Building on from our first Top 50 Tech Leaders List in 2022, we've spent the past year keeping an eye out for the digital innovators we belive should be celebrated for the way they are powering the Northern Tech Revolution. 





Asheeka Hyde


Asheeka Hyde, Technology Director - Data & Analytics, SSP Group

Asheeka is the Technology Director - Data & Analytics at SPP Group and with over 17 years of experience within Data and Analytics, Asheeka has built award-winning and agile teams. In her previous role at Dunelm, Asheeka helped grow the analytics team from 7 to 49 helping cement data literacy across the company. She has mastered and established trust with senior leaders allowing organisations to gain true value from their data.

Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson, Digital Channel Strategy Lead, Severn Trent

Bill is a highly experienced, qualified and award winning digital leader, with a demonstrable reputation for delivering results on time, on budget and often exceeding expectations. He has considerable strategic and operational experience gained from over 25 years in fast moving service focused businesses. Bill's experience is based upon a solid grounding in customer focus, lean thinking and engaging leadership. A creative thinker with an ability to link back to overall strategic direction, exceptional communicator at all levels and a proven problem solver with a commitment to extraordinary customer experiences. 

David Price


David Price, IT Director, Curtins

A successful and respected IT Director for an established and award-winning Engineering Consultancy David worked within the construction sector for 20 years. He is a strategic thinker who is able to communicate complex ideas. Driven by opportunity, embedding increased efficiencies while reducing risk and providing enhanced cyber security.

Ed Child


Ed Child, Global Head Consumer Data & Digital Analytics, Costa Coffee

As Global Head Consumer Data & Digital Analytics Ed Child was appointed to lead Costa Coffee's loyalty scheme and data-sets, providing personalised experiences to their members via customer insights and making operational decisions across both the business and stores. He has been recognised in the DataIQ Top 100 2023, 2022 and 2021.

Elise Walker


Elise Walker, Data Platform Director, International Data Office, Boots

Elise has been Data Platform Director, International Data Office at Walgreens Boots Alliance for over 8 years, her experience and expertise in cloud, data and analytics is second to none allowing her to deliver transformation solutions across the company. She is passionate about building diverse teams and was recognised as one of the Top 20 women in Data & Tech 2023, 2022 ‘IT Team of the Year’ at the UK IT Industry Awards (British Computer Society) and 2022 Winner of British Data Awards

Emma Marsh


Emma Marsh, Executive Director, RSPB

As the Executive Director for Digital Technology and Communications at RSPB, Emma Marsh leads a team of experts who use innovative and engaging methods to inspire people to take action for nature. With nearly 20 years of strategic experience in the environmental, conservation and not-for-profit sector Emma is passionate about saving nature globally and addressing the nature and climate emergency.

Matt Prescott


Matt Prescott, Director of Product, Sykes Cottage

Matt joined the Sykes Family in November 2015 and has since climbed the ranks to become their Director of Product. Matt has extensive knowledge and experience in building customer-focused Product teams with a data-driven approach and is responsible for all consumer-facing products across the business, as well as the technically passionate Product department at Sykes' Chester HQ.

Heather Lowrie


Heather Lowrie, CISO, University of Manchester

Heather Lowrie joined the University of Manchester in May 2023 as the first Chief Informaiton Security Officer, prior to this, she worked for the Scottish Government supporting the delivery of secure and resilient public services across Scotland. In 2022 Heather provided cyber secruity assurance, oversight and operational management for Scotland's first digital-first Census and currently serves as a member of the UK Cyber Security Council's Outreach and Diversity Working Group.

Jo Drake


Jo Drake, CIO, The Hut Group (THG)

Jo has held senior positions including Head of Global Service Management at Betfair and the BBC where she helped to build a world-class centralised operations team. Whilst at Skyscanner, Jo drove a strategy around 'Disruptive customer care' an innovative approach to provided customers with what they needed via technology solutions delivered by Skyscanners website and app. Now as CIO at THG Jo is responsible for delivering world class operations and technology services globally across all THG websites.

Joanne Smith


Joanne Smith, Head of Customer Contact and Complaints, Co-Op

As the Head of Customer Contact and Complaints at Co-op, Joanne stands out as a highly skilled people leader. With over 25 years experience Joanne is highly skilled in driving cutomer satisfaction and sales growth through people engament and coaching programmes.

John Hobson


John Hobson, CIO - Kellanova Europe, Kellanova

Having been at Kellanova for 17 years, John's career includes roles spanning Finance and IT, currently as CIO, he leads the European IT and Enterprise Program Management Office functions to enable business transformation through high performing teams and technology though leadership.

Jon Howard


Jon Howard, Executive Product Manager, BBC

Jon is an Executive Product Manager for BBC with a responsbility for bringing the benefits of new technologies to audiences. He has worked with 'Classical AI, Generative AI, intelligent systems and digital products for over 15 years. Jon was a member of the core team that authored the BBC Machine Learning Engine Principles, as well as delivering many successful innovative award - winning products

Jon Carson


Jon Carson, Director of Strategic Programmes, Pets at Home

As Director of Strategic Programmes at Pets at Home, Jon is responsible for shaping, mobilising and delivering key strategic programmes with current key focus on multi year digital transofrmation to enable Pets at Home to offer a fully integrated omnichannel Pet Care Platform for consumers.

Jonathon Concannon


Jonathon Concannon, Head of Security, ITS Security Group

Jonathon is the Head of Information Security at ITS Technology Group. With over a decade of experience in infrastructure, networking, and security within both the private and public sectors, he led InfoSec for a global fashion brand. He has first-hand experience in recovering from a significant cyber-attack, which has given him a clear perspective on the importance of having robust security measures in place. He understands the critical role of information security leaders in ensuring the safety of organisational data and systems, as well as the well-being of customers and colleagues.

Malcolm Lowe


Malcolm Lowe, CIO, Transport for Greater Manchester

Having worked across multiple industry sectors including Consulting, Government, Finance, Utility, Retail, HR and most recently Transport, Malcolm is a passionate believer in putting the user first and creating user centric digital teams and products with multi-disciplined teams using agile and iterative test and learn approaches. Currently Head of IT at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Malcolm is transforming the technology, people, process and data as TfGM become a digital transport organisation.

Mark Worden


Mark Worden, Cora Strategy & Innovation Lead, NatWest Group

Mark joined Natwest in 2013, beginning as a cashier and spent 4 years in branch banking. From this experience he moved into the world of AI, building a colleage facing conversation AI assistant before transitioning to Strategy & Innocation lead for Cora - NatWest's customer facing digital assistant. Mark is passionate about accessibility and how we can design with access needs in mind to ensure we are truly being inclusive in everything that we do.

Mike Conjoice


Mike Conjoice, Head of Software Development and Architecture, Bupa Dental Care

Mike has served Bupa Dental Care for 9 years, currently as Software Development and Architecture Manager. He created and grew the solutions architecture team within Bupa dental to meet increasing business needs and over the years has effectively led teams of architects, software engineers, data experts and quality assurance analysists. Mike's reputation as an innovative and results-driven leader has made him a highly sought-after expert in the fireld. His impressive track record and dedication to excellence positions him as an indispensable asses to any software engineering team he serves.

Paul Martin


Paul Martin, Interim Director of Engineering, JD Sports Fashion

As Interim Director of Software Engineering at JD Sports PLC, Paul Martin leverages over 25 years of digital IT experience across leading retail brands, including Footasylum, Graham & Brown, Fortnum & Mason, Marko, Sainsbury's and Cath Kidston. Through strategic leadership, Paul consistently delivers measurable improvements in operational efficiency, customer experience, and revenue generation. A dedicated STEM ambassador, he actively mentors the next generation of tech leaders.

Paul Hornby


Paul Hornby, Digital Customer Experience (DCX) Director, The Very Group

Paul Hornby rejoined The Very Group in January 2021 as Digital Customer Experience Director, having previoulsy held roles including head of ecommerce and head of transformation at The Very Group. During his time as director of ecommerce at Matalan he led the digital transformation driving Matalan's online presence. As Very's Digital Customer Experience Director, Paul manages the end-to-end digital journey across all brands and devices and has been working on an intiative to replatform the technology that powers the digital customer experience.

Philip Simpson


Philip Simpson, (Former) Head of Application Development, (Former) Johnson Matthey

Philip is a highly motivated IT & Digital leader with a proven record of building and managing award winning, agile teams, who deliver innovative solutions on time and within budget. A confident communicator, speaking at industry and community events, accustomed to collaborating at all levels, identifying, and delivering value from systems, data, processes, and reporting. Results driven pragmatist, with a sound commercial awareness and proficient at managing multiple projects of differing size, complexity & risk from conception to delivery.

Rachel Hardwick Cox


Rachel Hardwick-Cox, Group Technical Program Manager - Core Platforms,

As a senior leader in's cloud engineering team, Rachel partners with customers from across the product development organisation to drive the human element of cloud transformation via strategic and technical planning. She is an accomplished senior leader and passionate about growing teams, mentoring and developing mid-to-senior level directors.

Ricard Fuertes


Ricard Fuertes, Head of Information Security, Transport for Greater Manchester

Ricard is the Head of IS Operations at Transport for Greater Manchester. With a background of almost 30 years in IT working on different functions and across both private and public sector, Ricard leads the team at TfGM responsible for the day-to-day operation and cybersecurity of information and operational systems across the company.

Rob Black


Rob Black, Technology Director, Beauty Bay

As Technology Director at Beauty Bay, Rob Black has a strong strategic background with significant experience of developing and delivering IT strategy and transformation. With over 16 years' experience in the travel and retail industries Rob proactively leads a digital IT function in line with overall business strategy with a focus on customer satisfaction.

Ryan Cant


Ryan Cant, Chief Digital Officer, Manchester Airport Group (MAG)

Ryan Cant is Chief Digital Officer for MAG, a leading UK airport group which owns and operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands Airports. He is an experienced technology and transformation leader joining MAG in 2021 to shape, build and lead a MAG Technology Digital Product function. His approach is to bring a product-led mindset to the organisation, creating an environment where the physical and digital world collide to create world-class experiences for passengers, colleagues and partners. Ryan believes that a truly digital organisation starts with a sharp focus on the product offering being created, and understanding how it adds value to the business, before engineering the tech in world-class way.

Sara Milne


Sara Milne, Community and Skills Lead - CTO Office, Lloyds Banking Group

Sara has worked in Technology in the Financial Services sector for over 30 years within the UK and Europe. She loves the diversity a technology career has offered and the variety of roles to explore. Sara has held many IT positions from Business Analysis to Programme Management delivering software and transformational change. In recent years her passion for leading cultural change, developing capability at scale and building communities has led to her current role as Head of Skills & Community in the Chief Technology Office at Lloyds Banking Group. A long-time supporter of Inclusion & Diversity initiatives and mentor to apprentices and graduates, her current role building the engineering skills and culture required for the bank of the future is providing new opportunities to support inclusivity in technology careers.

Sarah Mcmann


Sarah Mcmann, Chief Digital Product Officer, HMRC

Starting her career in sales, Sarah has been instrumental in driving change across all of her roles. As the Head of Customer Improvement and Multi-Channel Optimisation she led Direct Line Group's omnichannel design and customer contact strategy to completely transform end-to-end customer journeys with an interactive contact centre allowing customers to interact proactively through channels of their choice. Currently as Chief Product Owner at HMRC, Sarah is accountable for the development and delivery of services and products using configuration of existing capabilities, API's and integration of platform technology.

Stephanie Roddy


Stephanie Roddy, Senior Director - Modern Workplace Platform , Kellanova

Stephanie is an experienced, customer facing IT leader, passionate about delivering sustainable results with a proven track record. With E2E business and technology skills covering large transformational IT changes; Operational and Technical, Financial Portfolio Management and Service Management in FMCG, Gaming and Government businesses across Europe and UK. Stephanie has built and led teams that contribute effectively to business outcomes with over 20 years experience in team development, project delivery and process improvement to enable business growth, with a focus on End User experiences

Steven Fry


Steven Fry, Director of Customer and Digital Services, Salford City Council

Steven is Director of Customer and Digital Services at Salford City Council, supporting the directly elected City Mayor delivering local public services and improving the lives of our fast growing and diverse 260,000 population, leading a department with over 250 staff, a net revenue budget of £30M and a capital investment programme of £2M p/a. As board director at The Lowry and Chief technology and Innovation officer of HOST Salford (Home of Skills and Technology, the innovation and business incubation hub at Media City UK), Steve delivers on the HOST Cyber programme including the 24/7 security operations centre in partnership with Salford, HOST and IN4. Steven is also currently sitting on the GMCA Digital portfolio executive and joint chair of the Digital Transformation board.

Stuart Frost


Stuart Frost, Head of Enterprise Risk, UK Civil Service

Stuart is an award winning Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) specialist, cyber security, information security and Enterprise Risk Management practitioner with a successful career spanning 25+ years. Stuart is the head of enterprise security and risk management for the Department for Work & Pensions which is responsible for paying out £280 billion a year.He was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in 2017 for his services to the local community. In 2023 he was also the proud recipient of the Coronation medal in recognition of his contribution to the Coronation of King Charles III.

Usman Hamid


Usman Hamid, VP Design & Engineering, Haleon

Usman is a senior technology executive with over 20 years of experience across technology strategy, business transformation, architecture and engineering. During his time Barclays as Infracture CTO he notably drove the infrasture and cloud statgey delivering group wide strategic intiatives. Previous position include VP Architecture & Engineering at GSK, Head of Product (Infrastructure, Enterprise Networks & EUC Products) at BBC and IT Director at Redfern.




Aaron Burns

Aaron Burns,  Life Insurance Specialist & Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, Trulife Financial

Aaron Burns is a former professional footballer, a life insurance specialist , a public speaker and a business owner.

Alexandria Morgan


Alexandria Morgan,  Digital Inclusion Lead, Trafford City Council

Alexandria Morgan is an ex-primary school teacher who has previously worked in Manchester's inner city schools. Having gained a unique insight into the challenges faced by disadvantaged communities in an ever-evolving digital world, she now works as a Digital Inclusion Officer at Trafford Council responsible for reducing digital exclusion and improving the digital capavity in Trafford.

Andrea Cullen


Dr Andrea Cullen, CEO & Founder, CAPSLOCK

Andrea has worked in cyber for over 20 years across a number of roles. She was as an academic at the University of Bradford, where she designed and developed one of the first MSc Cyber Security degrees in the UK. She has also worked as a consultant and a cyber SME for KPMG. Most recently she is a Co-founder of CAPSLOCK, an award-winning cyber security bootcamp. CAPSLOCK was founded in 2019, and started by raising investment of approximately £1m to support its launch in 2021. With a focus on removing barriers to career changing education, so far CAPSLOCK has reskilled over 800 learners from incredibly diverse backgrounds. She was recently awarded full membership to the Chartered Institute of Information Security and is passionate about supporting female founders and helping the cyber industry become a more diverse place to learn and work.

Elizabeth Scott


Elizabeth Scott, Executive Director, Turing Innovation Catalyst Manchester

As Executive Director at the newly established Turing Innovation Catalyst Manchester, Elizabeth is focused on building a new not for profit that will catalyse an AI ecosystem across Greater Manchester and will use AI to grow careers, business and the city economy. Prior to TIC, Liz has held non-executive roles working with a number of tech sector focused organisations including supporting the Global Tech Talent Visa Programme at Tech Nation

Emma Grant


Emma Grant, Head of Programmes, Manchester Digital

Emma is unapologetically passionate about driving impactful change within the tech and digital sector, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility are at the forefront of programmes and initiatives. As the Head of Programmes at Manchester Digital, Emma leads a dynamic team to deliver tangible results. Her work is anchored in the organisation's purpose, objectives and values whilst meeting the evolving needs of the sector and ecosystem stakeholders. You’ll find her sprinkling her magic by fostering partnerships and brewing up innovative opportunities to ensure this happens. She is driven by high standards, quality and making a difference. Tenacious, detail-oriented and ever resourceful, Emma is known for getting things done.

Fran Darlington Pollock


Dr Fran Darlington-Pollock, CEO, Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity

Dr Fran Darlington-Pollock is CEO of Greater Manchester Mayoyr's Charity leading work to support those experiencing homelessness or risk of homelessness. Her earlier career spanned time as a lecturer in Liverpool and London, specialising in social and spatial inequalities in health, social and economic outcomes, she also worked as a Research Advisor at Save the Children UK.

Kyle Winterbottom


Kyle Winterbottom, Founder & CEO, Orbition Group

Kyle Winterbottom, Founder and CEO of Orbition Group has been in the data analytics talent advisory space for 12 years and has helped some of the most recognised brands to build and scale their data, analytics and AI teams. In 2020 he launched Orbition Group, now one of the world's leading data, analytics and AI full-service talent solutions organisations. In addition to this Kyle hosts Driven By Data: The Podcast allowing others to hear from top Data experts in the space.

Marie Hamilton


Marie Hamilton,  Greater Manchester Region Lead, Microsoft

Marie joined Microsoft in February 2022 to lead their work across the Greater Manchester region. Marie's role is to lead Microsoft's place-based strategy, working with a cross sector team aligning with regional priorities, helping to transform public services, drive economic growth and improve outcomes for citizens. Marie also serves on multiple advisory boards including Salford Business School, and the newly formed TechUK Nations and Regions Council as Vice-Chair.

Nicki Clegg


Nicki Clegg,  Technology Industry Stakeholder Relationship Manager, STEM Learning

As a technologist for 30 years, and senior leader for over 15, Nicki has a passion for DEI and driving social mobility through careers in technology. Having worked as Chief Architect at the British Library, Head of IS Strategy and Digital Services at Electricity North West, in 2023 Nicki switched her career to focus on helping large numbers of young people see the potential of careers in technology. Working with hundreds of business each year to help them introduce school engagement programmes into their strategic workforce plans.

Ray Siripan


Ray Siripan, Global Enterprise Cloud Architect, Group IT

Ray Sirpian, a distinguished Global Enterprise Architect at TUI Group, excels in cloud, data and security technology. Previously a Senior Global Cloud Architect at AWS, Ray led significant projects and solutions for clients, notably modernising a tour operation platform to AWS, boosting scalbility and achieving cost reductions.





Andy Norton


Andy Norton, Senior Engineering Manager, Prolific

Andy Norton is a senior engineering manager and over the last few years has worked at one the UK's most successful unicorn start-ups, one of the big high-street retailers, and now at Y Combinator backed start-up Prolific - a company changing the way we do research online.

Andy Wood


Andy Wood,  CX & Operations Manager, THG

Andy Wood joined THG in 2016 as Head of Content Marketing - Beauty, now as CX & Operations Director he is focused on developing retention programmes across rewards, sampling and more which is being built from a data-driven, customer-centric approach.

Anya Mariyh


Anya Mariyh,  Portfolio Lead - Data & AI Chapter, Direct Line Group

As the Portfolio Lead for Data & AI since March 2022 Anya has been navigating the AI evolution for Direct Line Group. With both strategy and transformation being her core strengths, Anya is exploring what business problems they can utilise AI to solve whilst holding the essential visualisation and perspective to ensure the team understands how these decisions will ultimately streamline the customer journey.

Carol Morris


Carol Morris, Head of Public Cloud SRE & Service, Lloyds Banking Group

Carol Morris has worked in Technology in Financial Services for most of her career and in the Banking sector for the last 15 years. After working with public cloud providers for more than 7 years, she is an advocate for the benefits of cloud hosting for business applications.

Claire Robinson


Claire Robinson, DevOps Engineer, BT 

Claire Robinson joined BT group in 2003 as an Advance Modern Apprentice. Since then she has worked across various business units with a focus on infrastructure delivery and operations. Currently she works on BT's Network Cloud platform and has developed a new workstack system that integrates wiith automation to enable seamless workflow.

Heather Orr


Heather Orr, BT Business Customer Support Contact Centre Manager, BT

Heather Orr joined BT 33 years ago as an operator, for 20 of those years she has led contact centres all across BT Group from EE to BT. As Contact Centre Manager, Heather is focused on collaborating with colleagues across service enablement, learning & development and teams looking after global services.

Matthew Brooks


Matthew Brooks, Network Team Leader,

Matt has over 15 years of experience working within the IT industry specialising in the Network Infrastructure and Connectivity space. Previously working in Sainsburys Tech division overseeing its large retail and logistics space whilst working on brands within the Sainsbury’s family such as Argos, Habitat, Nectar and the companies banking arm. Now working for as the Communications Team Lead since 2021 heading up a team who has responsibility “from the cable to the cloud” (and everything in between). Driving AO’s cloud first strategy by removing legacy physical dependencies/technical debt whilst both modernising and driving cost efficiency for the connectivity of AO worlds brands including Recycling, Mobile and Logistics.

Natasha Barker


Natasha Barker, Domain Architect, Matalan

With 9 years experience in IT Architecture, Natasha works as a Domain Architect at Matalan. She works as the lead IT Architect shaping IT strategy and driving innovation and thought leadership throughout the organisation. Natasha is keen on helping get more women and younger people into the tech sector and volunteers for various schemes including InnovateHer.

Nathan Lees


Nathan Lees, Digital Workplace Lead, PZ Cussons

As Digital Workplace Lead at PZ Cussons, Nathan has impressibley led the setup of Generative AI and making co-pilot available to all users at PZ Cussons. He plays a pivotal role encouraging user engaement within internal teams and nutures mentor-like relationships with junior team members.

Simon Hodgkinson


Simon Hodgkinson, Microsoft 365 Business Change Analyst and Adoption Specialist, British Red Cross

Simon is a a seasoned Microsoft 365 Business Analyst with a proven track record in leading and executing large-scale digital transformations. His expertise lies in optimizing operations and enhancing communication strategies across various industries with a career encompassing pivotal roles in esteemed organizations such as the British Red Cross, Terran Consultancy Limited, Pets at Home, Nice-Pak International, Co-op, and Barclays. At the British Red Cross, Simon spearheaded the strategic optimization of Microsoft 365 licensing, significantly reducing operational costs, and led the successful transition from Citrix Desktop to Microsoft 365.