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Meet The Senior Management Team

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Meet the Senior Management Team

Ultima has an open and honest culture, which means our management team are approachable and accessible, to both employees and customers.

Max McNeill, Chairman

Founding the company back in October 1990, Max has steered Ultima Business Solutions to become one of UK’s leading IT solution providers with over 350 employees and a turnover currently exceeding £100 m.  This has been achieved through purely organic growth, without any outside investment, funding or debt.  Max, believes one of his critical roles is ensuring the company never loses sight of its core principles and values.  “When I first started Ultima back in the early 1990s I set out some guiding principles, which were based on building long term partnerships with clients based on trust and adding value wherever possible.  I have always been determined to ensure that Ultima remains independent, agile, financially robust and employs the best people in the industry.  The company ethos is based on a recognition that our customers are at the very heart of every decision we make and that we are entirely in control of our own destiny!”

Outside Interests: Racehorse owner (Winner of 2015 Cesarewitch!), 6 handicap golfer and Ultima’s indoor rowing champion.

Scott Dodds, CEO

Scott Dodds has been in the European IT industry for 33 years and has held senior positions in EMEA and the UK with VMware, Microsoft, Acer and Compaq, before joining Ultima Business Solutions in October 2015.  He has had full P&L responsibility for multi-billion dollar sales and marketing teams as well as running business operations and planning functions. His breadth of experience spans all customer segments from the largest global enterprises to mid-market and SMBs. Scott comments “My philosophy is to always live up to the highest levels of personal integrity and transparency, and to gain the trust of team members and customers alike. These are values that are embedded in Ultima’s DNA, making it a special place to work.  The relentless focus on our customers’ success is only possible through great team work and genuinely enjoying what we do. It has to be fun to do your best work and keep the best people.”

Outside Interests: Active sportsman (golf, tennis, cycling & gym), rugby supporter (season ticket holder at Wasps) and chairman of governors at local school.

Kath Edwards, Chief Operating Officer

Having worked in financial management positions for 20 years, Kath joined Ultima Business Solutions in 2008 as Finance Manager.  Her commercial experience within a number of different industries dealing with systems and processes provided her with the ideal credentials to take on the role as Chief Operating Officer in 2011.  In this role she has responsibility for the development and smooth running of back office operations covering the Internal Systems, Warehousing & Logistics and Facilities Management.  As Kath explains “My mission is to ensure that all systems and processes are as robust and efficient as possible in order to meet customer service level agreements and expectations.  My team fully appreciates the role it plays in maintaining Ultima’s reputation as a trusted partner which can be relied on from a logistics perspective.  Whilst reliability is a key requirement, I also believe it is key that we remain flexible and responsive to exceptional and unforeseen customer demands”.

Outside interests: Keen tennis player and walker.

Gordon Esslemont, Commercial Director

Joining the company in the early 1990s as stock control manager, Gordon’s 24 year career has encompassed a wide range of sales, purchasing and customer services related roles.  It was this experience combined with his unrivalled knowledge of the IT distribution channel that led to his appointment as Commercial Director in 2007, where he has overall responsibility for all vendor and supplier relationships.  In 2015, Gordon took on the additional role of General Manager of Ultima’s London office with the goal of maximising Ultima’s City presence.  “I have been very fortunate to have been part of the Ultima journey for over 20 years.  With my Commercial Director role, I have always adopted the same partnership and collaborative approach with suppliers and vendors as we do with customers.  Whilst Ultima will always remain vendor independent, it is vital we have strong partnerships in order to provide customers with the optimum IT solution.”

Outside Interests: A wife and 2 boys!

Richard Fern, Sales Director

Since 2007, Richard has been responsible for the management and direction of Ultima’s sales and marketing functions.  With his passion for building an agile and effective sales teams alongside building long term customer relationships Richard has helped Ultima develop into one of the UK’s leading IT solution providers.  Since starting at Ultima, he has overseen a 120%+ growth in both turnover and in the size of salesforce.  Richard believes the matching of account managers to customers is key and comments “A key part of my role is recruiting individuals who are going to fit into the Ultima culture, understanding their strengths and then matching them to internal teams and customers.  Our mission as an organisation is to become the trusted long term partner of UK businesses and the role of external and internal account managers is critical in the process.  My job is to ensure the best conduit exists.”

Outside Interests: Footballer (plays every Sunday morning, supports Middlesborough FC), gym user and born-again angler.

Jennifer Hall, Financial Director

Jenny is a Chartered Accountant who joined Ultima in 2001 having previously worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers.  One of her major achievements has been in developing Ultima’s Finance Team into a flexible, multi-skilled close knit group, which is built on strong process knowledge and experience as well as accounting acumen.  Jenny comments “Since starting at Ultima, I have seen significant changes and growth and potentially with even greater expansion in the future.  A key part of my role is to ensure the systems and processes are scalable and we have the infrastructure in place to facilitate the growth.  The team prides itself on accuracy and efficiency in its daily operations as well as in the delivery of robust and reliable financial reporting to stakeholders. The Finance team at Ultima is a family within a family, is highly cohesive and works hard developing strong working relationships with customers and suppliers alike.”

Outside Interests: Gardener, photographer and Merlin Annual Pass user!

Dave Rogers, Services Director

After gaining a solid technical background in systems, networking, software development and business intelligence, Dave joined Ultima in 2000 to help establish a new project management office.   Following roles included PMO Lead and Head of Presales before Dave was appointed Services Director in 2009.  Major achievements in this role have included the creation of an extensive in-house services team, a comprehensive portfolio of innovative IT solutions and services, mature engagement and delivery processes, and the development of a complementary partner network.   “From day one, I have been determined to ensure that Ultima has a Services Team which listens to our clients and fully understands their needs before delivering consistent, high quality solutions which bring meaningful business benefit.  This is achieved through technical expertise, tier 1 vendor accreditations and extensive real world deployment experience.  I fervently believe the depth, quality and engagement experience with Ultima’s Services Team is second to none”.

Outside Interests: Footballer, mountain biker, DIY specialist and dog walker (excitable black Labrador).

Joe Solari, Non-Executive Director

Joe joined the Ultima Board in 2001, following 40 years of CEO level management experience in the IT industry both in the UK and internationally with high profile global vendors.  Joe uses his considerable IT sector experience and successful business track record to provide independent and impartial advice to the Board.  With his extensive network of contacts and daily market research, he reports on market trends and opportunities.  Joe also mentors individual Board members on different aspects of the business.  The major focus of Joe’s advice and input is on areas that will ultimately enhance the customers’ experience and generate tangible business benefits.  Continuous improvement is an absolute must in Joe’s eyes as he explains “In a world of rapid change and aggressive competition if you are not getting better, you are getting worse.  Customer satisfaction, growth and profitability come from continuously adding value to the customer proposition”.

Outside Interests: Golfer, sports and car aficionado, international traveller.