The judging panel

Colm O’Neill (chair)

Colm O'NeillColm is the Managing Director of the Major & Public Sector unit which sits within the Business & Public Sector division in BT. Reporting to the CEO of Business and Public Sector, he is responsible for a team of 3,500 that serves BT’s largest private sector customers whose business is mainly in the UK and all of BT’s UK Government and public sector customers. In addition, his team also runs the successful BT business in Ireland, headquartered in both Dublin and Belfast, covering the public and private sectors and network operations across the island.

Colm joined BT in 2009 firstly as managing director of the Ireland business sales division, then became Chief Executive of BT Ireland, a post he held for four years. In 2015, Colm was appointed the managing director of a new division which incorporated the Ireland business and BT’s mid-size corporate customers in the UK.

Before joining BT, Colm worked in EMC for nine years and held a number of senior management positions across the UK and Ireland.

He is passionate about the importance of the STEM agenda in education and is a member of the BT Young Scientist Board which runs one of the longest standing science and technology exhibitions of its kind in the world. Colm is also a past member of the Business in the Community Board in Northern Ireland and a past chair of the Telecommunications & Internet Federation (TIF) which is the representative body for leading industry and associated interest groups in the field of electronic communications in the Republic of Ireland.

Colm graduated from University College Dublin (UCD) with an Honours degree in Computer Science and Maths and a Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance, and also holds a Diploma in Professional Selling from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). He is married to Caoimhe and they have two teenage daughters.

Tim Whitley

Tim WhitleyProfessor Timothy Whitley is a BT Distinguished Engineer and serves as MD Research and Innovation for BT and MD of BT’s R&D Campus ‘Adastral Park’ in Suffolk, England. He is accountable for all aspects of BT’s Global Research and Innovation activities, which includes applied research, technology scouting and partnerships with world leading universities.

From 2007 to 2011 he was BT Group Strategy Director. Tim holds a BSc in Physics, a PhD in Optical Fibre Systems, is a Policy Fellow with the Centre for Science & Policy, University of Cambridge, England and is a Board member for the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. Tim is BT visiting Professor with the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at the University of Essex.

He is also the BT senior manager on the Equality of Access Board (EAB), the independent body established in 2006 to verify that BT is adhering to the regulatory undertakings established around the creation of Openreach.

In December 2016, Professor Whitley was appointed as a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) by the UK Government.

Anthony Boyle

Tony BoyleAnthony Boyle was born in Blackburn, West Lothian, studied mathematics at Glasgow University and joined the RAF in 1982. He enjoyed a series of HM funded visits to mysterious locations from the Falkland Islands to Afghanistan, worked in Berlin during the fall of the Berlin Wall, and completed multiple General Staff appointments from Whitehall to the Pentagon - he is remembered for captaining the Pentagon “soccer” team and running some of the most raucous Burns Suppers witnessed on the other side of the Atlantic. In 2011, he completed 30 years’ service in the RAF as Head of Capability for Networks, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, responsible for shaping Defence strategy and programming a £25Bn budget.

Anthony joined BT Global Services in 2013 as Strategy Director for Defence and Security, and extended that role in 2014 to embrace the wider Global Government & Health market comprising Local and Central Government, Defence and Health. More recently in 2016, he took on a new role as Business Development and Senior Engagement Director in BT Central, Defence and Police.

Ian Caveney

Ian CaveneyIan passionately believes that for any brand to be successful in the long term, they must have a clear ‘Purpose’ that can drive commercial success, whilst simultaneously delivering environmental and societal benefits.

That’s why in 2015, he entered the ‘World of Corporate and Social Responsibility’ and has never looked back. Today Ian is responsible for developing BT’s portfolio of products and services that not only support the socially disadvantaged, but wider society as a whole. A key focus is to align BT with the UK’s Digital Inclusion agenda, where it is ideally placed to deliver positive outcomes.

He joined BT from EE in April 2016 where he was responsible for developing and managing their Corporate and Social Responsibility strategy and key initiatives like EE Techy Tea Parties. Prior to this Ian has worked in various brand strategy and advertising roles, being a key member of the team that launched the EE brand in 2012, and also delivering award winning advertising campaigns for major brands like T-Mobile and Canon.

General Sir Chris Deverell
Commander, Joint Forces Command, MOD

General Sir Chris DeverellGeneral Sir Chris Deverell was commissioned into the Second Royal Tank Regiment in 1979. After graduating from Oxford University with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, he saw regimental service in Northern Ireland, Germany, Belize and Cyprus. He commanded the Joint Nuclear Biological and Chemical Regiment (First Royal Tank Regiment) at RAF Honington in Suffolk, and 4th Armoured Brigade in Iraq and Germany.

General Deverell has served four appointments in the Head Office of the Ministry of Defence: in Land Systems Operational Requirements, in Army Plans, as Assistant Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence, and as Director of Equipment Capability (Ground Manoeuvre). His operational appointments include Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Land Operations in the Permanent Joint Headquarters, Chief of Staff to the Senior British Military Advisor at US Central Command during the build-up to and invasion of Iraq, and Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff (Operations/Commitments) in Headquarters Land Forces.

On promotion to Major General in December 2008, he became Director General Logistics Support and Equipment in Headquarters Land Forces, before moving to Defence Equipment and Support in March 2011 as Director Materiel Strategy. In July 2012 he was appointed Chief of Materiel (Land) and Quartermaster General. Upon promotion to General in April 2016 he assumed Command of Joint Forces Command.

He is married to Alex and has two sons.

Alison Pritchard   
Chief Operating Officer, Government Digital Service

Alison PritchardAlison Pritchard began her Civil Service career in 1987 working on overseas Defence Policy and has enjoyed a varied and interesting range of roles, including leading the independent review of royal family and ministerial air travel and spending five years in Saudi Arabia with a UK defence programme. She has worked across a broad range of Departments including the Ministry of Defence, Treasury, Cabinet Office, Home Office and more recently the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, where she had responsibility for Gambling and the National Lottery and was Director of the Government Equalities Office until April 2016. Alison also has experience outside Government as Head of Operations for an IT engineering business and on secondment to the third sector as Director of Programmes for a multi-faith research body supporting counter-radicalisation. Following a period as Director of Transformation at the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Alison is now the Chief Operating Office at the Government Digital Service.

Kathy Quashie

Kathy QuashieKathy worked for Carphone Warehouse and later TalkTalk Group. She joined the business as Head of Group Revenue Assurance and was promoted on a number of occasions to leadership roles in business operations, finance, strategy, customer experience and M&A.

Kathy’s M&A involvement covered AOL and Tiscali acquisitions, she also led on a price reduction of over £20m in the Tiscali acquisition deal valued at £236m. Kathy was also recognised externally in 2009 in the Global Telecoms Forty under Forty top executives to watch in her role as AOL Operations Director.

Earlier in her career she also worked for T-Mobile as a consultant, BT as a product performance manager and The Royal Bank as portfolio head manager.

Kathy joined BT in 2010 as Revenue Assurance Director then CEO of BT Expedite.

She was appointed to her current role in April 2016 as Major Corporate Director. This role has p&l responsibility for a portfolio of large corporate customers in the UK and the standalone Expedite business .There are c350 customers in 16/17 with c£640m Revenue and c£200m EBITDA. She also led on the turnaround and then divestment of the Expedite Business which sold for £46.8m c8.9 times multiplier.

Kathy holds a MBA from Heriot Watt University Edinburgh, also CIMA (PQ) as well as a Lean 6 Sigma Black Belt.

Elizabeth Varley
CEO TechHub

Elizabeth VarleyElizabeth is involved in the digital and content sectors. Previously, Elizabeth set up Online Content UK as an organisation for online content professionals running an industry-focused community & regular events. She has also worked with NMK & Chinwag to programme and produce digital industry events & training covering search and recommendation, mobile and location-based services, SEO/SEM, games, web writing, marketing to 50+ and older consumers, future of media, magazines, radio, TV and newspapers. Elizabeth is committed to supporting the wider industry and was one of the founding steering committee members of the DigitalEve women in technology organisation in the UK.


Simon Bourne   
Group CIO, The Co-operative Group

Simon BourneSimon is an experienced IT leader with a strong track record in both IT delivery and operations.

Simon gained a first class degree in Mathematics from Cambridge University, before starting his career at Accenture in 1991 where he took lead delivery roles on critical integration programmes for UK financial services clients including Barclays, CSFB and M&S Financial Services.

He then spent three years in IT leadership roles at business process outsourcer Vertex, before joining HBOS Retail Bank in 2003. At HBOS Simon led strong IT performance as a senior member of the IT leadership team, which culminated in him taking overall leadership of the 1300-strong department prior to integration into Lloyds Banking Group IT in 2009. At LBG, Simon held executive accountability for application development and maintenance of all Lloyds and HBOS core banking platforms, whilst also leading the application work-stream of the successful IT integration between the two banks. This culminated in the successful big bang migration of 30 million accounts over a single weekend in September 2011.

Simon joined the Co-op in August 2012. He became interim CIO in June 2014 and was appointed to the role permanently in February 2015. Simon has led a transformation of IT at the Co-op, driving improved IT performance within a business-aligned Target Operating Model. IT service and security are performing strongly, and multiple IT transformation programmes have delivered new technology platforms that are enabling the rebuild of the Co-op.