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The Panel


Jonathan McKay

Jonathan McKay is an industry veteran with over 30 years of international experience. He is currently Chairman of Just Giving, Cambridge Broadband, Forward Partners, La Fosse Associates, Driftrock and ISG Technology

In addition Jonathan is an LP in 5 VC funds, on the advisory board of a Chinese VC fund and active early stage EIS investor. He has been directly involved in 7 exits that have returned over $2.0bn to investors.

Earlier in his career McKay was Vice President and General Manager of Sun Microsystems' Tools and Integration business unit. He joined Sun as a result of the company's $700 million acquisition of Forte, where he held the role of COO and CMO and was responsible for driving product and market strategy from the corporate HQ in San Francisco. 

Jonathan McKay is 61 years old and married with two children. He is a keen yachtsman, skier and cyclist.


Trevor Didcock

Trevor is a highly experienced CIO and Board member in both quoted and private companies and from 1999 to 2015 led the IT functions at easyJet, Homeserve, The AA and the RAC through periods of substantial transformation, in each case being part of an executive board that averaged double digit percentage annual profit growth. His earlier career was in large US multinationals, Mars, J P Morgan and Esso.

He has led high profile and diverse business and IT/Digital transformation programmes and has substantial experience of acquisitions and disposals, integration activities and turnarounds / restructuring. At easyJet he led the Turn Europe Orange business transformation programme, helping to quadruple profits and take easyJet from c140 in the FTSE to c60. At the AA under private equity ownership the work to separate the AA from Centrica post sale and his leadership of major systems modernisation helped triple profits and achieve a highly successful exit.

He was voted CIO Magazine UK #1 CIO in 2012 and was in the top 10 in 2013 and 2014. He was a member of the UK Tech50 in 2014, regularly in the Silicon 50 and was shortlisted for C-Net CIO of the Year and Computing IT Department of the Year in 2007. He has an MBA, a Marketing Diploma and an Engineering degree and believes in creating teams with diverse backgrounds, both internally and through third party sourcing strategies rather than recruiting / contracting against rigid blueprints.

He now provides advisory services to high growth, high energy companies in sectors ranging from technology, consulting and aviation services to insurance and the third sector; acts as mentor and coach in organisations from £60m turnover to $48bn; and holds non-executive roles in Affinity Water, Futurice and the CAA.


Amanda St Levans Jobbins

Amanda St Levans Jobbins is an industry renowned CMO in the technology industry having worked for many years in leadership positions in the Silicon Valley, Asia and Europe for amongst others Symantec, IBM and Cisco. She  is currently the VP of Digital Demand Generation, Business Development and Marketing for Oracle in EMEA and APAC.  Amanda is an oft requested speaker on business issues, technology trends and marketing leadership and has keynoted at the London Business School, the Economist forums and the Web Summit Digital stage amongst many others.  She has a Business & German degree from Hull University, England and is an advisor to many start ups in the UK Tech City community. Amanda lives in London with her husband and son & in her free time enjoys film, outdoor pursuits and the arts.


Simon Francis


Simon has extensive experience of marketing transformation through integrated and effective marketing and communications. He has run Creative, Media, Digital & Digital Media, Branded Content, Econometric & Poster buying companies, having been CEO, EMEA for Saatchi & Saatchi, and Aegis Media, MD EMEA for OMD. He has also held senior positions at Leo Burnett, MindShare and ZenithOptimedia.

Simon has enjoyed working towards transforming a number of World Class companies and brands such as Diageo, Carlsberg, Heineken, Adidas, Nike, Sony Electronics, Mobile, Music & Pictures, IBM, Apple, HSBC, Toyota, Kia, PSA, Bridgestone, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Sara Lee, Beiersdorf, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever, P&G, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Emirates to name a few. He has won IPA Effectiveness Awards as well as Cannes Lions, M&M Global, Media Week and Campaign Creative and Media Awards for clients such as Nike, Sony and Sony Pictures etc. Whilst in charge of the creative offering at OMD, the agency won most awarded network of the year for five straight years at Cannes, was either M&M Global or Campaign Network of the year for each of the five years, and whilst at Saatchi & Saatchi the agency became the first and only agency ever awarded in every single award category from Titanium & Integrated, through to Promotions, PR and Media. When he is not helping clients Simon can be found fishing, shooting or ferrying his two young daughters around the West Sussex countryside.

Sean Cornwell

Sean Cornwell is an entrepreneurial leader, MD and Non-Exec and CEO at Direct Ferries, backed by Living Bridge PE. He is also a Venture Partner at MMC Ventures in London and has in the past sat on the boards of LoveHomeSwap, the online home exchange service, and, an online jewelry and accessories marketplace which was sold. Previously he was Chief Digital Officer at Travelex, the UK-based leading foreign exchange specialist where he led the business and digital transformation of the Group.  

In past lives, Sean has also been: Chief Operating Officer at Shutl, the same day e-commerce delivery platform, which was acquired by eBay in November 2013; International Managing Director for online dating company, eHarmony - and also spent eight months (June 2010 - Feb 2011) as Head of the company's North American business. Group Product Marketing Head, EMEA, at Google where he led product marketing for monetization products across Europe; Founder and CEO of DM Europe, a B2B technology news provider that harnessed the power of volunteer writers from across the world. 


Susanne Given


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Susanne has served Shareholders’ interests in a number of UK public and private companies in senior management positions. She brings more than 20 years’ experience in the retail industry, most recently at SuperGroup Plc where she was Chief Operating Officer for over three years from April 2012.

Previously, Susanne was Director of Fashion and Beauty at John Lewis Department Store Group, held senior positions at T.K. Maxx (UK Ireland) from 2005 until 2010, latterly as Managing Director, and was General Merchandise Director at Harrods Ltd.

Susanne is currently Chairman of, Push Doctor Ltd. and Outfittery Gmbh, all consumer facing online, digital businesses, and a Non Executive Director of Eurostar International Limited, Tritax BB REIT Plc and the Middle Eastern Luxury group Al Tayer.

She is also an adviser to the Danish Embassy in the UK on their Invest in Denmark project.

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