Bob Paton joins hedgehog lab as non-exec director

Bob Paton joins hedgehog lab as non-exec director

App developer hedgehog lab has appointed one of the best-known names in North East tech as a non-executive director.

Bob Paton CBE, who retired as MD of Accenture’s Newcastle Delivery Centre in July, joins hedgehog lab as advisor to the board and senior management team, and will focus on scaling the business while boosting skills and development training.

The news comes as the Newcastle-headquartered consultancy prepares to report 160% year-on-year revenue growth for 2016.

The company has also recently secured its first seven-figure contract, and experienced a growth in headcount from 30 to 87 in just 10 months.

CEO Sarat Pediredla, said: "We’ve grown from being a micro-business into a fully-fledged SME.

"Hence, we’ve moved beyond the ‘founder-manager’ structure - and, with a growing senior management team, it’s imperative we have strong corporate governance and support.

"Bob’s credentials are unparalleled, as, through his leadership, Accenture grew its Newcastle operations into a business employing more than 650 people.

"He’s also hugely passionate about skills, employability and making the North East a technology leader - which fits in perfectly with our needs."

Beginning his career with Accenture 24 years ago, Mr Paton was responsible for launching the Newcastle Delivery Centre in 2010.

Also as co-founder of Dynamo North East, he last year won the Outstanding Contribution to the Profession accolade at the UK IT Industry Awards, and was given a CBE for his contribution to skills and apprenticeships in the region.

Towards the end of his time with Accenture, Mr Paton was also appointed interim chief executive of the North East LEP.

Paton said: "I’m excited by the plans for hedgehog lab and am keen to help deliver on them," he said.

"I’ve watched the company from afar for a while and every time I’ve met Sarat I’ve been impressed by his drive and vision.

"hedgehog lab wants to expand, and since I’ve overseen the creation and growth of Accenture’s Newcastle Delivery Centre, I want to pass on the knowledge, insight and lessons learned from that experience."

Established in 2010 as ‘post-PC’ tech consultancy, hedgehog lab builds apps for smartphones, tablets, wearables and similar devices.

In 2017, the company - which also has offices in London, Boston, Austin and India - will be looking to expand its US presence, grow in Europe and explore new markets.