QA is led by a highly talented and experienced management team who have shaped us into the UK’s leading business and IT training provider.
William Macpherson has been leading education and business services groups for over 20 years. He has been the CEO of QA Group, the UK’s leading IT and business training company, since 2008. He led the development of QA from a value of £25m in 2008 to £700m in 2017 (when a majority stake was acquired by CVC, the leading private equity group). QA now employs over 2,000 staff including more than 700 education professionals.
Prior to this, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Kaplan Professional, Inc. from 2006-2008. He led the MBO of The Financial Training Company (which became FTC Kaplan) from Wolters Kluwer in 2001 and sold the business to Kaplan in 2003 doubling the value of the business in two years. Between 2004-2008, he led Kaplan’s businesses outside the US, which included operations in six countries.
Prior to Kaplan he worked at Bain & Company management consultants and at a corporate finance boutique.
William holds an MA in Law from Cambridge University and an MBA from INSEAD.
Group Finance Director
Ian is a chartered accountant and has over fifteen years experience in the IT training industry. Ian was a senior manager with Price Waterhouse in Manchester and between 1989 and 1992 he was Group Finance Director of Logitek plc. He was a member of the management buy-in team of Xpertise in 1993 and became Group Finance Director following the admission of Xpertise to the Alternative Investment Market in January 1999. Ian was Managing Director of Xpertise from October 2003 to December 2008 during which Xpertise’s revenue and operating profit grew substantially. He became Group Finance Director in January 2009 following the merger of QA and Xpertise.
Lisa Harrington joined QA from BT. She was Chief Customer Officer for the whole of BT Group from 2015 to 2017. Previously she was CIO and MD Service Operations at BT Wholesale Division from 2013 to 2015 and Managing Director of Transformation from 2011 to 2013. Before that, she was Managing Director of Service Operations in the BT Retail Division from 2010 to 2011 and Customer and Operations Director at BT Consumer from 2007 to 2010. Before joining BT, Lisa was at Accenture for ten years, where she left as Senior Manager. Lisa is Independent Non-Executive Director at Southern Water (2015-Present) and was Non-Executive Director at the West London Mental Health NHS Trust from 2009 to 2010. Lisa studied at University College Dublin. She graduated with an undergraduate degree in Politics, German Language and Literature in 1994 and a postgraduate degree in Business Studies in 1996.
Group Sales Director
Stuart Martin has been with QA since 2000, having previously worked in the training and online education space for IBM and then Ten-TV. Having joined in the role of Account Manager he went on to become Sales Director in 2005 and has since led the sales organisation through the successful mergers with Interquad, Xpertise and Remarc. In addition to focusing on developing relationships with customers and partners, he continues to be responsible for the strategy and ongoing development of the sales, marketing and customer service organisation in QA Learning.
Ben has 15 years experience in senior leadership roles within the learning industry and now directs the QA Academy, providing IT Apprenticeships for young people. He joined QA as managing director of managed learning services following the merger of the QA with Xpertise in 2008. From 2002 to 2008, Ben was operations director and learning services director at Xpertise, during which time he was instrumental in building Xpertise into a leading learning services business. Prior to this, Ben was operations director of a £43m training business.
Managing Director at QA Consulting
Tony joined QA in September 2015 when QA Limited acquired the NETbuilder Academy, a company that Tony had co-founded in 1999. To compliment QA's industry leading training business Tony helped create QA Consulting, a subsidiary business of QA. As Managing Director of QA Consulting, Tony oversees enablement programmes that help customers become self sufficient in the development and support of their technologies. QAC recruit, train and deploy consultants in the local geography to customers, empowering them to develop and maintain solutions built on the technology that they have invested in. QAC are able to deploy full scrum teams, technology specialist teams, or technology-specific augmentation from a pool of hundreds of consultants.
Managing Director at QA Higher Education
Julie joined QA in 2014, bringing more than 20 years’ experience in Professional and Higher Education to the company. Julie originally qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor before moving to BPP Professional Education where she lectured in tax and law. She then moved to Hong Kong as Managing Director of Kaplan (Asia Pacific), responsible for the delivery of professional education across the Asia Pacific region. Julie then returned to London with Kaplan where she held the post of Chief Operating Officer for Kaplan UK.
Bill has 25 years' experience in the IT industry, having started his career in software development and consulting with Deloitte. He manages the company's relationships with its major vendors and partners, including Microsoft, Oracle, VMware, Amazon, Red Hat and Citrix. He sits on advisory boards for many of them and has served three years on Microsoft's advisory council in Seattle. He is responsible for leading innovation to ensure that QA is at the forefront of technology that helps customers get the most from their investment in training. Bill was a director of Xpertise where he was responsible for growing the business in the technical, project management, service management and soft skills areas. He has a degree in Computer Science, is a chartered engineer and a BCS Certified IT Professional.
Mike has been with QA since 2008 as IT Director, following the merger with Xpertise. He is responsible for building and directing the company’s technology strategy, including the provision of technology to support all forms of learning plus leading teams in application development, IT infrastructure and platform provision. Mike has been involved in the IT training industry for over 15 years during which time he has worked in a number of operational and IT roles.
Director of People & Engagement
Karen Orr joined QA as Director of People and Engagement in 2016, bringing almost 20 years’ experience leading HR teams across a range of retail, services and technology organisations. She holds an MSc in Management Development and Organisational Change from Bristol University and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Karen is responsible for HR strategy and operations across the group and serves as a member of the executive committee. She leads all employee engagement and development activities in addition to compensation, benefits and HR technology matters for the Company.
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