The people make QA

Ask anyone that works here, and they'll tell you. The people make QA.

The people behind QA make great things happen every day. We all bring our own strengths to the table – but share the same values. We're all passionate about transforming people's careers. It makes QA a fun and rewarding place to work. 

Discover more about the people leading our business, and meet a few of our learning experts.

CEO

Paul Geddes

Paul Geddes

Paul is the newest member of the leadership team - having joined as our CEO in September 2019. It was digital transformation and developing talent (two of his personal passions) which attracted Paul to QA – having built a career in both service and people-led businesses. Another passion of Paul's is playing the violin.  

Most recently Paul was CEO of Direct Line Group (DLG), where he led the successful IPO of the business, delivering strong customer and business performance. Under his leadership, DLG was recognised in the top three of the Sunday Times Best Big Companies To Work For ranking.

Paul is a Non-Executive Director of Channel 4 Television Corporation.

Prior to Direct Line Group, Paul was CEO of RBS Group’s mainland UK retail banking business, following a successful career in multichannel retailing and marketing at leading companies such as Kingfisher, GUS and Procter & Gamble. He read PPE at Oxford.

 

CFO

Nathan Runnicles

Nathan Runnicles

Nathan is our numbers man. As CFO he takes care of everything finance-related. He’s been our CFO since May 2018.

Before QA, Nathan was CFO at Tes Global and Research Now Group Inc. Before that, EMEA Finance Director of Fitch (that’s part of WPP Group plc). He’s got experience in group finance, corporate development, legal and investor relations. At Research Now Group Inc., he oversaw the development of the business from a UK public company, through two private equity transactions in 2009 and 2015.

Nathan’s roots in finance started when he became a qualified chartered accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1998. He has a BSc in Economics and Accounting from the University of Bristol.

Managing Director

Lisa Harrington

Lisa Harrington

For Lisa the customer (or in our case ‘the learner’) is king. She’s always one step ahead of what they want or need. She joined QA as Managing Director in March 2018.

Lisa has over 20 years’ leadership experience. She started her work-life at Accenture. She’s worked at BT in loads of senior leadership roles – digital, transformation, strategy – to name a few. Her highlight? Founding the TechWomen programme for BT – which empowered women to progress in tech careers.

She’s also been Non-Executive Director for Southern Water and West London Mental Health Trust.

Lisa studied at University College Dublin. She has an undergraduate degree in Politics, German Language and Literature. And she has a postgraduate degree in Business Studies.

Managing Director

Stuart Martin

Stuart Martin

Stuart joined QA in February 2000 – yes, you did read that correctly, that’s nearly 20 years ago (despite how young and youthful he looks!)

A real progression success story, Stuart started out as an Account Manager, and is now one of our Managing Directors.

Five years after joining QA, he became Sales Director. He led our sales operation when QA merged with Interquad, Xpertise and Remarc. In 2018, Stuart became Managing Director. He now leads consulting – helping customers develop and knit new technology into their business.

Before QA, Stuart worked in training and online education for IBM and Ten-TV.

 

Managing Director

Ben Pike

Ben Pike

Ben’s been one of our Managing Directors since September 2008. He’s passionate about developing the next generation of talent.

He's worked in senior leadership roles in learning for over 15 years. From 2002 to 2008, he was Operations Director and Learning Services Director at Xpertise. He helped build Xpertise into a leading learning business – and played a huge part making it happen.

Ben joined QA as Managing Director after QA merged with Xpertise – in 2008. Back then, he led our managed learning services. Since, Ben’s been the leader of our apprenticeships - which empower tonnes of young people to get on the digital career ladder. Now, he leads all the regional sales teams at QA.

 

Managing Director

Julie Noone

Julie Noone

Julie’s dedicated her work-life to education. She has more than 20 years’ experience in Professional and Higher education. She joined QA as Managing Director in March 2014.

At first, Julie qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor. But then, she moved to BPP Professional Education to lecture in tax and law. After changing places from learner to lecturer, there was no turning back – Julie found her passion for education.

She moved to Hong Kong as Managing Director of Kaplan (Asia Pacific). She delivered professional education in their Asia Pacific region. After this, Julie returned to London with Kaplan – to become Chief Operating Officer for Kaplan UK.

CTO

Bill Walker

Bill Walker

Bill’s our tech guy. He has 25 years’ experience in the technology industry. He makes sure we’re ahead of the pack when it comes to technology – and makes sure our customers are too.

He works with major vendors like Microsoft, Oracle, VMware, Amazon, Red Hat and Citrix – who we partner with. And, he’s on the advisory board for many of them.

Before QA, he was a director of Xpertise. For three years he was also on Microsoft's advisory council in Seattle. Bill started his career in software development and consulting at Deloitte. He has a degree in Computer Science, is a chartered engineer and a BCS Certified IT Professional.

Director of People and Engagement

Karen Orr

Karen Orr

Karen joined QA in 2016. She’s our people person – making sure that everyone who works for QA has a great experience and a fulfilling career.

She takes care of people strategy and operations – which includes making sure everyone enjoys working here, that they get opportunities to develop their skills, and that they are rewarded for their hard work. She also makes sure we find the right people to work with us.

Karen has almost 20 years’ experience leading HR teams – in lots of different sectors, like retail, services and technology. She has an MSc in Management Development and Organisational Change from Bristol University and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Chief Learner Officer

Tom O’Reilly

Tom O’Reilly

As well as being our Chief Learning Officer, Tom chairs our Teaching and Learning, and Quality Committees.

He gets things right for our learners – making sure everyone has a great experience, and gets the most out of their learning. He does it by improving the quality of learning and listening to insights from our learners and learning experts. He keeps in touch with the latest in learning – testing and evaluating new technologies and innovations.

Before QA, he was a Senior Strategy Advisor at the Department for Education. He’s also been a management consultant at McKinsey (in the Strategy and Corporate Finance practice). He has a MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University.

Director of Corporate Brand and Communications

Mary Sansom

Mary Sansom

Mary looks after all things brand. She’s made it her mission to raise our profile so more people know about all of the great work QA do.

Mary has tonnes of experience in marketing and communications. Her background is in PR – and she’s helped to get QA featured on Sky News, ITV, BBC local news, London Live, Radio1, and in the national papers.

Mary’s been part of the QA team for over 6 years – starting as marketing manager for the QA technical portfolio and progressing to lead marketing and product development for QA’s apprenticeship programmes. Before that, she worked in senior marketing roles at Capita.