Where were you born? In a council house in Newcastle Upon Tyne\nHow many people work in your IT department? Approximately 800 permanent roles of which around 100 are filled by contractors\nApproximately 300 more contractors who are recruited in for specific projects\nApproximately 200 more outsourced.\nWhat is the size of your annual IT budget?Around \u20ac250m with a further \u20ac100m for project work.\nWhat percentage of annual turnover does IT represent?As a percentage of expenses it's about 35%\nWhat is the basic structure of your IT department?I run all Change and Governance for Visa Europe as well as Business Operations and IT. IT itself is split into Technical Operations, IT Build, Solutions and Architecture, plus\u00a0a Technology Office\nWho are your key suppliers?IBM; BT; EMC; Deloitte; Endava; KCOM;\nWhat devices does your department support and how many?About 3000 workstations; 3000 mobiles, iphones and smartphones. The vast majority of our\u00a0servers are virtualised or will be by end 2011.\nWho has\/have been the most influential people in your career?My wife; My friends; The people I have worked with and for.\n\nDo you believe in mentoring?Absolutely. Degree and masters courses in BSc Physics with Astrophysics at Leicester and MSc Optoelectronics at Newcastle\nWhich tools or tactics have given you most success in communicating up\/down\/across? Being honest, transparent and direct.\nWhat has been your biggest mistake?Taking on a job without doing enough checking to make sure it was viable \u2013 it wasn't.\nAnd your greatest success?My marriage; my daughters; The last 6 years at Visa Europe.\nHow do you keep up to date with the march of technology?I have no idea. You just keep trying.\nHow do you deal with stress?Gym; fun and ignoring it.\nWhat profession would you most\/least like to attempt?Would most like to go into space (was threatened with divorce when I said I was applying for the European space programme \u2013 didn't matter though. I failed French 4 times so they wouldn't accept me anyway!!),\u00a0study neuroscience (might still do this) or be a professional rugby player and loads of other things.\nLeast like.......social worker.\nWhich word or phrase do you most use\/overuse?A bad word.\nWhich business books have been influential in your career?Not sure any have been influential on my career. I've used the oxford dictionary of humorous quotations a lot though.\nDo you have a sport you practice or sportsperson\/team that you follow?Used to play rugby and football and follow Wasps and Man Utd.\nI did a\u00a0triathlon before joining Visa. I love to Ski and would love to golf again if I had the time. I have established a charity bike ride among Visa Europe staff \u2014 around 320 miles over\u00a0three and half days.\u00a0We did\u00a0London to Paris in 2009 and \u00a0Brussles to Frankfurt in 2010 and 2011 is to be decided.... so cycle a bit.\nWhat else do you do outside of work?Cinema; Music; Reading; Family.