Jenny Davies is the CEO of M247, a global provider of cloud services and superfast internet connectivity.The group rebranded as M247 in 2018 and following a strong period of growth and is now one of the UK’s leading connectivity-led cloud services companies with one of the most extensive internet exchange footprints in the world. The newly formed M247 brings together the experience of three founding companies; Metronet (UK), Venus Business Communication and M247. Alongside its Manchester HQ, M247 also has bases in London and Bucharest. It has presence in 57 strategic datacentres across the world, working with over 10,000 customers across 110 countries. Now a team of over 260, CEO Jenny Davies has worked hard to bring the three separate businesses together to integrate cultures, systems and processes and form one united business.
Prior to moving to M247, Jenny has held management roles in a number of other traditionally male-dominated sectors, working at United Utilities and BT. With an authentic and person-centric leadership style, Jenny has built an incredibly successful organisation and career as an inquisitive leader, strong coach and facilitator of change.
When was the business founded and what does it do?
M247 started life as Metronet in 2003, delivering high-speed connectivity to businesses in the north of England and across the Midlands. Within a short space of time, the company was operating the most advanced hybrid ISP network in the UK. In 2014, a secondary buyout of Metronet was announced, and the company went on to acquire leading internet infrastructure and hosting company M247 two years later. Ambitious to grow its share of the London market, Metronetwent on to acquire Venus Business Communications in 2017, a provider of superfast, high-speed fibre.
The group rebranded as M247 in 2018 and its network now carries the equivalent of over 2% of all Western Europe’s internet traffic for enterprise and fast growth businesses at peak times. The business was built on its resilient and expansive connectivity infrastructure and aims to broaden its offering with secure IP and cloud solutions.
What or who was the inspiration for the current business path you are on?
Having worked in utilities for the eight years prior to joining M247, I realised that many of the big players in the industry had lost their way with what customers wanted and how they wanted to be looked after. Our DNA is all about service and ensuring that our customers feel well looked after.
One bit of advice you wish you’d been given before you started at M247?
Running a medium-sized business is very much like running your own business and you feel so accountable for everything, which is a very different sentiment to what it’s like working in a large PLC where you sometimes question whether you’re adding value. I have had to develop strategies to ensure I don’t beat myself up about every little thing that doesn’t go to plan. I also turn to key people in my network for support, as being a CEO of a company can be a lonely place.
The most important thing you’ve learned with M247?
Not necessarily learned but validated – if you invest in surrounding yourself with great people, you can achieve anything!
What do you see as your future business challenges?
Continuing to grow quickly while maintaining the same agility and customer-centric service ethos we pride ourselves on. Retaining great talent and continuing to engage employees as the business scales up is also hugely important.
What would you like to leave as your business legacy?
A culture of ‘customer customer customer’ – as well as integrity and accountability.
What is your biggest achievement/success so far?
Creating an organisation that talented people want to work for; one that is known for inclusivity, flexibility and supporting working parents.
When you’re not working, what do you do to relax?
I spend time with my two boys who are eight and five. We enjoy going to the theatre, watching films, going out to eat, eating Domino’s pizza – all the usual stuff!
What has been your biggest achievement outside of business?
Obviously my two boys – they are happy, healthy and have good manners (most of the time!) Outside my family I’d say my greatest achievement is my executive coaching qualification, which took a lot of hard work and dedication, as well as the fact that I get myself out of bed two to three times a week at 5.30am to do Thai boxing training!
What would you be doing if you weren’t at your current role?
I’d be working with other businesses and coaching leaders. I’d also like to dedicate more time to encourage girls to take an interest in STEM careers so there are plenty of budding female IT leaders following in my footsteps!
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