We are pleased to announce the addition of our new CEO, Martin Prendergast.
This new appointment comes after our former CEO, Benjamin Smith moved into a bigger role within the Really Epic Dog group.
To get to know Martin a little better we sat him down for a Q&A session where we got to discuss everything from his biggest achievement to his perfect day. Have a read below!
So, why did you choose Laduma?
”I immediately felt at home here. I could feel the energy and the passion in the team as soon as I walked through the door. Everybody wants to make a difference and believes Laduma can. But more than that, I could see great products and great clients. I feel privileged to join the company at this time. We are in an exciting space and we are leading the market with some of our immersive technology products. Now is the time where Laduma can start to make that difference.”
What’s your favorite piece of tech and why?
“Personally, it’s my iPhone. It is a digital revolution right in my pocket. We all have access to an infinite amount of people, services, products and information right now, at the touch of a few buttons. We are only just starting to see how this technology is transforming our world, and in this digital world, Laduma will also add value. Our Immersive Projection, for example, converts blank space into virtual bio-systems, literally bringing the great outdoors-inside. Add to this, the ability to transform the way teams can communicate and work together, and our technology is beginning to transform the work environment as we know it.”
What are your goals for Laduma over the next 6 months? 3 years?
“I am joining at a very exciting time as we are poised for significant growth. Without giving too much away at this stage, it would be fair to say that you will see more of Laduma leading the way in the immersive technology space. I want to continue to build on the great work the team has already started and focus on bringing new innovation to the market. We will continue to be a great company to do business with, but we will concentrate on making it easier for companies to adopt and benefit from our technology. This in turn will allow them to delight their customers and employees, adopt better ways of working and find new ways of creating value.”
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“I have always been lucky to have great mentors throughout my career, so I have had lots of fantastic advice over the years. One piece of advice that has always resonated is “Have the confidence to hire people better than you.” I have helped build a number of businesses over the years, and they need good people. But, they also need great managers. Great managers have the confidence to bring in the best talent and support them. But also don’t be afraid to grow internal talent and offer the chance for advancement. It is said, that you get back what you put out. Well, in this case it always back to recruit or nurture and promote the best talent you can.”
How would you describe your leadership style?
“I like to share a vision and values for the company that everyone can get behind and believe in. My leadership style is one of empowering our people to achieve the vision and creating the right environment where that can happen. I believe the CEO should personify the values of the business and lead through example. And I believe in nurturing every level in Laduma, so everyone can grow and reach their full potential. In doing so, not only will we always put the customer first, but we will also create a great place to work where people will thrive.”
What are you most proud of?
“In 2007 I co-founded a company off the back of seeing changes in the IT market. It started with a vision and my partner and myself grew it to a company of 80 people before being acquired by the US software company Ivanti. It was an exciting journey and I learnt many lessons. To see something grow from an initial conversation in a pub one night, to a global company with an amazing client list, awards from the likes of Gartner and Microsoft and investment from the UK and the US, was amazing. But I am most proud of the team. Their passion and drive made it possible. I worked with great people and made lifelong friends.”
Finally, tell us what an ideal day would look in the life of Martin.
“I like to split my days into segments. Rather like the old advert for Mars bars with ‘Work, Rest and Play’. I try to find time to exercise every day. Not only does this help keep me fit but it is also a great time to have space to reflect. It’s my own space. I am a keen runner and cyclist. Then I am investing in people. On a workday that will be staff and customers. I am always listening and learning. I am fascinated by people. Everybody has something to contribute.
At the weekends I like to spend time with my family. Watching my children grow in confidence as they tackle life’s challenges must be top of any parents list? I do try and do something educational every day. I believe in lifelong learning. I will read books around particular subjects. I am a history fan, but I also like to read business books. I am currently re-reading Jeffery Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm”. I have read it several times but like to pick it up again when new challenges present themselves and refresh my memory. I have also just been given Chris Voss’s book “Never split the difference” by a friend. It’s an insightful guide to negotiating written by the former FBI lead negotiator.
Then, if I have the time I like to be outdoors, especially in the mountains. I once led an expedition to Nepal, but I don’t have to travel that far. There are so many great places here in the UK. I am a sailor and, in the summer, try and take the family to the Med where we charter a yacht. There’s something very cathartic about being on a yacht under sail. It is the ultimate way to unwind. In the winter, I love the chance to ski. I haven’t taught my children yet, so am looking forward to taking them on their first every ski trip next year.”
We are definitely excited, here at Laduma, for our new chapter and to have Martin on board and look forward to the amazing leadership and support he’s going to provide.