CategoryTeam Updates
Date Published
October 2, 2023

Ben Wheeler Joins Firemind as our Chief Technology Officer

Firemind proudly announces the appointment of our new Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Ben Wheeler. This new leader brings with him a wealth of experience and a profound understanding of emerging technologies.

We’re delighted to welcome Ben Wheeler to team Firemind 😎

Ben Wheeler joins Firemind at a crucial stage in our development, as we continue our rapid growth trajectory following extensive customer demand for our Generative AI solutions on AWS.

Ben is a highly motivated IT professional, and experienced leader in Data and AIML, IT architecture and technical project management. With over 20 years of experience across many industries and in the public sector, he has developed extensive knowledge working with different delivery models, as well as being constantly driven to achieve the very best results for a wealth of previous clients.

“The field of Generative AI is incredibly interesting to me. There is a paradigm shift like we have never seen before in the IT world, and the opportunity to create value for Firemind’s current and future customers is MASSIVE!”

As our new CTO, Ben will bring fresh perspectives and insights into emerging technologies and industry trends. He’ll be setting a clear technical vision for our consultancy, guiding the organisation’s adoption of cutting-edge solutions. All leading to the development of innovative services and offerings that differentiate Firemind.

We caught up with Ben to get to know him a little more, and explore his drive for Firemind and what’s in-store for the future.

Q & A 💬

Hello and welcome to the Firemind team Ben! It’s great to have you with us. For our viewers, could you please tell us a little about yourself and your professional background?

Sure thing! I’m Ben, and I’ve worked in IT my entire career, starting out some 22 years ago working for Swansea Council in the desktop support team. My responsibilities included clearing printer jams and cleaning mouse balls (for those of you who remember what they are), across all of the council offices.

I progressed through the ranks to server support but then we were Tupe’d to Capgemini as part of an outsourcing contract. I ended up working for other customers on data centre migration projects for Capgemini, including House of Fraser, Welsh Water, WHSmith and the Environment Agency.

After that, I worked for a few different IT service providers in a variety of technical roles, both hands-on and pre-sales. Eventually ending up working for Amazon Web Services (AWS) for 5.5 years in a variety of Partner roles. My last 18 months there were spent leading the AIML partner development specialist function across EMEA.

How did you find out about us and what made you decide to apply for a role with Firemind?

I have worked with Firemind for around 2.5 years whilst I was at AWS, as one of my specialised AI partners. When I decided it was time to start a new chapter, Firemind was top of the list for companies I wanted to talk to after having seen the amazing things they were doing, and the opportunities surrounding Generative AI.

What it your role at Firemind?

I’m the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), part of our highly experienced leadership team, heading-up our technical and delivery functions across the business. I’ll also be aligning our technology initiatives with business goals, prioritising projects, and ensuring that Firemind’s technology investments are in line with its long-term objectives.

As we have a clear vision to be a market leader in the field of Generative AI, my role will be to support the people and internal practices, that will drive our thought leadership in the space. All of which will undoubtedly lead to key wins for the business, securing AWS Premier status, and ensuring we are recognised for our talents at key future AWS events, such as DataCon, Business Transformed, and re:Invent.

Which areas of our business interested you the most?

Generative AI for sure! This field is incredibly interesting to me. This is a paradigm shift like we have never seen before in the IT world, and the opportunity to create value for Firemind’s current and future customers is MASSIVE!

What will be your main goals/objectives whilst working at Firemind?

Initially, grow the team further, drive efficiencies and scale within our delivery function, to ensure we continue to delight our customers. But I will also be working a lot with our customers in a pre-sales capacity, as well as looking at repeatability by productising our offerings as much as possible.

Which aspects of your role are you most excited about?

I love working with and developing people, so I’m excited to be able to do that with this team, especially as we scale up over the coming months and years.

What do you hope to achieve within your first 12 months here?

Firemind already has a solid reputation with their customers and within AWS. I want to ensure that we keep raising the bar and delighting our customers as we scale even further.

Outside of work, what do you get up to? Tell us about your hobbies.

I like to stay (relatively) fit and healthy, and my sport of choice is Triathlon. This takes up literally all the spare time I have, outside of being a husband and dad to three daughters.

What’s your favourite song on your playlist right now?

I couldn’t possibly pin down just one song. My music taste is very eclectic! One minute it could be Bon Jovi, the next Eminem, and then Dire Straits.

Any fun nicknames we should know about?

Wheeler or Wheels are the most common. Pretty self explanatory. I’m sure most of my mates don’t even know my first name!

If you could only chose one dish to eat every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Probably fillet steak with all the trimmings.

What is at the top of your bucket list?

Well it was to land a role as a CTO for an AI business, so I guess I need to change things around a bit! There are still many places in the world I would like to visit, so I’ll just say “travel lots more”.

What is one skill you would really love to learn?

I would love to be able to play the guitar or piano to a decent standard. I’ve played at a beginner level for both, but never committed the time to become really good.

And finally, how do you wind down after work Ben?

Either swimming, biking or running usually. However, nothing beats watching a good box set with my wife and dogs!

Would you like to join us?

We’re growing from strength to strength, expanding our diverse and specialised team to enable us to work faster, smarter and have more fun along the way!

Visit our Careers page for further details about the Firemind culture.

Mark Freeman - Digital Marketing Generalist

Mark Freeman - Digital Marketing Generalist