Leadership and governance

Our Board and leadership team has the experience and expertise to provide industry-leading business insight. Our Executive and Non-Executive Directors come from a range of backgrounds and industries - so we’re confident we have the best team to help evolve and grow the business.

Board of Directors

Senior Independent Non-Executive Director Patrick De Smedt
Patrick De Smedt
Interim Non-Executive Chairman

Following the retirement of Graham Holden as Chairman on 31 December 2018, Patrick de Smedt, our Senior Independent Non-Executive director has taken the role of interim Non-Executive Chairman while the process to appoint a permanent replacement takes place.

Patrick has been on the Board of KCOM since January 2016. He has a huge amount of experience in the technology sector, having held senior positions at Microsoft between 1983 and 2006. There he founded the Benelux, subsidiaries of Microsoft, led the development of the Western European business, and served as chairman of Microsoft for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

He’s a great strategist in the communications sector and has taken on a range of non-executive roles in his career, which have given him extensive experience on the boards of listed companies. Patrick is also a senior independent director at Pagegroup plc and Morgan Sindall Group plc, and chairman of GCI Limited.

Board committees

  • Audit Committee Member
  • Remuneration Committee Member
  • Nomination Committee Member
Chief Executive Graham Sutherland
Graham Sutherland
Chief Executive

Graham joined the Board as Chief Executive on 15 October 2018. He has a strong track record in strategic transformation and driving improved financial and operational performance. He has a wealth of experience in the communications industry and will bring a fresh perspective to the Board and leadership of the business.

Graham has held a number of senior leadership positions in the UK telecommunications services sector serving both consumer and business markets. Over the last decade he has held a number of Chief Executive roles within BT Group PLC, including BT Business and Public Sector and BT Ireland (covering consumer, business and network interests across the island of Ireland). Previously he held senior roles at NTL and Bombardier.

Interim Chief Financial Officer Anna Bielby
Anna Bielby
Chief Financial Officer

Anna joined KCOM in 2014 and was appointed Chief Financial Officer in January 2019.

Anna has held a number of senior roles within KCOM’s finance team. Anna is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and was previously a Director at PwC.

Non-executive director Liz Barber
Liz Barber
Non-Executive Director

Liz joined the KCOM Board in April 2015, bringing a breadth of financial experience to the team.
A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Liz was a partner at Ernst & Young from 2001 and its head of audit for the North of England from 2006 to 2010. She joined Kelda Group in 2010 as group director of finance, regulation and markets.

As well as her full-time role at Kelda, Liz is a non-executive member of the board for Leeds University, a member of the Prince of Wales Accounting for Sustainability Group and a Steering Group member of the Two Percent Club, which seeks to support balanced board memberships.

Board committees

  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Remuneration Committee Member
  • Nomination Committee Member
Non-executive director Peter Smith
Peter Smith
Non-Executive Director

Peter joined the KCOM Board in January 2015, having worked for L.E.K. Consulting LLP for 30 years.

He brings to the team a broad range of experience in assisting companies across a range of sectors in setting their strategic plans and helping optimise performance. Prior to joining L.E.K., Peter worked for Schlumberger Wireline in the Middle East as a field engineer and a line manager.

Board committees

  • Audit Committee Member
  • Remuneration Committee Chair
  • Nomination Committee Member
Sally Jones
Sally Jones
General Counsel and Company Secretary

Sally joined KCOM as General Counsel and Company Secretary in November 2018.

Prior to joining KCOM, Sally was the General Counsel and Company Secretary at Zenith Vehicle Contracts for eight years and before that was a corporate lawyer at Addleshaw Goddard and Squire Patton Boggs.

Corporate governance

We’re committed to high standards of corporate governance and responsiveness to stakeholder expectations. We take full account of the principles of good governance, and in particular the UK Corporate Governance Code.

We report as fully and transparently as possible each year in our Annual report and accounts on our methods of corporate governance and on whether we have complied with the UK Corporate Governance Code.

We regularly review published guidance regarding corporate governance and, wherever possible, we aim to follow that best practice.

 

Board Committees

Find out who sits on our various board committees and what these committees do.

The Board has established and delegated specific responsibilities to audit, remuneration and nomination committees. Committee meetings are always minuted, and a committee update is provided to the Board after each meeting.

Each committee has its own report that sets out membership and attendance at the meetings throughout the year.

 

Board committee members

Audit committee members

  • Liz Barber (Chair)
  • Patrick De Smedt
  • Peter Smith

Remuneration Committee

  • Peter Smith (Chair)
  • Liz Barber
  • Patrick De Smedt

Nomination Committee

  • Patrick De Smedt (Chair)
  • Liz Barber
  • Peter Smith

Board committee attendees by invitation

Audit Committee

  • Anna Bielby
  • External auditors
  • Graham Sutherland
  • Sally Jones

Remuneration Committee

  • Graham Sutherland
  • Sally Jones

Nomination Committee

  • Graham Sutherland
  • Sally Jones

Terms of reference

Executive Leadership Team

The Executive Directors Graham Sutherland and Anna Bielby work with the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) to shape the future strategy of the business. The ELT has collective responsibility for investing in and driving opportunities that are consistent with supporting long-term sustainable growth plans.

Stephen Long OBE
Stephen Long OBE
Managing Director

Enterprise

Stephen joined KCOM in January 2013 and is responsible for the Enterprise part of the business.

An engineering graduate, Stephen joined the Royal Air Force in 1983 and was awarded an OBE in 2000. Prior to KCOM he led the consulting and systems integration business unit at Hewlett-Packard, overseeing considerable growth in sales and profitability before joining Fujitsu where he rose to Executive Director of the private sector division.

Sean Royce
Sean Royce
Managing Director

Hull and East Yorkshire

Sean joined the business in 1989 and has held a number of senior roles within KCOM including Finance and Commercial Operations Director. He leads our Hull and East Yorkshire operations.

Sean is on the board of the East Yorkshire branch of the Institute of Directors and a governor at Hull’s Ron Dearing UTC (university technical college). He also helped establish Hull’s Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI).

Iain Shearman
Iain Shearman
Managing Director

National Network Services

Iain Shearman has led the National Network Services business at KCOM since its inception in 2017. He joined KCOM in 2000 and founded and developed the channel business. Since then, Iain has held a number of senior sales, product management and operations-related roles at KCOM with a focus on the development of network and related application solutions and markets.

Cathy Phillips
Cathy Phillips
Chief Marketing Officer

Cathy has been at KCOM since 1995. She leads the teams responsible for brand management and marketing, media relations, financial PR and internal communications. She is also responsible for KCOM's community relations programme, leading relationships that include KCOM's patronage of The Prince's Trust and its partnership legacy with Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

Chris Whitaker
Chris Whitaker
HR Director for Business Services

Chris joined KCOM in 2000, having worked in the public sector for nine years in various HR roles. His career at KCOM has focused on employee relations, pensions and business partnering. He’s currently involved in our approach to achieving gender pay equality and advising the remuneration committee on governance, pay and reward matters. Chris is a graduate of Huddersfield University.

Tim Shaw
Tim Shaw
Chief Technology Officer

Tim joined KCOM on 11 June 2019. He has extensive experience in leading network and IT-related transformation and delivering the technology strategies for large organisations across a range of different customer segments.  He has held a number of senior roles across BT and was VP of Engineering at Loot Financial Services.

Tim is responsible for our network and IT capabilities. 

Related pages

History

We started life as the telephone department within the Hull Municipal Corporation and in the subsequent 114 years we’ve evolved and transformed into the business we are today.

Customer case studies

We’re privileged to work with some of the UK’s biggest names in retail, financial services, insurance, transportation and the public sector.

Strategy

Our goal is to make life easier and better for our customers by creating greater value from the way they interact, collaborate and connect with what matters to them.

Partners

We work closely with carefully selected partners and use our skills and experience to design, create and support solutions based on their market leading technologies.