Board of Directors
David Richards MBE
Chairman, President, CEO and Co-founder
Since co-founding the Company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on the London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE) and, shortly after, the acquisition of AltoStor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, David has established and successfully exited several highly successful Silicon Valley technology companies. David was the founder and CEO of Librados, an application integration software provider, and led the company’s acquisition by NASDAQ-listed NetManage, Inc. in 2005. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. David holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Huddersfield.
After Paul Walker, the former Chairman, stepped down from the Board in October 2016, David took the role of Chairman. In 2017 David was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Sheffield Hallam University in recognition of him being a champion of British technology and a passionate advocate of entrepreneurship.
David and his wife Jane founded the David & Jane Richards Family Foundation with the purpose to educate, empower and improve the lives of children through hands-on programmes and targeted assistance. They aim to encourage children to fulfil their potential and make a positive impact on the world around them. The first programmes commenced in 2018 in some state schools in the UK, where they will use new methods to teach computing skills and install beehives as part of a wider teaching curriculum.
Dr. Yeturu Aahlad
Chief Scientist, Inventor & Co-Founder
Dr Aahlad is a recognised worldwide authority on distributed computing. He is named in 35 WANdisco patents, including US and international patents, continuations and divisionals. It was Dr Aahlad’s vision and years of persistence that led to the invention of technology that many thought was impossible – that of Active-Active replication (WANdisco’s patented DConE technology). Prior to WANdisco, Dr Aahlad served as the distributed systems architect for iPlanet (Sun/Netscape Alliance) Application Server. At Netscape, Dr Aahlad joined the elite team in charge of creating a new server platform based on the CORBA distributed object framework.
Prior to Sun/Netscape Dr Aahlad worked on incorporating the CORBA security service into Fujitsu’s Object Request Broker. Dr Aahlad designed and implemented the CORBA event services while working on Sun’s first CORBA initiative. Earlier in his career, Dr Aahlad worked on a distributed programming language at IBM’s Palo Alto Scientific Center.
Dr Aahlad has a PhD in Distributed Computing from the University of Texas, Austin, and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras.
Vice Chairman and Senior Non-executive Director
Bob brings more than 30 years of executive and financial management experience in public and private companies in Silicon Valley with software and hardware companies.
Bob is highly experienced in managing the financial aspects of public companies; he has a strong history with Wall Street, and extensive mergers and acquisitions experience. He also has deep corporate governance acumen and has served on numerous boards in Silicon Valley as Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the Audit Committee, and a member on Compensation and Nomination and Governance Committees.
Formerly Bob was Chief Financial Officer of Callidus Software, a $2.4bn acquisition by SAP in April 2018. Until September 2017, he sat on the Board and chaired the Audit Committee for Apigee, a $625m acquisition by Google. He has also served as the Chief Financial Officer of FrontRange Solutions USA Inc., an enterprise software company. Prior to FrontRange, Bob was a member of the Board of Directors at Extreme Networks, Inc., an ethernet solutions company, ultimately serving as Interim Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Bob has also served as a member of the Board of Directors for AmberPoint, Interwoven, Live Ops and Veraz Networks.
Bob began his career at Arthur Andersen, is a California CPA (not current), and has a Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting from California State University at Fullerton. Bob is a Veteran of the United States Air Force, where he served as an Air Traffic Controller.
Chief Financial Officer
Erik E. Miller was the Chief Financial Officer of Envivo. Inc., a NASDAQ listed provider of video transcoding software from Febrary 2010, to January 2016, following its acquisition by Ericsson AB. From January 2008 to July 2009, Mr. Miller served as Chief Financial Officer at SigNav Pty. Ltd., a component supplier to the wireless industry, where he was responsible for finance and administration functions; and from March 2006 to January 2008, Mr. Miller served as Chief Financial Officer at Tangler Pty. Ltd., a social networking company, where he was responsible for finance and administrative functions. Mr. Miller received a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.
Prior to founding Global Frontier Investments, LLC, Grant was an investment analyst and member of the Investment Committee for Ayer Capital, a long/short equity healthcare fund, where he was focused on medical devices, diagnostics, healthcare services, biotechnology and pharmaceutical investments. Prior to Ayer, Grant was an associate in the healthcare group at BA Venture Partners (now Scale Ventures), where he sourced, evaluated and invested in private medical device, biotechnology, specialty pharmaceutical and healthcare service companies. Before BA Venture Partners, Grant was an investment banking analyst in corporate finance at Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown focused on the technology sector.
Grant received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, with majors in Analytical Finance, Management and Strategy, and Accounting. He received his BSc in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University.
Karl brings a wealth of capital markets and board experience. Prior to founding Ashling Capital, Karl has worked in corporate finance for Robert W. Baird, Credit Lyonnais Securities, Bank of Ireland, Johnson Fry and BDO Stoy Hayward. Additionally, he trained as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in Dublin and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University College Dublin.
Ensuring the long-term success of the Group
Board composition and responsibilities
The Board comprises three Executive Directors (including the Chairman) and three Non-executive Directors, two of which are independent (Bob Corey and Karl Monaghan). The Board is responsible for the long-term success of the Group. It has established a strategy and business model which promote long-term value for shareholders as outlined in the Strategic report on pages 6 to 31.
It sets the Group’s values, standards and strategic aims and oversees implementation within a framework of prudent and effective controls, ensuring only acceptable risks are taken. It provides leadership and direction and is also responsible for corporate governance and the overall financial performance of the Group. In addition, it promotes a corporate culture that is based on ethical values and behaviours; these corporate values guide the objectives and strategy of the Company.
The corporate values are reflected in everything that the Company does, beginning with the selection criteria used in the employee recruitment process and continuing throughout all elements of the Company’s business. The Board ensures that ethical behaviours are expected, and followed, by approving a set of internal policies on matters such as whistleblowing. The Board also ensures that appropriate systems and controls are in place to ensure compliance with those policies as part of its efforts to promote a healthy corporate culture, which is for the benefit of all stakeholders.
The Board has agreed the schedule of matters reserved for its decision, which includes ensuring that the necessary financial and human resources are in place to meet its obligations to its shareholders and others. It also approves acquisitions and disposals of businesses, major capital expenditure and annual financial budgets, and sets dividend policy.
An Executive Committee supports the Board in implementing strategy and reports relevant matters to the Board for its consideration and approval. This Executive Committee comprises three Executive Directors and twelve members of senior management.
All the Directors have access to the advice and services of the Company Secretary, who is responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable rules, regulations and Board procedures.
Directors have the right to request that any concerns they have are recorded in the appropriate Committee or Board minutes.
Board and Committee meetingsThe table above shows the number of Board meetings held during the year, and the attendance of each Director. See our Committee reports for Audit, Remuneration and Nomination Committee meetings.
To assist the Board in carrying out its functions and to ensure that there is independent oversight of internal controls and risk management, the Board delegates certain responsibilities to its three principal Committees as shown in the governance framework diagram below.
More detail on each of the Committees can be found on pages 41 to 46.
Bob Corey is the Chairman of the Committee and the other members of the Committee are Karl Monaghan and Grant Dollens. The Board considers Bob Corey to have relevant and recent financial experience, given his biography set out on page 32
The Audit Committee (“the Committee”) is established by and is responsible to the Board. It has written terms of reference, which are available for review at www.wandisco.com. Its main responsibilities are:
- to monitor and be satisfied that the Group’s financial statements are fair, balanced and understandable before submission to the Board for approval, ensuring their compliance with the appropriate accounting standards, the law and the AIM Rules;
- to monitor and review the effectiveness of the Group’s system of internal control;
- to make recommendations to the Board in relation to the appointment of the external auditor and its remuneration, following appointment by the shareholders in general meeting, and to review and be satisfied with the auditor’s independence, objectivity and effectiveness on an ongoing basis; and
- to implement the policy relating to any non-audit services performed by the external auditor.
The Committee is authorised by the Board to seek and obtain any information it requires from any officer or employee of the Group and to obtain external legal or other independent professional advice as is deemed necessary by it.
There were two meetings of the Committee during the year scheduled to coincide with the review of the scope of the external audit and observations arising from its work in relation to internal control, and to review the financial statements. The external auditor attended all of these meetings. Since the end of the financial year, the Committee has met once (in March 2021) to consider, amongst other matters, this Annual Report, with the external auditor being present at this meeting. The Committee also met with the external auditor, without the Executive Directors being present, once during the year.
The Renumeration Committee
The Remuneration Committee is chaired by Karl Monaghan and the other members of the Committee are Bob Corey and Grant Dollens.
The Remuneration Committee’s primary purposes are to assist the Board in determining the Company’s remuneration policies, review the performance of the Executive Directors and make recommendations to the Board on matters relating to their remuneration and terms of service, the granting of share options, and other equity incentives.
The Remuneration Committee met four times in the year, with the other Board members in attendance as appropriate.
The Nomination Committee assists the Board in determining Board appointments and succession planning for Directors.
The Nomination Committee is chaired by David Richards and the other members of the Committee are Bob Corey, Grant Dollens, Karl Monaghan and Erik Miller.
The Nomination Committee has responsibility for: reviewing the structure, size and composition of the Board and recommending to the Board any changes required; succession planning; and identifying and nominating for approval Board candidates to fill vacancies as and when they arise. The Committee is also responsible for reviewing the results of any Board performance evaluation process and making recommendations to the Board concerning the Board’s Committees and the re-election of Directors at the AGM.
The membership of the Nomination Committee comprises the three Non-executive Directors, David Richards and Erik Miller.
The Nomination Committee is required to meet not less than twice a year and at such other times as required.
It has written terms of reference, which are available for review at www.wandisco.com.
The Nomination Committee met two times in the year, with the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer in attendance.
The Board has considered diversity in broader terms than just gender and believes it is also important to have the correct balance of skills, experience, independence and knowledge on the Board. All Board appointments will be made on merit and with the aim of achieving a correct balance. The Group has formal policies in place to promote equality of opportunity across the whole organisation and training is provided to assist this.
Currently, there are no women on the Board. As opportunities arise, the Board will seek to increase the presence of women on the Board consistent with the above policy and the terms of reference of the Nomination Committee.
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