What opportunities and challenges lie ahead and what experience can be applied to succeed in the next wave of change?
iW50 UK held an event in January 2018 where four women disruptors shared their insights into what is takes to succeed in a disruptive climate. Our panel comprised four incredible business leaders (see profiles below);
- Jo Bertram, Executive in Residence at EQT Ventures, previously Regional Manager, Uber
- Claire Davenport, CEO Hello Fresh
- Clare Johnston, CEO Up Group,
- Anne de Kerckhove, CEO Iron Capital
Jo Bertram (MBA 08D) is an Executive in Residence at EQT Ventures. She was until recently regional general manager of Uber’s Northern Europe operations, covering the UK, Ireland, the Nordics, Baltics and Benelux, where she increased her team from four to over 300, and oversaw the launch of Uber in more than 40 cities and towns beyond London. She has also grown the existing Swedish business and managed Uber’s entry into Ireland, Finland, Denmark and Norway. Bertram joined Uber with more than eight years of management consultancy experience, having worked for both McKinsey and Accenture. She has a degree in natural sciences from Cambridge University and an MBA from INSEAD.
Claire Davenport (MBA 98J) has been UK CEO of HelloFreshsince June 2017, it is a pioneering meal kit company, which she joined after being managing director of marketing leading discounter VoucherCodes.co.uk. Claire has worked growing and scaling disruptive internet companies internationally in a wide range of industries, from communication to online gaming and from e-commerce to education. She began as an investment banker, spending 10 years at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, before joining Europe’s largest TV broadcaster and production company, RTL Group, as EVP of strategy, leading their response to disruption by YouTube and digital.
Clare Johnston is founder, board member and CEO of The Up Group. She has helped build the senior management teams and boards of many of Europe’s most disruptive and transformational businesses. Clare has an extensive global network and founded the Digital Masters events, regularly bringing together investors, entrepreneurs and senior executives from high-growth start-ups through to listed global corporates. Clare is an award-winner, including EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 (Scaleup, London and South East); Investor Allstars Service Provider of the Year 2016; First Women Awards, Entrepreneur of the Year 2016; NatWest Everywoman Award 2015; Management Today’s ’35 Women Under 35’ 2012 and startup.co.uk‘s “Young Guns Class of 2012”.
Anne de Kerckhove (MBA 98J) tells a fascinating story about her career and describes herself as a start-up addict. At 17 she started her own theatre company and loved the buzz it gave her. So, at 27, after working as a banker in Canada and a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group in London, she jumped into her first start-up to create its UK operation. One jump led to another and another, punctuated by frustrating times at more traditional corporates which drove her nuts by the ‘glacial speed’ of their decision-making and their love for seemingly endless meetings. She was saved by meeting the founder of digital subscription company Iron, where she is a happy CEO, with a dynamic risk-taking team based in London. Iron is sharing its financial success, expertise, and experience to foster an ecosystem of entrepreneurs in the digital subscription space, helped by Anne’s energetic commitment.
Moderator: Kiko Thiel (MBA 98J) is researching the question, “What makes people do extraordinary things?” The research looks at what happens when individuals depart from the status quo to create transformative change. Currently affiliated with the business school at Case Western Reserve University, she brings to her academic research over 20 years of experience consulting to major corporations in Europe, Japan, Africa, and the Middle East. She specialised in leadership and organisational change at McKinsey and Accenture, and in strategy innovation with INSEAD professors Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. She is part of the Blue Ocean Strategy Innovation network.