CTO Sessions: Interview with Mike Fenna
3rd March 2021
What type of CTO are you? "I make an effort to always be a ‘servant leader’, and I’m certainly a people-person CTO. My number one priority is my team, they always come first." Our Chief Technology Officer, Mike Fenna interviewed with IDG Connect.
Name: Mike Fenna
Job title: Chief Technology Officer
Mike Fenna is the Chief Technology Officer of Avado. Fenna is responsible for internal and external technology strategy and execution through business technology, development, learning platform experience, data & integration, and business transformation functions. Prior to joining Avado in 2018, Fenna spent 6 years in the insurance industry, and 12 years working for large technology companies, including Microsoft and IBM. His roles focussed on business and technology transformation.
What was your first job?
After a couple of hiccups along the way – a rejection from Tesco at age 16 to name one – and some temp work throughout university, I started my career as a developer at IBM in the year 2000, as part of their graduate scheme.
Did you always want to work in IT?
Up until the last year of university, I was planning to pursue a career in music technology. After one slightly unexpected job application, though, I secured a role at IBM — much to my surprise! I decided to pursue this route, keeping music as a passion on the side.
What was your education? Do you hold any certifications? What are they?
I hold a Computer Science Degree from University of Warwick, and quite a few project & programme management, technical and soft skills certifications. I was lucky to work at large companies early in my career who were big advocates of investing in education for staff.
Explain your career path. Did you take any detours? If so, discuss.
Throughout university, my plan was to do a masters in music technology. That all came to a halt when I sort of stumbled upon a role at IBM. I was at a fork in the road, and chose to pursue a career in technology, and I’m really glad that I did, because today I’m able to pursue both passions.
What type of CTO are you?
I make an effort to always be a ‘servant leader’, and I’m certainly a people-person CTO. My number one priority is my team, they always comes first. I ask questions and opinions of everyone on the team because in reality, they are the experts and have the knowledge to lead us to success. Whilst I may put the vision in motion, they lead the projects that drive our business forward.