Technology trade association techUK has elected Sheila Flavell CBE as its president as Jacqueline de Rojas steps down following seven years in the role. 

Flavell is chief operating officer for FDM Group and currently serves as techUK’s deputy president.

Dr Nicola Hodson, vice president for global sales and marketing transformation at Microsoft, has been appointed as the new deputy president. 

The pair were elected by the techUK board having put themselves forward with their vision for the organisation.

De Rojas has led techUK through a period of growth as it now counts over 900 members which employ around 800,000 people in the UK technology industry.

Flavell has over 30 years of experience in the technology industry, across both the public and private IT sectors. She is fully committed to promoting all forms of diversity and spearheads FDM’s ‘Women in IT’ campaign and FDM’s ‘Getting Back to Business‘ programme, aimed at providing opportunities for women looking to return to the workplace. 

She was awarded a CBE and recognised in the New Year’s Honours list in 2020 for her services to gender equality in IT and the employment of graduates and returners.

“I have served as a techUK board member for over six years, including one year as deputy president, so I am thrilled to be the newly elected president,” said Flavell.

“As the COO and board director of a FTSE 250 company that I have always been a key member of, I fully understand the challenges of building,  managing, mentoring and expanding a technology business, and I will perform the role of techUK president to the very best of my ability as the organisation continues to expand and grow alongside the UK tech industry.”

OnBuy appoints AO’s marketing director

Dr Hodson is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in the technology industry, having worked at Microsoft for the past 13 years.

“One of the key challenges our economy is facing is the availability of skills and techUK is pivotal in supporting all organisations to educate, access, develop and retain the best talent,” she said. 

“I have been a member of the techUK board for a number of years and a supporter of its aims and objectives to make the UK a great place for tech, so it is an honour to be taking over the deputy president role. 

“Additionally, as new platforms and services create opportunities for economic growth, and as AI becomes more critical, it is also essential to ensure the safety, privacy and security of individuals and organisations online. 

“I look forward to working alongside techUK, its members and government to make this one of my key priorities.”

CEO Julian David, who has transformed techUK since taking over in 2015, told our sister publication TechBlast recently that the UK must transform itself into a hi-tech economy.

“We are excited to welcome Sheila Flavell and Nicola Hodson as our newly elected president and deputy president,” he said of the appointments. 

“Their visions for equality and diversity in the technology industry are ones we deeply value at techUK, and we look forward to working together to continue pushing our efforts and build a better future for society, the economy, and the planet.

“I would like to pay tribute to the stellar job Jacqueline has done for techUK over her past seven years as President. Jacqueline has been instrumental in helping us to become the successful and important organisation that we are today and we are grateful for the time and efforts she has devoted to techUK.”

Why technology needs to be inclusive for all