A C-Level executive with a proven track record of transformative commercial and organisational growth. A former UK Plc CEO with a legacy of delivering rapid top and bottom line impacts in multiple industries from Telecoms to SaaS Startups. Extensive fundraising, IPO and M&A experience. Brings relentless passion, enthusiasm and energy to every challenge and has a habit of overachievement. Vast international experience through various roles in multiple industries. Holder of a global top 20 MBA and a passionate advocate of empowering youth entrepreneurship.
Chief Commercial Officer – Canar Telecom July 2017 – Nov 2019
Canar is Sudan’s largest fixed line telecom operator. Launched in 2005 as part of Etisalat Group, it has become the
leading Wholesale and Corporate fixed line solution offering fiber, wireless, VSat and telephony services. Tasked by the owners (Bank of Khartoum / Dubai Islamic Bank) to transform the commercial function, drive a higher EBITDA, create a sales and growth led company culture, shift the operating revenue mix from wholesale to corporate and retail and prepare the organisation financially for an IPO. Despite having no previous telecoms experience, achieved dramatic results in a short period of time:
● Increased sales to new customers by 318% generating an incremental sdg42mn in annualised revenue
● Reduced commercial Opex by 7%
● Increased revenue from existing corporate customers by 67%
● Trained and coached sales team, and improved revenue generated / sales person by 92%
● Opened 4 new sales centers, and increased retail sales by 346%
● Introduced partnership and reseller agreements, virtualizing part of the sales function and generating an
incremental sdg26mn annually
● Launched Africa’s first TDD LTE network in 6 cities
● Launched Sudan’s first premium internet service dedicated to high end users, villas and apartment blocks
● Improved online social sentiment by 96% and unprompted brand recognition by 36%
● Launched a new website and a suite of digital customer acquisition and service tools improving NPS by 82% giving
the highest NPS score of all telecom providers in Sudan
CEO – Forbidden Technologies (BlackBird) plc May 2014 – Mar 2017
Forbidden Technologies plc (now BlackBird plc) is a UK based SaaS business delivering media solutions to B2B and B2C customers. Initially the company was exclusively focused on B2B sales through its cloud video platform Forscene.
Transformed the business into a B2B and B2C business with the introduction of 2 new consumer products: eva, a video social network for iOS and Android and Captevate, voted the world’s simplest video editing solution. Led the company from 6 years negative growth rates to consistent high growth. Attracted more than 2,000 new clients including the BBC, NBC, Madison Square Garden, Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera and beIn Sports. Nominated for CEO of the year 2016. Promoted from Marketing & Managing Director.
● Delivered quarterly growth rates of 3%, 25%, 69% and 112% following 4 years of negative growth
● Initiated and delivered company strategic review leading to company restructure and shift in market positioning
● Hired an entirely new board and executive team to lead strategic change
● Initiated and lead 2 fund raising rounds delivering £4mn of new investment through share issues, bringing in new
● Restructured organisation reducing headcount 33%, fixed costs 42% and operating costs by 72% annually
● Initiated and lead sales of multi year agreements with UEFA, FIFA, NBC, BBC, The European Tour.
● Designed and implemented sales structure and process reducing lead to sale time from 15 months to 6 weeks
● Designed and implemented marketing strategy delivering costs per acquisition of <£500 with average revenue per
customer exceeding £50,000 annually
● Launch consumer arm of organization capitalizing on growth sectors, reducing revenue risks and creating portfolio
● Conceived, designed, branded and launched eva, consumer B2C proposition. Reached 20mn consumers in the first
year, and achieved a 1mn monthly active user rate within 9 months
● Sold eva’s unique video proposition to Ogilvy for use with multiple brands including Volvo and Ford.
● Conceived, designed, branded and launched Captevate, generating new B2C revenues in excess of £0.7mn annually.
● Sold Captevate to the BBC, NBA and NFL
Managing Director – Pegasus Digital May 2013 – May 2014
Working on the management team of this market leading Health Communications Agency to build their full service
digital offering. Working with clients such as Holland & Barrett, Harley Medical Group, Pfizer, Bio-Oil and Novo Nordisk, to strategize, sell and deliver full digital strategies. Built and owned a team of designers, developers and animators as well as a range of suppliers and partners. Tasked with building a £500k contribution in 12 months and £2m within 24 months.
● From zero built a £1.2m run rate digital consulting business in 9 months
● Created and sold packages across the entire digital marketing sphere from SEO, Paid Acquisition, Native Apps,
Websites, and Trade show interactive stands
● Building worlds first glucose & gluten menu analyser in conjunction with high street restaurants such as Nandos,
McDonalds and Pizza Express
● Built a white label training platform with integrated testing solutions for use across pharmaceutical and medical
Director – PhotoBox Ltd May 2011 – May 2013
Various roles at the VC backed £100m photo merchandising company including Managing Director, Global Product
Marketing Director and Managing Director Australia.
Managing Director – Incubator
Created the PhotoBox incubator, tasked with acquiring and building independent innovation based business units with positive EBIT contribution within 15 months. Led the acquisition of 3 business and launch of 5 new strategic business units.
● Launched first iteration consumer app currently achieving 7 figure annual revenues
● Acquired 3 business for total cost of £23mn and added £12mn to P&L annually with average growth rates of 43%
● Granted £10m capex from investors for new venture with positive 3 year NPV Managing Director Australia
As part of PhotoBox’s international expansion lead the team that launched in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
● Launched PhotoBox in Australia on time and on budget including website, consumer facing app, and m. site
● Created strategic competitive advantage through innovative supplier sourcing leading to ability to undercut
competitors by 25% whilst maintaining 60% gross margins
● Acquired 200k new customers in 4 months through PPC, Groupon, Living Social, news paper deals, PR and other
● Built the business to $4m run rate within 6 months Global Product Marketing Director Owned the physical, web and mobile product strategies for all geographies.
● Launched physical products generating an incremental £1.2m annual revenue
● Increased design and usability team capacity by 48%
● Drove AOV by 3% by introducing a range on ancillaries and associated cross sell journeys
● Introduced and developed predictive analytic capabilities using linear regression to identify conversion
● Conducted brand survey and identified key brand metrics of Brand Familiarity, Advantage and Penetration
● Developed customer segmentation methodologies to improve NPD positioning, targeting
● Introduced behavioural targeting products for Paid, Natural, SEO, CRM and Social traffic improving conversion by up to 15% Interim Corporate Product Management Strategy Director Owned the internal development and marketing teams as well as the partner development agencies
● Completely remodelled the product department, shifting from a service centre to a centre of market and product
excellence in 9 months
● Significantly improved internal customer satisfaction scores with central department
● Improved customer satisfaction of 2 lowest performing web products: upload and book creation studio by 12% and
● Introduced NPV centred roadmap prioritisation methodology
● Evolved post implementation project and product success analysis
● Completely changed AB testing methodology to focus on statistical significance and high confidence intervals
Director of Marketing & Product Management – Skills Market Aug 2010 – May 2011
Working as a board member of this VC backed SaaS start-up, managing the marketing strategy and SME sales pipeline.
Had direct reports of project managers, product managers and marketing managers.
● Improved sales conversion by 200% through market segmentation and product positioning processes
● Successfully sold to SME clients in the recruitment space
● Moved EBITDA from -50K to +122k in 3 quarters
● Improved sign up conversion by 26% using multivariate testing
● Improved usage by 15% in 6 months
● Introduced prototyping reducing development costs by 15%
● Initiated and managed a business change project reducing outsourced costs by 50% (from £900k to £450k)
Head of Global Product Marketing – Reed Business Information Jan 2008 – Aug 2010
Working in senior management as part of a FTSE 100. Managing an international team of product marketers in UK,
Netherlands and USA. Managing global ecommerce and content delivery platforms including RBI Jobs Sites, RBI
Classifieds sites, RBI Commercial Property Sites, Global CMS and Global Access, Entitlement and Identity. Delivering
global products to a geographically and professionally dispersed group of stakeholders in a complex matrix environment,
through extensive negotiation and cross-cultural influencing skills.
● Increased conversion on RBI commercial property sites by 12%, increasing revenue by £7m
● Delivered 25% increase in conversion on jobs platform, resulting in £5m /yr new revenue
● Delivered enterprise classifieds platform with an £3.2m
● Delivered 300% increase in response from email marketing campaigns
● Created the product management framework used by RBI globally
● Devised first Global Product Strategy
Senior Product Marketing Manager – lastminute.com Dec 2006 – Aug 2008
Reporting to the Vice President Global Marketing, manage a team of business analysts, project managers, and technical developers. Owned the cars product within Sabre’s Portfolio globally. Devised and delivered roadmap delivering
incremental £32m globally. (Promoted from Product Marketing Manager May 2008)
● Delivered products designed specifically for previously untapped market segments delivering an incremental £12m
● Led a technical team to consolidate existing technical platforms from 3 to 1 saving £8.5m annually
● Increased car sales on lastminute.com and Travelocity by 30% (in the UK), 70% (in Italy) and 15% (in Spain) by
creating positioning strategies tailored to each market
Group Commercial Manager – lastminute.com – Holiday AutosJan 2005 – Jan 2007
Managed 50 suppliers in 25 countries, holding a total spend of £50m per year, and generating rebates £2.5m. Act as a
business troubleshooter, working with underperforming international sales offices to analyse performance and deliver
against action plans.
● Negotiated cost reductions of 6.5% across 50 contracts in 30 countries
● Worked with McKinsey team to remodel international supply network reducing suppliers globally by 10%, costs by
3.5% and increasing rebate revenues by £1.3m
● Led P&L recovery project in Nordics sales office, turning a £500k deficit into a £30k profit in 6 months
● Developed world’s first broker car hire solutions in India and China
Marketing Manager – Holiday Autos Dubai Jan 2003 – Jan 2005
Holiday Autos is the world’s largest car rental broker, with 20 international sales offices. The Dubai office is a joint
Venture with Sabre Holdings (Travelocity.com, Lastminute.com, Zuji.com) and is market leader with $14m revenue.
Developed B2B and B2C channels through online and offline marketing and was the sales representative to key partners such as Emirates Airlines
● Managed ecommerce site and SEO strategy
● Developed, owned and managed PPC acquisition generating 20% of monthly revenue within 4 months
● Negotiated B2B partnerships with Microsoft, Qatar Airways and Emirates
Warwick Business School, Warwick, United Kingdom 2010 – 2013
An international triple accredited MBA from a Global Top 20 business school. International modules include on location work in Hong Kong, Dubai, Stockholm and Munich.
University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom 2000 – 2003
BA(hons) Management and Business Information Systems (2:1)