Top 10 CTOs in EMEA

By Maya Derrick and Amber Jackson
Technology Magazine delves into a list of 10 of the best CTOs in the EMEA region across the technology industry

Highly-skilled executives in the world’s leading tech companies, these CTOs - whether a Chief Technology, Technical or Technologist Officer, or another variation of the title - lead their brands’ technology or engineering department, their policies and procedures and use their technology and knowledge to enhance their products and services.

These leaders are focused on the scientific and technological issues within their organisations. This list compiles the CTOs at the helm of some of the technology industry's leading companies across the EMEA region.

10. Joe Baguley - VMware

VMware’s Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for EMEA, Joe Baguley joined the company in July 2011. His wealth of experience helps organisations reduce costs and better support users and business needs, and he helps develop and communicate VMware’s strategy and vision with customers and partners. 

Baguley assists VMware’s customers in understanding how to use advances in technology to deliver real business impact as well as working with them to inform VMware’s R&D processes. He is considered one of the top 50 most influential leaders in UK IT.

9. Bruno Zerbib - Orange

Bruno Zerbib was appointed CTIO of Orange in June 2023, following a stint as Chief Technology and Digital Officer at Schneider Electric. He is a graduate of TélécomSud Paris and the University of Paris Cité where he specialised in IT. 

He began his career in 1998 where he held several positions at Hewlett Packard and then at Cisco before moving to Yahoo in 2012 and Altice in 2017. At Schneider Electric, Zerbib provides more efficient, sustainable technological solutions for its customers, in particular by integrating the use of the cloud, artificial intelligence and industrial IoT.

8. Enrique Blanco - Telefónica

Telefónica's Global CTIO since 2017, Global CTO since 2011 and a member of the company's Executive Committee since November 2019, Blanco has held a variety of roles linked to technology and operations at the multinational telecommunications company, including Director of Operations and Network Engineering. He has a degree in Physics at Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Masters from IESE. 

Blanco joined the National Telefónica Company of Spain in 1985 and in 2000 began the first of many roles at Operations of Telefónica de España.

7. Marco Gallant - Microsoft

A senior IT executive, Gallant has experience in leading the development and delivery of business centric, structured, cost effective and pragmatically driven transformation programmes, target architectures and operational models. Microsoft’s CTO EMEA since June 2022, Gallant applies developed subject matter knowledge to solve common and complex business issues within enterprise guidelines, recommending appropriate alternatives and strategies.

 Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Gallant previously worked as a Senior Research Analyst at vertically focused digital media and internet company Ziff Davis.

6. Sophie Proust - Atos

Leading the technology strategy of the Atos Group, Sophie Proust is an expert in cybersecurity, cloud and high-performance computing. In addition to promoting Atos technologies and innovation capacities to customers, she also leads the thought leadership communities within the company to continue to innovate.

Proust headed the Tera100 Project which delivered the CEA with the first Petaflops-scale calculator in Europe. She also works to strengthen the expertise of those within the Atos technology communities as she helps the company work increasingly towards greater R&D and technological innovation. 

5. Elizabeth Theophille - SoftwareOne

Elizabeth Theophille recently joined the Board of Directors at SoftwareOne as an Independent Board Member and is a leading figure and strategic advisor within the technology sector. With more than 30 years of leadership experience within the technology sector, she has incredible industry knowledge and has helped businesses reach real success with digital transformation. 

Theophille previously worked with Novartis as the Chief Technology Transformation Officer, where she focused on implementing data and digital initiatives in IT and for end-to-end operational simplification programs.

4. Clare Hickie - Workday

Clare Hickie has an extensive background in IT services and digital transformation. She has worked at Workday for over five years and has helped lead the charge in the rapid advancement of technology. 

She is also a champion for diversity within the industry, stating in an interview that we must continue to “unlock new ways to solve problems and decision making … Innovation means doing things better and that requires different approaches to old problems.”
Prior to her work at Workday, Hickie worked for GSK and was responsible for the company’s IT development programme, as well as delivering support and maintenance to cloud applications, as well as other digital services.

3. Erik Ekudden - Ericsson

Having worked with Ericsson since 2016, Erik Ekudden sets the future direction for Ericsson’s technology leadership strategy in the areas of research and innovation. His role as CTO is to predict future technology trends so that the company can further help clients to get ahead of the curve in digital growth.

With an extensive background in technology strategy, Ekudden uses his experience to inform strategic decisions at Ericsson. In addition, it informs investments in mobility, distributed cloud, machine intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT).

2: Michael Kagan - Nvidia

Nvidia’s CTO since May 2020, Michael Kagan joined Nvidia through its acquisition of Mellanox, where he was CTO and a co-founder of the company, founded in April 1999. As part of his work, he focuses on using high-speed networking to improve application performance.

Kagan also works on solutions within high-performance computing, cloud computing and megawebsites, establishing him as a leader in creating new standards for high-speed networking.

From 1983 to April 1999, Kagan held a number of architecture and design positions at Intel Corporation. He also holds a BSc. in Electrical Engineering from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.

1: Jürgen Müller - SAP

Jürgen Müller is a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, leading the Technology and Innovation board area. As CTO, he oversees SAP’s platform and technology development. In addition, he is responsible for innovation efforts related to SAP Business Technology Platform as well as new technologies.

Since joining SAP in 2013, Müller has held distinct leadership roles, serving as the Head of the Innovation Center Network, Managing Director of SAP Labs Berlin, and SAP’s Chief Innovation Officer. In 2019, he was appointed to the Executive Board of SAP SE as CTO.

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