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Chris Clark, chief executive, GBG

Chris Clark

Path to power

I started work in 1991 when I joined BT Group on a general management graduate programme. I was excited to begin a career in telecoms and technology, because it appeared to be an industry about to go through a huge amount of change. I wasn’t wrong.

 

During my 20 years at BT, I developed from a graduate trainee to the group’s global leadership team. A large part of my time at BT was spent opening and expanding businesses in Europe, the US and Asia. I also managed the challenges of a changing online and data-driven environment, helping the business re-orientate itself to the complex, digital world we now live in.

 

Following BT, I joined Experian as managing director for UK and EMEA, and I experienced the positive power that personal information and identity data has become. It was an exciting progression then, when I then joined the GB Group - a dedicated specialist in identity data - in April 2017 as CEO.

 

What is the proudest achievement of your career to date?

My time at GBG. Specifically, taking the business to more than 19,000 customers, over 1,000 team members and helping my team gain the highest customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction scores in the business’ history.

 

Who is your role model or the person you look to for inspiration?

I have numerous role models I learn from on a daily basis. The older I get, the more I realise, I have to learn, and one can learn from all sorts of different people.

 

Did 2019 turn out the way you expected? If not, in what ways was it different?

The year unfolded more or less as expected. On the macro front there was more political instability around the world, and I certainly didn’t expect the political events we saw in the UK.

 

From a GBG perspective, 2019 went more or less as expected. We saw more regulation for industries and a greater shift in focus for businesses on customers. Political and economic pressures have resulted in caution, but I’m pleased GBG has been able to help customers through it.

 

What do you expect 2020 to be like for the data and analytics industry?

I expect even more focus on privacy and security, resulting in businesses needing to spend more time understanding their customers’ goals. Plus, even more focus on customer experience being a differentiator – and trust will be vital.

 

Data and technology are changing business, the economy and society – what do you see as the biggest opportunity emerging from this?

Consumers are shaping the future of commerce by continuing to have a strong voice. Technology that has ease, speed and convenience at its centre will always be important to customers/end users.

 

What is the biggest tech challenge your clients face in ensuring data is at the heart of their digital transformation strategy?

Understanding the changing needs and demands of their customers and making sure they are quick enough to react. Our clients’ technology teams need to work hand in hand with their product teams.

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