestly one of my favourite books ever (and I'm a book worm so that is saying something!). My chief sales officer loaned me The Mayflies by Andrew O'Hagan too, which I read just before The Familiars and I loved that also, so my next book has a lot to live up to if anyone has any recommendations… 

What's the most important lesson you've learned from another business leader or mentor?

I had some amazing business leaders and mentors early on in my career (graduate scheme at United Utilities rather than the newsagent) who taught me the importance of being myself while being a leader. At that stage it would have been too easy for me to try and emulate one of them, or ‘become a leader' in terms of what I thought a good leader should have looked like (which probably wasn't a northern, dyslexic girl) but they taught me the importance of authenticity in leadership and I think it's been the most critical lesson to my leadership career.

Who would play you in a movie of your life?

I used to get told I looked like Charlotte Church (when we were both younger) I think she's an actress as well as singer now so probably her!

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