Demis Hassabis founded artificial intelligence (AI) company DeepMind in 2010. The company, which was bought by Google in 2014 for about £400m, is involved in several AI projects across sectors, including the NHS. Before founding DeepMind, Hassabis completed a PhD in neuroscience at UCL. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Arts, and in 2018 was awarded a CBE for services to science and technology. DeepMind is a British pioneer in a field that is set to dominate the IT scene in the decade to come.
Cindy Rose was appointed CEO of Microsoft UK in July 2016. As part of her role, she is responsible for all of Microsoft’s offerings and products in the UK. Before joining Microsoft, Rose spent three years heading up Vodafone’s UK consumer division, following her role as executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media. She has also held several senior executive positions at the Walt Disney Company. In 2019, she was awarded an OBE for services to UK technology.
As information commissioner for the UK, Elizabeth Denham is responsible for ensuring information rights are in the public interest and leads the office dealing with the UK Data Protection Act, the UK’s implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Her role is taking ever greater prominence as technology heightens public concerns around privacy and data protection. Before becoming information commissioner, Denham was the information and privacy commissioner for British Columbia, responsible for compliance with public and private sector privacy legislation and access to information law.
Matt Gould became CEO of a new health service digital unit, NHSX, in July 2019, tasked with leading the NHS technology vision introduced by secretary of state Matt Hancock. Gould previously worked for Hancock as director general of the digital economy unit in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) from October 2016. Before joining DCMS, Gould was the UK’s ambassador to Israel, where he launched the UK Israel Tech Hub. He has previously led the cyber security unit at the Cabinet Office.
Jacqueline de Rojas has 25 years’ experience in leading technology businesses. In 2015, she took over as president of IT industry trade association TechUK, where she is also board champion for women. The same year, she was voted the “most influential woman in UK IT” in Computer Weekly’s annual poll, and in 2016 she entered the Most Influential Women in UK IT Hall of Fame. In the past year, she has been one of the leading voices promoting the UK tech sector and has advised the government on digital policy. She also chairs the board of Digital Leaders.
Tech entrepreneur Anne Boden founded mobile-only Starling Bank in 2016. As CEO, she oversees the bank’s leadership team and drives forward her vision of building the best bank account in the world. Before setting up Starling Bank, Boden worked in various roles in the banking industry, including a stint as COO for Irish Allied Bank.
Philip Jansen became CEO of BT in 2019, replacing long-term chief executive Gavin Patterson. Jansen was in charge of Worldpay since 2013, overseeing both its 2015 flotation and a merger with e-commerce firm Vantiv. Before that, he spent time in the catering trade at Brakes and Sodexo Group, as well as a spell managing the consumer operations of Telewest, a predecessor of Virgin Media.
Ciaran Martin was director general for government and industry cyber security at GCHQ before becoming head of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The centre, which was officially launched in October 2016, aims to bring together the UK’s cyber expertise to transform how the country tackles cyber security issues. Martin is also a member of the GCHQ board. He joined GCHQ in 2014, following a role as constitution director at the Cabinet Office. He also spent three years as head of security and intelligence at the Cabinet Office.
In his role as chief technology and product officer, Matthew Postgate is in charge of the BBC’s technology and systems. He is also led the BBC’s project to consolidate the technology teams for BBC Digital, BBC Engineering and BBC Worldwide. Before becoming the BBC’s CTO, Postgate was part of the management team that launched iPlayer and worked with BBC Mobile to build the firm’s mobile services for customers.
Joanna Shields is CEO of BenevolentAI, a leader in the development and application of AI and machine learning to understand the underlying causes of disease, accelerate drug discovery, and develop new and more effective medicines. She previously served as the UK’s first minister for internet safety and security, as a government special adviser on the digital economy, and was chair and CEO of TechCityUK.