Steve is a seasoned senior manager and IT professional who has operated regularly at board level for companies large and small and has also run his own successful business and IT consulting and interim management company.
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Although with his roots in technology, many of Steve’s roles have put him in the thick of dealing with general business management at a senior level and he therefore has a huge range of complementary skills including operations, PR and marketing, human resources, legal and accounting, and product design and implementation.
Whilst still at school Steve started programming one of the first ever home computers, the Commodore Pet, and following A-levels in mathematics, physics and economics went on to do a degree in Computing Science at one of the top engineering universities in the world, London’s Imperial College. Qualifying in 1984, Steve is also an Associate of the City and Guilds Institute.
During university and for a couple of years after Steve was one of the so called “whizz kids” of the fledgling computer games industry having games published for the Commodore Vic 20 and Commodore 64 – you can find one of his top games on retro game sites to this day!
In 1987 Steve joined Virgin’s computer games company and wrote several games for the PC such as Risk and also multi-player online Scrabble for the French Minitel system (a Prestel type service and precursor of the World Wide Web). Steve also worked on early multimedia projects for both laser disc and CD-ROM, including providing technical advice to the MCPS in the very early days of music rights licensing on these new platforms. In his later time at Virgin, Steve developed the concept and business case for a Virgin online services network, later to become the ISP Virgin.Net.
In 1995 Steve was invited by his original Virgin boss, now at Pearson, to become Technical Director of Pearson’s stake in Europe Online, a consortium of European publishers intending to create a pan-European internet ISP and content service. During his time with them Steve also built Pearson’s first ever Group corporate web site. Although Europe Online was essentially built and launched, Pearson’s strategy changed and they left the consortium in 1996 so Steve moved on to join BT’s Internet and Multimedia Services Division, which fresh from the successful Colchester ADSL trials was looking at services to build on and reinforce the ADSL rollout across the UK (what we now call first generation broadband).
At BT, Steve was specifically responsible for the liaison between the business product owners in London and BT’s Adastral Park laboratory site at Martlesham Heath developing the network, server infrastructure and products, with BT Internet and especially BT Wireplay, the online multi-player network, falling within his remit.
In 1999 Wireplay was experimentally spun out of BT as a dotcom called Gameplay and Steve became CTO delivering one of the UK’s first ever e-commerce sites including a Sky “Red Button” version of the service and of course continuing the head to head multi-player gaming.
Following the dotcom boom Steve subsequently set up his own consulting and interim management business and provided services to Carlton, Sainsbury, Marks & Spencer and Tesco, as well as several smaller businesses and a government consumers association but notably to a restructuring of a JV between the International Management Group and Hong Kong telecoms company PCCW in 2001-2002, and then as consultant programme manager on a significant “Red Button” development within BSkyB from 2003-2006.
Having become a non-executive Director of e-gambling technology company Gamesys (best known for their Jackpotjoy brand fronted by Barbara Windsor), Steve joined them full time in 2006 as Strategic Operations Director, responsible for delivering many development and growth opportunities in the business including early mobile phone e-gambling, but also leading all the work underpinning the repositioning and structuring of the business with all the correct processes to enable it to operate from “white listed” jurisdictions Malta and Gibraltar as the new Gambling Act came into force.
In 2009 Steve left Gamesys “job done” to further pursue consulting and interim management, most recently being Interim IT Director of Gala’s online services during Gala Coral’s restructuring (prior to their subsequent demerger).
In 2011 Steve & his wife Charlotte took the decision to take a “sabbatical” from the rat race to bring up their children, running Chale Bay Farm guest house on the Isle of Wight, turning it into an award winning tourism business, featuring within the top 10 B&B’s on the Island on TripAdvisor during the season.
Now the children are older, in order to be able to spend more conventional weekend and holiday time, the business is being converted to holiday lets and Steve and Charlotte are returning to their business roots, starting Clark Associates IOW to bring the wealth of their business experience to bear, providing friendly, professional and affordable advice in business, marketing and technology, based on the Isle of Wight.
During his 30 year career Steve has developed from his coding skills to include project and programme management, information security, networking, telecoms, hosting operations, call centre operations and much more besides.
He has also built on his technology roots to include a wide knowledge of business and best practices, including contract management, conference speaking, marketing & communications, human resources, legal and accounting, e-gambling regulation and of course the tourism and hospitality sector.
Steve has experience working solo in a consultancy role but also in small teams of 5 to 20 but has lead teams of 65 or more, and has managed 8 figure budgets (but equally knows the importance of financial checks and balance on smaller budgets!).
Steve is an avid sailor and qualified private pilot, though both somewhat lapsed since having children, but also keeps up his hands on technical skills honed with developing microcontroller electronic projects as well as of course doing all the normal things you do bringing up a 6 year old and 8 year old children.