Part of the IT Leaders 100 - a list of the most influential IT leaders in the UK
Mark is an experienced IT professional, recognised for driving technology architectural transformation in multiple industries and skilled at leading technological innovations to drive competitive advantage. He has led IT at some of the world's largest firms, including McDonald's, Starbucks, Holland & Barret and the Post Office, and now works as Group CIO at British confectionery firm Pladis.
How do you ensure diversity is taken into account in your IT recruitment?
We have a very visible and impactful D&I movement and commitment in our organisation, with every senior leader given a measurable objective to promote D&I across development, retention and recruitment, with targets set at every level.
Which technology are you currently most excited by?
We are really getting to understand the power of data and how this, in conjunction with AI and ML, can empower people to think differently and impact and influence business performance, with confidence in the visualisation of data.
What do you to unwind?
Most of my spare time is taken up with the chairmanship of my local Sports and Social Club that provide not only social facilities, but support football across many age groups, as well as cricket and croquet.
If you were an animal (other than human), which animal would you be and why?
I would see myself as a rhino: pretty thick skinned, go about my business in a non-threatening way, but prepared to defend my corner if provoked.
What makes you laugh?
I love observational comedy, just the funny things that people do, reaction to certain situations and the different ways that humans might deal with the same situation. I have a dry sense of humour and always look on the bright side of things.
How did you get into IT?
I had a passion for technology from an early age, owning a Sinclair ZX and moving into my first role at 19 as an assistant data processing manager. I was more interested in operations and the technical side of things, but spent time to understand how technology impacts people's roles and the benefits it can bring. I'm now seen as less of a techy and more of a leader through teams of great individuals.