Executive Vice President and Head of Europe at Collabera Digital
Andrew Diaper is Collabera Digital’s Executive Vice President and Head of Europe. His career began when he was studying to be a designer for a company called Acorn Computers, getting into the technology aspect in the 1990s, which was typically software and hardware at the time. He then transitioned to managed services, systems integration, and consulting, working primarily in the banking and financial services industry in London for 25 years.
With a remarkable track record in strategic growth and a proven ability to deliver exceptional results, Diaper is widely regarded as a highly respected business professional. His expertise encompasses a broad spectrum of services, from cloud transformation to complex business-critical projects and bespoke consulting engagements within the dynamic and regulated banking sector.
Diaper attributes a great deal of his success to his experience at Capgemini, where he was empowered to build a business within a business, before moving to IBM in 2020. “I'm really very fortunate to have experienced some proud moments,” he says. “Going through Capgemini as Senior Manager, Director, Senior Director, Principal, and then getting onto the leadership programme – which in those days was an 18-month programme – was intense business learning. To be one of the few who was then named as Vice President of this big, well-known organisation was a very proud moment for me.”
In 2023, Diaper joined Collabera Digital as Executive Vice President and Head of Europe, to help the company expand its European presence. Speaking very candidly about some of the biggest challenges that he’s faced, Diaper explains: “The biggest challenges for me were threefold. One was taking on the responsibility of changing the direction of an organisation. Not just growing the organisation, but changing the mindset and behaviours of people, bringing governance, structure, and belief, and telling people that we're going to do something different.
“That is a big challenge; much bigger than being in an organisation where everything is in place. And there were just so many things that we didn't have, including an office in London, so now when I look back, it's actually quite scary to think what we've achieved over 12 months.
“The second one was balancing out the leadership needed with the inspiration and motivation for the people to achieve the jobs to the best of their capability. You need to be this leader and put everyone under your wing, while at the same time saying, ‘We've got to go faster, harder, stronger, and we need to do it with a completely different view and build the brand.”
Another challenge that Diaper identifies with is one many leaders can relate to; self-doubt. “I think this is where a lot of leaders aren’t very authentic when they look back at the challenges that they faced,” says Diaper. “Imposter syndrome and self-doubt are undoubtedly a challenge. Every good leader I know will have gone through it because we all have bad days and it's impossible not to question whether something is going the right way.”
Diaper truly believes that the workforce is everything to a company. “Whether you are the best company in the world or you are a company going through a transformation, the people are everything,” he says. “Technology is an enabler, of course, but you need the people to work on that technology and have the skills, have everything, and everyone is so different. You can’t have the same people and we need to understand that and respect that, and sometimes it's really hard.”
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