LONDON, Sept. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Boardwave, the impact-led networking community for European software founders and CEOs, has today announced that it has appointed its first board of directors, assembling a line-up of industry heavyweights to help deliver on its mission across Europe. Today it announces Jonathan McKay, Leo Apotheker and Elona Mortimer-Zhika as new board members. They join Phill Robinson, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) at Boardwave, along with Kath Easthope as chief operating officer (COO), and are supported by an advisory committee and team of high calibre founding patrons.

Each of the board directors bring a wealth of experience, leading companies through every stage of business growth, from start-up to established global sector leader. This latest announcement from Boardwave comes as the established community reaches a significant milestone of over 1,000 members since its inception in April 2022.

Boardwave is a fast-growing network which brings together software entrepreneurs, founders and CEOs from across Europe and enables them to network, share ideas, experience and best practice, as well as make use of valuable mentorship in order to help accelerate their business growth. Through this approach, Boardwave aims to help build world-beating software companies, with the goal of enabling the European software industry to become a global leader and rival Silicon Valley.

Phill Robinson, founder and CEO of Boardwave, commented: “This is an important and significant milestone in Boardwave’s continued development and expansion. Elona, Jonathan and Leo represent a team of industry heavyweights of the highest calibre across the software sector and are each strongly aligned with our mission at Boardwave. Their combined energy and experience provide exceptional support for our growth objectives for the organisation. This best-in-class team demonstrates the weight of senior industry support behind the need to create an active ecosystem of software leaders across Europe.”

Boardwave board members announced today:

  • Jonathan McKay is the new Boardwave chairperson. Jonathan has a distinguished career as an investor, board member and chair of a number of early to mid-stage businesses. Amongst other roles, he is chair of Forward Partners, a leading publicly listed venture capital (VC) firm. Jonathan will represent the interests of members who are founder-led and smaller VC-backed businesses.
  • Leo Apotheker takes a role as non-exec director (NED) after joining the Boardwave community very early on as a founding patron. He brings world-leading expertise, having previously been the CEO of SAP and Hewlett Packard. At SAP, Leo led its emergence as a global leading software company. He is also currently the chair at Syncron, Harvest and Eudonet, fast-growing enterprise software organisations. Since joining Boardwave, Leo has been advising and guiding pre-Series A and Series A start-up founders and CEOs. His guidance will be highly relevant to those members who are potential global champions with the goal of going public.
  • Elona Mortimer-Zhika also joins Boardwave as NED. Elona is CEO of IRIS Software, one of the UK’s most successful PE-backed software companies. Elona has been a patron of Boardwave since it was founded and represents mid to large European software companies that are PE owned. Under her leadership, IRIS has acquired 30+ businesses and delivered double-digit growth organically, entered the US market successfully, transitioned to a cloud platform business and has been recognised as a Great Place to Work. Prior to joining IRIS, Elona held several senior leadership roles in Big Four and PE-backed businesses, including Mavenir, Acision, Arthur Andersen and Deloitte.
  • Phill Robinson is CEO and founder at Boardwave. Phill has 35 years’ leadership experience in the software industry. He served in the management teams of a number of international software firms in both the US and Europe. He was CMO of Salesforce, before returning to the UK to lead PE-backed software businesses, including IRIS Software (UK), Exact (NL). Both had successful exits under his leadership. He remains a board director of Exact. He is also currently the chair of the software advisory board for Livingbridge, a UK private equity firm, strategic advisor and director to Upliift, and a member of the development board of Cure Parkinson’s.
  • Kath Easthope joins the Boardwave board as a director, in her role as chief operating officer of Boardwave, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Boardwave community. She is also the lead for Boardwave’s diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy. Kath joined Boardwave at the start of 2023, having most recently been CMO at a leading AI-marketing business which successful exited in 2022. She has a communications agency background and has run some of the UK & Europe’s most successful public relations firms focused on the technology sector.

Phill Robinson concluded: “The work we can do together will accelerate the software industry as a whole and create an incredible platform to support our founder and CEO community, as well as the incredible team of investors and advisors we have within our membership network.”

About Boardwave

Boardwave is an impact-driven community of 1,000 European software founders and CEOs designed to help members accelerate their business growth, and to improve the overall position of Europe as a home for global software companies. Boardwave offers a programme of events, peer-to-peer mentoring and inspiration, as well as an online platform that connects European software CEOs for advice, insights, expertise and access to capital. It is also a campaigner for change across special interest areas including AI, Government engagement and DE&I.

Software leaders, CEOs and Chairs can access the programme and platform at no cost. The Boardwave community is generously supported and funded by a network of Partners from across the software investor and advisory ecosystem.

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SOURCE Boardwave