Cloud technology has empowered companies across sectors to digitally transform their operations. 

It has also led to an exponential growth in innovation.  

However, none of this would be possible without the vision of individuals responsible for driving forward change. 

Following the publication of a report from Contino and Tech London Advocates, here are 16 digital transformation champions in the UK. 

Debra Bailey 

Chief Information OfficerO2 

Debra joined O2 in March 2019, mid-way through a complex digital transformation that involved completely replacing the core tech stack and platforms while rolling out a new 5G network. 

Her influence has seen O2 bring IT and the business closer together; ensuring that business strategies are informed by technologists and that technology choices are always driven by business outcomes. 

Jon Braithwaite 

Chief Information Officer, UK & IrelandCompass Group 

Jon joined Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services firm, in October 2019 to lead the UK&I business’ digital transformation. 

His approach is to be open and outward-looking, drawing widely on his experience, customer feedback and engagement with peers (both inside and outside of Compass). Supported by his team and business partners, he developed a comprehensive cloud- and data-led strategy that enabled swift and effective action, leading to great results. 

Shakeel Butt 

Chief Technology OfficerGreen Flag 

Shakeel was brought on in 2018 to lead a complete front-to-back transformation of Green Flag, an insurance-based roadside assistance company. 

His approach is very deliberate and decisive, opting for a single cloud vendor and using 90% cloud-native services to accelerate the transformation and maintain simplicity.  

Matt Davis 

Head of Cloud EngineeringLloyds Banking Group 

Matt joined Lloyds Banking Group in 2017, originally helping to establish its Open Banking platform, before using his cloud expertise to champion cloud-native approaches in the bank. 

Much of Matt’s work involves proving the power of cloud-native platforms in an environment that faces a lot of regulatory scrutiny.  

Fiona Deans 

Director GeneralGovernment Digital Service 

Fiona joined the Government Digital Service (GDS) in 2018 as Chief Operating Officer, before becoming interim Director General in October 2020 until February 2021, mid COVID-19 pandemic and at the end of the UK’s transition out of the EU. 

Her goal is to make government services more accessible for citizens and help to increase their trust in the government at this critical time: looking after their data and putting the information and digital tools they need at their fingertips.  

Gary Delooze 

Chief Information OfficerNationwide Building Society 

Gary joined Nationwide in 2017 to help rebuild the Building Society’s technology capability, break their dependence on third parties and to build the next generation of digital platforms for its members. 

He creates change by, above all, listening. He spends time with colleagues in order to learn about what works and what doesn’t on the ground and ensures that technology teams put the Society’s members at the heart of everything they do. 

Craig Donald 

Chief Information Officer, the Football Association 

Craig joined the Football Association (FA), the governing body for football in England, in mid-2018 to champion a pioneering program of digital engagement and transformation. 

His success has not just been in terms of integrating legacy systems and moving towards more iterative development, but helping people in the FA and in clubs across the country understand what technology can bring to football.  

Neil Drennan 

Chief Technology Officer10x Future Technologies 

Neil joined 10x Future Technologies (10x) in early 2018 to help them transform how banks are designed and built. He brought with him years of experience building large-scale cloud platforms at the likes of Amazon, Sky and the BBC. 

His approach is hyper-focused on future resilience and fault tolerance. He designs first for these critical non-functional aspects, as this ensures that any services and features that come after will rest on rock-solid foundations. 

Matthew Griffin 

Head of Commercial TelecommunicationsTransport for London 

Matthew’s talent lies in the ability to slowly, but surely, edge mammoth projects forward in the midst of an enormous, complex network of demanding stakeholders: from the growing throng of Londoners to major mobile operators and key government departments. 

Over 12 years at Transport for London (TfL), his approach has developed to become necessarily people-focused: being open and honest to create a genuinely shared interest on all sides and moving forward on the basis of aligned incentives and objectives.  

Geoffrey Horrell 

Head of London office, Refinitiv Labs 

Geoffrey stands at the point where the cutting edge of data science meets the customer experience obsession of modern software development. 

He runs the London office of Refinitiv Labs, a data science outfit that seeks to transform the future of financial services with machine learning and artificial intelligence.  

Anne Marie Neatham 

Partnerships DirectorOcado 

Over twenty years at Ocado, Anne Marie has seen the company transform into a sophisticated technology outfit and now manages their technical partnerships and investments in growth areas such as vertical farming and robotics. 

A unique feature of her approach is an emphasis on taking calculated risks. Without taking risks to create giant leaps in capability—even when the going is good—you limit your ambition and set yourself up for failure in the long term.  

Anant Patel 

Head of Market RiskInvestec 

Anant was a founding member of the UK Principal Finance business at Investec Bank Plc and has spent 15 years shifting the company from the legacy, the siloed, the fragmented, towards the modern, the connected, the integrated. 

An early pioneer of large-scale data analytics at the time of the financial crisis, he has always been cognisant of the drivers of transformation. Today, challenger banks and customer expectations are rising, in his words, “very, very rapidly” and the only question is: “how quickly can you transition?” 

Suren Siva 

Director – Strategy and InnovationCredit Suisse 

Suren joined Credit Suisse ten years ago, spending the first five years as a COO on the trading floor before assuming his current role as Director for Strategy and Innovation, searching out what he calls the “sweet spots for digital disruption”: identifying opportunities across the business that are most ripe for transformation. 

Where his approach is unique is in his championing of industry collaboration. He has actively developed relationships with his peers to turn transformation into a wider industry conversation. 

Kathryn Tingle 

Senior Technical Programme ManagerSainsbury’s 

Kathryn joined Sainsbury’s from Deloitte in 2016 to lead a series of transformation programs, notably digitally integrating the company’s clothing and cosmetic beauty verticals into Argos after its acquisition, enabling new multi-million-pound revenue streams. 

Promoted to the technology leadership team at the end of 2020, she brings along her unwavering focus on business and customer value and ensures the route towards it is as agile and efficient as possible. 

Paul Whyte 

Managing DirectorBest Food Logistics 

Paul, a business turnaround specialist, was hired in 2017 by the parent company of Best Food Logistics to transform its market position and commercial performance. 

His focus was on shifting the company’s culture from cutting costs to utilising technology and big data that would deliver value for customers and differentiate the company. 

Chris Zissis 

Global Chief Information & Technology Officer – Capital Markets and Valuation AdvisoryJLL 

Over the last three years in the capital markets business of JLL, a global commercial real estate firm, Chris has steered a transformation truly worthy of the word. 

He balances two qualities that are rarely found together in the technology transformation space: the ability to precisely strategise within a complex global business and the willingness to pivot and change the roadmap to make big bets for the future.