Jon Richards studied mathematics before embarking on a life long career in IT. He began as a programmer with GEC, had early business success in a computer systems house, became the CEO of a public company and later chaired a UK government body. Jon now holds a number of chairmanships in businesses in the testing and travel sectors. This is his third successful venture with the TestPlant chief executive. Jon lives in Hampshire with his family and a decent golf handicap.
Chief Executive OffIcer
George read business and economics at the University of Edinburgh still retaining a link there through his role as an entrepreneur in residence. George worked in manufacturing for Ford in Dagenham before moving to the telecommunication’s industry. He has raised money to build businesses in the UK, USA and Hong Kong and managed their sale and integration into major telcos. At home in London, George is an ageing semi-pro racing driver with a gardening habit.
Chief Financial Officer
Chris Verdin is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in London. He then held treasury and risk management roles in major banks before his move into the technology sector. In a number of software and services businesses he has played pivotal roles in fund raising, MBOs, M&A activities and patent litigation. Chris enjoys life in London with his young family and boasts of his culinary abilities.
Michael is a Managing Director and Head of the Europe Technology advising group at Carlyle – and sits on the board at TestPlant. Prior to joining Carlyle in 2001, Michael worked for approximately 10 years in investment banking, the last seven years in the technology sector. His previous investments include The Foundry, KCS.net, ADA Cosmetics, Personal & Informatik AG, UC4 Software, FRS Global, Apama, Inc. and SmartTrust AB. Michael received his M.B.A. from Mannheim University in Germany and the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a B.A. degree in economics and business administration from Mannheim University in Germany.
Charlotte is an Associate Director in the European Technology fund at Carlyle, advising on European buyout and growth investments – and sits on the board at TestPlant. She joined Carlyle in early 2010, and has been actively involved in investments in FRS Global, The Foundry, Graze, Itconic and TestPlant. Prior to joining Carlyle, she worked in the Investment Banking Divisions at Merrill Lynch and UBS in London. Charlotte received her MPhysPhil in physics and philosophy from Oxford University.
Richard Ward is an engineering graduate from Bath University. In 2009, he joined TestPlant and has since been promoted through the ranks, consistently over-achieving at every level. He led TestPlant’s expansion into the US defense and security industry sectors. He was appointed as Sales Director in early 2011 and began to build a sales team in the UK, the USA and more recently in Asia. He now lives in San Francisco, nursing a curious love of old Land Rovers.
Chief Technology Officer
Antony studied computer engineering at the University of South Wales, Australia. He worked as a developer in Sydney before joining IBM Research in New York. Moving to London, Antony joined mobile operating system builder Symbian, moving from system architecture to eventually become a VP and member of the executive team. More recently he held the position of CTO with a major US on-line entertainment company. Australian born Antony lives in London with his Swiss wife and culturally confused daughters.
Chief Customer Officer
Karin Stewart studied engineering at Cornell University. As a validation engineer in pharmaceuticals, Karin began her career with an appreciation for QA and impeccable customer service. She moved on to technical operations before joining TestPlant in 2012. Once a support engineer herself, she has led the team through impressive growth, and is the driving force for Customer Success. In summer Karin is tuning her bluegrass fiddle and in winter, snowboarding with her husband and kids.
Chief People Officer
Liz has 20 years of HR experience, joining TestPlant from Rally Software (recently acquired by CA Technologies), where she was Vice President, People. She has a strong background in leading HR for leading technology companies, including Sun Microsystems and HP, and has a history of aligning people strategies with business imperatives to create diverse, engaging and collaborative cultures.
TestPlant Advisory Panel
John Varney currently runs his own consultancy, Maximum Clarity, supporting public and private sector bodies with a wide range of technology issues. His previous roles include global CTO for the BBC and Director of Technology for Granada plc. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Television Society. When he has some time, his passions are photography, gardening and the history of Victorian Britain.
TestPlant Advisory Panel
Werner Schmücking had a 40 year career with Siemens serving in sales, marketing, product management and development, general management and strategic planning roles. He held CEO, Chairman and board posts in Siemens’ companies in Germany, Italy, the USA and the UK. Werner was President of the German Telecom Manufacturers Association (ZVEI), and he was co-founder and VP of the German Association for IT, Telecom and New Media (BITKOM). Werner lives in Munich and plays a mean game of tennis.
TestPlant Advisory Panel
Paul Gerrard is a consultant, teacher, author, webmaster, programmer, tester, speaker, rowing coach and publisher. Founding chair of the British Computer Society Information Systems Examination Board (BCS ISEB), educated at the universities of Oxford and Imperial College London, Principal of Gerrard Consulting Limited, and host of UK Test Management Forum. Paul starred (appeared as a rower, briefly) in a recent episode of the UK TV drama Midsomer Murders.