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Mayfair’s GCI appoints ex Microsoft veteran as Chairman

Converged ICT Services Provider GCI, a portfolio company of private equity firm Mayfair Equity Partners, has appointed Patrick De Smedt as Non-Executive Chairman.

De Smedt brings a wealth of experience to GCI, including 23 years with Microsoft which he joined in 1983 when it was a mere 200 employees. De Smedt was one of its first appointments in Europe and his career culminated in the role of Chairman for Microsoft Europe Middle East and Africa.
He has since joined a number of public and private (equity backed) Boards, since leaving Microsoft at the end of 2006 including Kodak Alaris Holdings Ltd, Morgan Sindall Plc, PageGroup Plc, Victrex Plc and KCOM Group Plc.
The appointment sees current Chairman Wayne Martin step down from the role but remain on the GCI board.
This follows Wayne having successfully overseen Mayfair Equity Partners acquisition of a majority stake in the business on 8 May and bringing with it a new strategic fund worth over GBP60 million to provide GCI with significant financial firepower to finance future strategic acquisitions.
Adrian Thirkill, CEO of GCI, says: “We’re looking forward to working with Patrick as we begin an exciting new phase in GCI’s growth story. As one of Microsoft’s key UK partners Patrick’s experience aligns perfectly to what we need as a business. I have worked with Patrick in a previous role and know what a great strategic thinker he is, as well as his passion for technology and supporting high growth businesses. It’s a perfect fit for GCI.”
De Smedt says: “The market is still at the early stages of outsourcing mission critical systems and IT infrastructure, with consumers, brands and government bodies quickly becoming aware of the real benefits available. I look forward to working with both Adrian and Mayfair Equity Partners again to realise the business’ vision.”
Mayfair Partner, Waqqas Ahmad, says: “Wayne has built a thriving business and leaves a proud legacy which we know Patrick will help build on. We have worked with Patrick successfully on a number of businesses across the sector over the years and his experience at guiding enterprise level strategy, and his deep industry connections, will be of invaluable support to GCI as it enters its next phase of growth.”
GCI has 4000-plus customers across the public and private sectors including Sunlife, Shelter, Prospect Union, Dimensions, Parliamentary Digital Services, Trafford Council, University of London, FieldFisher, Keoghs, Marie Curie, Yamaha WorldSBK, Merlin Entertainment and Center Parcs.
The company is passionate about delivering digital transformations through technology to deliver positive business outcomes for its customers – transforming their traditional environments to digital ‘business as usual’, with strategic partners including Microsoft and Enghouse Interactive.

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