Enterprise Transformation Expert Dirk Wood Joins Contino to Lead the US Region
Contino is delighted to announce that Dirk Wood has joined the company as President (US). He will be responsible for leading the fast-growing US region.
Dirk’s background includes extensive hands-on transformation experience in the telecom and banking industries. After starting his career as an engineer at Qwest Communications he moved to British Telecom for eight years, rising to become CIO for Innovation and Application Development. This was followed by a stint at Level 3 Communications heading up multiple engineering teams before moving to Lloyds to consult on their digital banking systems. He spent the last five years heading up the USA, and recently the global leadership role for Buildit, the engineering and innovation arm of Wipro Digital.
Dirk was drawn to Contino by its strong emphasis on culture and ways of working: “I was really impressed by how much the Contino leadership team focuses on building and maintaining an excellent engineering culture. And their cross-functional squad model is fantastic. It’s almost like teams can run projects as their own individual business. The tech-agnostic piece is great as well, so we can deliver solutions that are truly the best for our clients. I’ve never been one to just stick a few people on a project and ‘deliver one DevOps’...I’m all about solving the customer’s problem at the root. And it seems that Contino agree.”
Dirk commented: “I’ve seen transformation from the perspectives of a developer on the ground, a manager leading over a hundred engineers, and a consultant driving real change at scale. All of that experience has taught me that it is by building an innovation-led, customer-first culture that you drive real transformation. Contino has been on the same path and I’m really excited to bring my knowledge of the US industry to the table to deal with the substantial challenges of rapid growth.”
Matt Farmer, Contino Co-founder and CEO, said: “Dirk’s experience of so many different perspectives in the enterprise transformation space meant that bringing him on board felt like a natural move. He’s dealt with the challenges of growing a business with very widely distributed teams (and customers!) and I’m confident that his leadership will be a huge boost to our US teams. I know a number of people who have worked with Dirk and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Joining Contino: Hopes and Challenges
According to Dirk, the opportunities in the US are huge, but this comes with its own challenges.
“Across the whole country there is no end of enterprises that are struggling and ripe for transformation. The opportunity is vast. But so is the country! The central challenge is geographical: dealing with customers and staff spread across an area larger than Europe. How do you get your engineers to customer sites across the country while ensuring they still enjoy their home lives and can attend their kids’ soccer games? At Buildit we developed a model to achieve that and I’m looking forward to building out something similar at Contino.”
Developing a Successful Culture
Dirk’s initial focus will be on cultural leadership and making sure Contino’s people are well looked-after.
“I take looking after people very seriously. People are your company. And it pays off. During my time at BT we hired some fresh graduates and built a strong team founded on real trust. We became so close that years later they were all each other’s best man or woman at their weddings and, even a decade after I left the company, we still go for beers together when I’m in town. Needless to say, that team performed incredibly well together. That’s what looking after people brings.”
Dirk is motivated by the possibilities of change: “We’re changing how the whole software delivery model works. That’s what makes me passionate about this work: we’re making software a competitive advantage. The industry is changing to become much more partner-led and it’s up to us to be honest, pragmatic but also opinionated about the right way of doing things and making bespoke recommendations for each client.”
Dirk is looking forward to the next step of Contino’s journey – and he’s excited to be a part of it. “I’m really looking forward to getting started at Contino and meeting everyone,” Dirk commented. “Everyone I’ve met so far has been fantastic and just so welcoming. I told some friends that I had joined Contino and they just said ‘best decision ever made!’”