Be the Business has appointed Anthony Impey MBE as its new CEO. He succeeds soon-to-be CBI director general Tony Danker, and has a mandate to increase the adoption of technology in Britain’s 5.9m businesses and address the country’s productivity problem.
A serial entrepreneur, Impey has spent his 25-year career building businesses with technology at the centre of what each do, and latterly advising a number of government and business organisations on the role tech should play growing the UK economy, increasing productivity and improving workforce skills.
After starting his first business while still at school in Cambridgeshire, Impey founded and subsequently served as CEO of Optimity, the company that has transformed the availability of internet access across businesses, buildings and public spaces in London.
Alongside his business interests, Impey has served in a number of advisory roles, with a particular focus on skills and apprenticeships. He is also the current chair of the Department for Education’s Apprenticeship Stakeholder Board and the Greater London Authority’s Apprenticeship Advisory Board. Alongside his role at Be the Business, Impey will continue to serve as chair of the City & Guilds Industry Skills Board.
Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of Be the Business, welcomed Anthony and said: “Adoption of technology improves the growth and productivity of businesses in Britain. In conducting our search to replace Tony, we wanted someone who believes in and has experienced this for themselves.
“Anthony is the perfect candidate. He understands the challenges in running a business, and he has seen the impact technology can have if deployed effectively.”
Historically, adoption of technology by UK companies has been poor. However, according to recent Be the Business research, the mass disruption caused by coronavirus could act as a catalyst for increasing technology adoption among UK firms.
Anthony Impey MBE, new CEO of Be the Business, said: “I’ve spent my career helping businesses take advantage of technology to boost performance. I’ve seen the positive effect and transformative impact it can bring again and again to businesses of all sizes.
“But there are still too many tales of companies embracing technology only to struggle to successfully adopt it. That hurts twice over, causing a short-term distraction and a longer-term distrust of the role technology can play.
“Not every company across Britain needs to be an AI powerhouse, but they do all need to adopt tech that can increase productivity and encourage growth. This is now essential as businesses across the country are having to deal with the immense uncertainty and massive change caused by the pandemic. Our job is to help business owners and managers experience the benefits and embrace this potential.
“I’m grateful to Charlie and the rest of Be the Business for choosing me for this role and I look forward to carrying on Tony’s great work on this vital mission for Britain’s prosperity.”