Executive team

The experience and expertise of our global team enables us to deliver the highest-quality solutions for our clients’ diverse requirements all over the world.
Ian El-Mokadem

Ian El-Mokadem, Chief Executive Officer

Ian joined RWS Group as our CEO in July 2021. He has a wealth of experience in leading large, multinational service organizations, and a strong track record of delivering growth – both organically and through acquisitions. Ian also has extensive experience in developing strategy and leading technology-enabled business transformations. 

He has held Chief Executive, Board and Senior Executive roles in both UK listed and private equity backed businesses. 

Previously Ian was CEO of V.Group, the world’s leading ship management and marine support services business, where he oversaw a significant digital transformation programme. He was also CEO of Exova Group plc, the global materials testing and calibration services provider, which he steered through its IPO in 2014 and where he grew revenues and profitability substantially, both organically and through 18 acquisitions. Ian’s earlier career included divisional leadership roles at Compass Group plc and Centrica plc as well as strategy consulting with Accenture. 

Ian holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics and Statistics from University College London and an MBA from INSEAD. 

Outside the RWS Group Ian is a Non-Executive Director of Serco Group plc and a Director of Roegate Consulting Ltd. 

In his spare time, Ian enjoys spending time with his family, boating, running and going to the cinema.

Des Glass

Desmond Glass, Chief Financial Officer

Des joined RWS in 2017 and is responsible for all aspects of the Group’s financial function. 

He has over 20 years’ experience in senior finance roles and has worked for Deloitte, ABC and Primedia while based in New York, Rodale and Gan plc.

Before joining RWS, Desmond was the CFO of GAN plc, where he was instrumental in preparing the company for its successful AIM public listing, and expanding the company’s operations and delivery capability across the US and Europe. 

As Senior Finance Director at Rodale International, a leading health and wellness media company, Desmond shaped and delivered a financial strategy for the company’s international portfolio of joint ventures and licensees. 

A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, he holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Imperial College London.

When he’s not leading our financial operations, Des spends his time playing tennis (badly!) and travelling around the US with his wife and kids. 

Azad Ootam

Azad Ootam, Chief Technology Officer

Azad is our Chief Technology Officer and oversees innovation, automation, efficiency and security throughout the RWS Group. He is relentlessly focused on making RWS agile and reactive to clients’ needs by continuously improving our product portfolio. 

Much of his career to-date has been spent on large-scale transformational roles including strategy and key operational roles, and has also undertaken major programmes dealing with organisational redesign, radical cost-reduction and significant process and technology refreshes. Many of these roles have been in areas of high political and press interest, and he has successfully navigated organisations and significant change under this scrutiny. 

Previously the Chief Technology Officer at SDL (acquired by RWS in 2020), Azad led the company’s digital transformation strategy and more recently the integration of RWS and SDL. He has also been the CIO’s Chief of Staff at the Royal Mail, Commercial Director at UKBA, and a Partner at Accenture. 

Azad holds a BSc (Hons) in Computer Engineering from Manchester University. 

A family man and avid traveller, Azad enjoys playing and listening to music as well as spending time with friends.

Neil Simpkin

Neil Simpkin, President, IP Services

Neil is President of our IP Services Division and has overall managerial responsibility for the company’s full suite of intellectual property services – including patent translation and filing, renewals, IP research studies and global patent database PatBase. 

A highly experienced leader with extensive market and industry knowledge, Neil has been with RWS for 30 years. Starting as a translator on key accounts, he rose to Technical Director and then Managing Director of RWS’s Patent Information Division – becoming President of the RWS IP Services Division in 2017. A decade of his career spent working in China and Japan has given him a deep understanding of East Asian markets and the ability to harmonize global business processes and strategic initiatives. 

His long-standing involvement in customer-facing technology platforms, such as inovia and PatBase, has proven instrumental in improving internal efficiencies and the end-user experience. 

Neil has a BA (Hons) in Modern Languages from the University of Bradford. 

To his great surprise, Neil has taken up running and Peloton rides to combat the effects of watching his beloved Liverpool FC from the comfort of the sofa. He also tries to combine any business travel with some time spent getting to know the culture and seeing the sights of new cities.

John Hart

Jon Hart, President, Regulated Industries

Jon is President of our Regulated Industries Division and has overall responsibility for the Division’s revenue growth and profit operations and global sales. 

He is particularly skilled at growing global businesses, developing customer focused and highly collaborative teams, and leading and inspiring people. 

Jon brings over 20 years industry experience in leading sales and operations in the US, India, China, Korea and Europe. His career in the localization industry began in 1997 for a large language services provider, where he started as Business Development Director and rose to Vice President and General Manager for the company’s Global Engineering Services. 

He has a BA from Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY and Certificates from MIT Sloan Executive Education in AI and Business Strategy and Organizational Design for Digital Transformation. 

In his spare time Jon enjoys spending time with his family, boating, fishing and cycling. Jon is an avid hockey fan with a passion for his hometown team, the Boston Bruins.

Thomas Labarthe

Thomas Labarthe, President, Language Services and Technology

Thomas is President of our Language Services and Technology Division and holds overall responsibility for leading and developing the Division’s go-to-market strategy, alongside solution architecture, sales, partnerships, service delivery and commercial operations. 

With more than 20 years’ experience in the enterprise software and services market, Thomas has held several leadership positions at Alcatel-Lucent, Lookout and SDL (acquired by RWS in 2020). 

Thomas’s priority is always the customer – understanding their challenges and how our language and content solutions can meet their current and future needs. His passion can be summarized in two words: ‘people’ and ‘technology.’ He truly enjoys developing talents and building high-performance teams. 

Based in Portugal, Thomas is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese and knows enough Italian to be dangerous!

Maria Schnell

Maria Schnell, Senior Vice President, Language Delivery

Maria is responsible for our Language Delivery, overseeing all localization and production processes, and 1,600 in-house linguists and 37,000 freelance linguists across 30+ worldwide locations. 

Over 15 years’ experience in localization has given Maria an unrivalled level of expertise. Not only does she drive the day-to-day activities of our language delivery teams, she is leading our transformation towards a data-driven, machine-first, human-centred localization process. 

After graduating from university, Maria joined SDL (acquired by RWS in 2020) as a Localization Project Manager. Her first leadership role arrived in 2010 when she led SDL’s operational and commercial teams in Germany. Five years later Maria moved to the operational side, leading production teams across Europe, and then globally. 

Maria has a Diplom Übersetzer from the University of Heidelberg. In her spare time Maria enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.

Christopher Lewy

Christopher Lewey, Group Corporate Development Director

Christopher is Group Corporate Development Director and is responsible for M&A as well as a number of support services across our operations including Marketing and Legal. 

Christopher has 20 years’ experience in leadership roles across companies where he has managed teams with responsibility for delivering strategic projects, M&A and integration. 

Previously Christopher was an investment banker where he has led sector teams and advised clients in a wide range of industries on both domestic and international M&A. He has also worked in corporate development roles in a number of companies including four years at Betfair, where he oversaw the company’s £1.5 billion IPO. 

Christopher holds a BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Cambridge and an ACA from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. 

A dedicated family man and keen sports fan, Christopher spends his spare time following cricket and playing golf.

Jim McHugh

Jim McHugh, Chief People Officer

Jim is our Chief People Officer and joined RWS at the start of 2022. He has a wealth of experience in technical and technology-based international, multi-site businesses in executive HR leadership roles across the spectrum of human resources. 
He has experience in both listed and private equity backed businesses and most recently was Chief HR Officer for V.Group, the world’s leading ship management and marine support services business. Prior to this Jim was the Head of HR for Exova Group plc. In both roles he has demonstrated significant expertise in developing organizational capability and culture. Earlier Jim spent a significant portion of his career in the semiconductor industry with Motorola. 
Jim believes that helping to foster a genuinely diverse, inclusive environment where people can be their best selves is fundamental to his role. He was raised in a family that prized community and grew up with a strong sense of empathy and the importance of people – values he has carried forward into his professional career.  
He has an MA (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Glasgow and an M.Sc. in Human Resource Management from the University of Strathclyde.
Outside of work Jim is a keen runner, enjoys travel, cooking and plays golf (but please don’t ask about his handicap!).