Our Board

Julie Southern

Julie Southern

Non-executive Chairman

Non-executive Chairman

Julie Southern

Julie is RWS’s Independent, Non-executive Chairman. She was appointed to this role on 2 October 2023, having previously served as a Non-executive Director and Chairman Designate since July 2022.

She has a wealth of business, strategic and governance experience from her current and previous Non-executive Director roles. Julie is currently Chair of the Board of NXP Semiconductors, where she has been a Non-executive Director since 2013. She is also a Non-executive Director and Chair of the Remuneration Committee at Ocado Group.

She has also previously held Non-executive Director positions at easyjet, where she was Senior Independent Director, at Rentokil Initial, DFS Furniture Company and Cineworld Cinemas, where she chaired the respective Audit Committees, at Stagecoach where she chaired the Remuneration Committee and at Gategroup where she chaired the Nomination and Compensation Committee.

Julie’s executive career included a number of senior finance, operations and marketing roles, where she has driven significant growth and revenues, including at Porsche Cars, as Group Finance Director from 1996, before she joined Virgin Atlantic in 2000 as Chief Financial Officer with a broad management role, later becoming its Chief Commercial Officer in 2010. She was also Finance and Operations Director at WH Smith – HJ Chapman & Co. Ltd.

Julie holds a BA (Hons.) in Economics from the University of Cambridge and is a qualified chartered accountant.

Chair of the Nomination Committee.

Ian El-Mokadem

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer

Ian El-Mokadem

Ian joined RWS 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. 

Candida Davies

Candida Davies

Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial Officer

Candida Davies

Candida (Candy) Davies joined RWS as Chief Financial Officer in October 2022. She oversees all aspects of the Group’s financial function. 

An accomplished leader with more than 25 years’ experience, Candy has a deep expertise in finance, strategy and business transformation, and a wealth of international experience in executing and integrating significant corporate transactions. 

Most recently Candy was Head of Finance for the Personal Health division of Royal Philips, the Dutch-headquartered health technology conglomerate, where she additionally supported the Group Innovation and Strategy function. She has considerable experience in commercial and operational leadership and played a key role in driving market innovation, new business models and solutions to support enhancing patient and consumer experience, improving health outcomes and driving sustainable performance. 

She previously spent eight years at Reckitt Benckiser as SVP Group Controller and European Finance Director for the Hygiene and Home Business Unit. After qualifying as a chartered accountant at KPMG International Ltd, Candy worked for 12 years at Eli Lilly & Co, the US pharmaceutical company. 

Candy graduated from the University of Bristol with a BSC (Hons) in Engineering Mathematics. 

Paul Abbott

Paul Abbott

Independent Non-executive Director

Independent Non-executive Director

Paul Abbott

Paul was appointed an Independent Non-executive Director of RWS on 1 January 2024. 

Paul Abbott is Chief Executive Officer of American Express Global Business Travel (“Amex GBT”), which is the leading global software and services company for travel and expense for more than 20,000 businesses around the world. Since joining in 2019, Paul has led Amex GBT through several strategic acquisitions, transforming the company's product and technology solutions and driving significant growth with SME customers. After initially leading the business as a private equity-backed joint venture, Paul took Amex GBT public on the New York Stock Exchange in May 2022. Paul also chairs the Global Business Travel Association Foundation, spearheading its strategy to drive a more sustainable and diverse future for the industry. Before Amex GBT, Paul was Chief Commercial Officer at American Express. In his twenty-four years at American Express, he served in a variety of senior roles across the business. 

Member of the Nomination Committee.

Andrew Brode

Andrew Brode

Non-executive Director

Non-executive Director

Andrew Brode

Andrew is a Non-executive Director and a major shareholder in RWS. He served as the Group’s Executive Chairman between 2003 – when he floated the business on AIM – and 2023, having led a buy-in of RWS in 1995. Andrew is also Chairman of AIM-listed Learning Technologies Group plc and GRC International plc.

He started his career as a chartered accountant, worked as an investment banker, and later became the Managing Director of Croner Publications, which was sold to Wolters Kluwer in 1977. He was subsequently appointed CEO of Wolters Kluwer (UK) plc.

Andrew acquired Eclipse Publications through a management buy-in, which he sold to Reed Elsevier in 2000. He was also appointed as Non-executive Chairman of Axco Insurance Information Services by 3i prior to its sale to Wilmington plc in 2010.

In June 2008 he negotiated the purchase of Epic Group plc, the UK market leader in e-learning from Huveaux plc. Epic listed on AIM in 2013 and changed its name to Learning Technologies Group plc, at which time Andrew was appointed as Non-executive Chairman.

In 2012 he became the Non-executive Chairman and an investor in IT Governance Ltd (now GRC International plc after its flotation in March 2018), the leading provider of governance and risk management information in the cyber security space. In 2019 he was appointed as a Non-executive Director of Cera Care Ltd, a leading, tech-enabled domiciliary care provider.

Member of the Nomination Committee.

David Clayton

David Clayton

Independent Non-executive Director

Independent Non-executive Director

David Clayton

David joined RWS in 2020 as an Independent Non-executive Director after the acquisition of SDL, where he had originally been appointed as a Non-executive Director in December 2009. He also served at various times at SDL as the Senior Independent Director, the Non-executive Chairman and, for a nine month period in 2015/2016, interim Executive Chairman. 

Under his leadership SDL made a number of acquisitions and became one of the world’s largest language services providers. 

David was Managing Director and Head of European Technology Research at CSFB from 1997 until 2004. He then joined The Sage Group plc Board as a Non-executive Director in 2004 before taking up an executive role as Director of Strategy and Corporate Development from October 2007 to February 2012. 

David is currently Chairman of Forensic and Compliance Systems and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the charity Changing Faces. David is also on the boards of FCS (UK) Limited, Solar Archive Ltd, Albora Technologies Ltd and is a trustee of Dixons Academies Charitable Trust Ltd.

Member of the Audit, Nomination and Remuneration Committees.

Graham Cooke

Graham Cooke

Independent Non-executive Director

Independent Non-executive Director

Graham Cooke

Graham was appointed an Independent Non-executive Director of RWS on 1 January 2024. 

Graham Cooke is the founder and former Chief Executive Officer of Qubit, a leading SaaS company in the e-commerce space, providing AI-personalised shopping recommendations to more than 1 billion shoppers per month. He oversaw the sale of Qubit to Coveo Solutions in 2021 followed by a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and he remained an advisor to the company until 2023. Prior to Qubit, Graham was one of the first European employees at Google, working on its Ad Platform and Google Analytics products. Graham joined the board of ITV plc as a Non-executive Director in 2020 where he sits on the Audit Committee and regularly contributes to ITV’s digital strategy, including ITVX. Graham continues to focus on founding and developing new technologies and is a published author and speaker around technology shifts and how they will impact business strategy. 

Member of the Nomination Committee.

Frances Earl

Frances Earl

Independent Non-executive Director

Independent Non-executive Director

Frances Earl

Frances has been an Independent Non-executive Director of RWS since November 2020. 

Previously Frances was a Managing Director at Accenture, where she held senior HR positions both locally (in UK and Ireland) and globally. She served as HR Director on Accenture’s UK and Ireland Executive Board, Products Operating Group Executive Board and Financial Services Operating Group Executive Board, and was Global Recruitment Director for all Executive and Partner Recruitment across 20 countries. 

Frances has been responsible for advising, designing and implementing HR change programmes for a number of Accenture businesses across multiple countries. She has led initiatives identifying and hiring external senior talent for various Accenture Executive Boards to drive growth for the business. In particular, she spearheaded and delivered programmes focused on senior diversity appointments. Frances also played a key role in the integration of senior executives and people as part of various acquisitions and acted as the HR Director for a new operating model implementation in countries where formal employee consultation was required.

Chair of the Remuneration Committee, member of the Audit and Nomination Committees.

Gordon Stuart

Gordon Stuart

Independent Non-executive Director

Independent Non-executive Director

Gordon Stuart

Gordon joined RWS as an Independent Non-executive Director in November 2020. 

He currently serves as the CFO of AMS, a global total workforce solutions provider of talent acquisition and contingent workforce management, internal mobility and skills development, and talent and technology advisory services. He has led Finance, Corporate Services and Operational functions as an Executive Director for over 20 years. 

Previous roles include CFO of Unit4 and TMF Group. He has held senior positions with several UK listed businesses including Group Finance Director of Xansa plc and Group Finance Director of London Bridge Software Holdings plc. He has also held non-executive roles at Sepura plc, Intec Telecom Systems plc and, prior to its acquisition by RWS, SDL plc. In each instance he served as Chair of the Audit committee.

In his executive roles he has led all aspects of corporate activity ranging from commercial negotiations, dispute resolution, restructuring and transformation management, mergers and acquisitions and capital markets activities.

Chair of the Audi Committee, member of the Nomination and Remuneration Committees.