Skyscanner chief honoured at digital technology awards

Gareth Williams, the chief executive of travel search engine Skyscanner, last night picked an accolade for 'outstanding personal achievement' at an awards ceremony in Glasgow for Scotland's digital technologies industry.

Skyscanner chief Gareth Williams won the ScotlandIS award for 'outstanding personal achievement'. Picture: Esme Allen
Skyscanner chief Gareth Williams won the ScotlandIS award for 'outstanding personal achievement'. Picture: Esme Allen

Edinburgh-based Skyscanner, which last year agreed to be bought by Chinese group Ctrip for £1.4 billion, also won the titles for investment deal of the year and best business-to-consumer service at the Digital Tech Awards, organised by trade body ScotlandIS.

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ScotlandIS chief executive Polly Purvis said: “From small beginnings 14 years ago, Gareth Williams built an internationally successful company, not in the end markets that Scotland is famous for such as financial services or oil and gas but in the hugely competitive travel business.

“Growing the business from the ground up, Gareth worked to secure funding, staff and customers over the first few years before growing the company significantly to employ over 850 people with annual turnover of £120 million. Skyscanner has set the bar for Scotland’s future digital success so we wanted to take this opportunity to recognise Gareth’s achievements and his influence on the wider tech community.”

The awards ceremony, held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow, also saw Gillian Docherty of innovation centre Data Lab crowned CEO of the year, while Bellshill-based software tester Edge Testing won the large business award and Edinburgh document automation firm HotDocs was named both small-medium business of the year and international technology star.

The public sector award went to StormID for its work on the new ScotBlood website. The Leith firm also picked up the agency of the year title.

Software skills academy CodeClan took home the education service provider prize, Glasgow mobile marketing outfit Digitonic won in the marketing performance category, and Edinburgh financial wrap platform Nucleus was named best business-to-business technology product.

Edinburgh accounting software developer FreeAgent collected the prize for financial services, while Aggreko, the Glasgow-based temporary power provider, won the award for data innovation.

Purvis added that the awards, sponsored by Administrate, Atkinson Macleod Executive Search, Avaloq, Cathcart Associates, Data Lab, EY, Head Resourcing and Search Total Recruitment Solutions, were “a brilliant way to celebrate the growth and success of our industry over the last 12 months”.

“They recognise the hard graft and team work behind these exceptional businesses, and highlight the increasing importance of the digital technologies industry to Scotland.”