Leadership Team

Rick Haythornthwaite

Co-Founder & Chairman

Rick Haythornthwaite is chairman of the FTSE-listed Ocado Group plc and chairman of the AA, and an Advisory Partner to Moelis & Co. He is a co-founder and chairman of QiO Technologies and director of the digital consultancy, Globant. He is also an investor in and chairman of ARC International, the global glass tableware manufacturer and an angel investor in a wide range of early-stage technology companies. 

Rick was previously the chairman of MasterCard Inc from 2006-2020, CEO of Invensys from 2001-2005 and Blue Circle Industries from 1999-2001, having joined as Director of Asia and Europe in 1997. He spent his early career in BP from 1978-1995 before moving to Premier Oil as Commercial Director from 1995 to 1997. He has served on the boards of Centrica and Network Rail as chairman and Cookson, Lafarge, ICI and Land Securities as non-executive director. In the UK not-for-profit sector, he is the current chair of the Creative Industries Federation and Creative England and former chair of the Southbank Centre and Almeida Theatre. He was educated at MIT (Sloan Fellow) and The Queen’s College, Oxford (MA Geology).

Rajan Pandhare


Rajan has been an Operating Partner with a leading European £2billion Private Equity group supporting their expansion into technology and tech-enabled services companies. In addition, he has successfully built software services and product companies in the USA and UK, with offshore delivery centres in India. He was Co-founder and Chairman of Irene Healthcare (a chain of secondary care hospitals) and Kalpan Hydro (a renewable energy company), and Vice Chairman of I2India (a joint venture with Imperial College, UK).

Away from the commercial world, Rajan led the expansion of President Clinton’s HIV/AIDS Initiative across Africa and Asia and has been a board member of leading foundations and not for profits (Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Care International UK and Elton John’s AIDS Foundation Investment Committee). He has also been on the board of GreenInfra and EVI, portfolio companies of private equity groups and remains an active angel investor in early stage technology companies across India and the USA. He holds an MS from Louisiana State University, USA.

Ed Birch

Finance Director

Ed is responsible for all aspects of finance and acts as the performance conscience of the business with end-to-end profitability and cash management accountability. Ed was ‘Big 4’ trained at KPMG with a background in corporate turnaround, having worked in the firm’s Restructuring advisory practice throughout the global financial crisis.

Previously, as Head of FP&A at Experian plc, Ed led the delivery of all financial planning and analysis for the dynamic EMEA region of the FTSE100 software, data and analytics business. He qualified as an accountant whilst at KPMG and is now a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Gary Chandler

Chief Technology Officer

Gary joined QiO from Rolls-Royce, having spent 25 years developing real-time safety-critical control systems for aero-engines. As a keen strategist and innovator, Gary was a key leader in the adoption of ‘Lean Product Development’ and the ‘Internet of Things’ within Rolls-Royce, deeply engaging with the associated culture change.

Gary is responsible for all commercial aspects of software deployments where he utilises his deep domain expertise to unlock customer value through advanced analytics and AI-infused software.

David McGuirk

Director DC & Telecom

David leads QiO´s global Data Center and Telecoms Team with an approach that creates a close partnership with clients to ensure that business priorities, sustainability and empowerment are at the heart of technology investment and business transformation.

Before joining QiO, David had his own consultancy, which he founded out of a desire to drive sustainability across Hybrid Cloud Environments. 

Prior to that, David had a successful 20 year career designing, architecting, building and delivering enterprise-class data centers, previously having cofounded Hawk Systems and was Managing Director at Hive Datacentres. David is a passionate sustainability advocate and thought leader in accelerating GHG emissions reduction associated with digital. David is also QiO´s Head of Sustainability.

Fouad Omri

AI Fellow

Fouad is responsible for the product engineering of AI-infused applications at scale. Managing a global team of engineers to develop AI expertise that provides our customers and partners with self-learning applications that are not limited by static slices of point-in-time views but become smarter with each deployment.

Fouad holds a PhD in computer science and applied mathematics from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. He was a Lecturer and Senior Researcher at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, specialising in Statistical Modelling, Machine Learning, Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning.

Yassine Houari

Head of Product

Yassine leads the product management function at QiO and is responsible for the development and roadmap of our growing product portfolio.

Prior to joining QiO, Yassine was Product Manager for several products in the Industrial IoT space at Accenture as part of their IndustryX division, a high-growth division developing commercial software products and accelerators for industrial customers across the globe in the manufacturing, chemicals, water utilities and energy space. Yassine has a mechanical engineering background, and a master’s in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London.