CategoryTeam Updates
Date Published
August 17, 2023

Dan White Becomes Firemind’s Chief Commercial Officer

We’re proud to welcome Dan White to the team 🎉

Dan has joined Firemind having had a successful 7-year period at Amazon Web Services (AWS). There, he enabled partners to grow their AWS businesses across EMEA. In his last role as Head of EMEA AWS Service Acceleration, he led a diverse high-performing team of 40 Partner Specialist Business Development Managers, across 10 countries in EMEA, spanning 18 nationalities. This team was responsible for build, market, and co-sell activities with specialist partners, across different industries and technology verticals, including AI/ML, Analytics, Database, IoT, App Modernisation, Amazon Connect, Security and Cloud Foundational services.

By the end of 2022, the team had achieved hundreds of millions of partner attached AWS revenue, with 48% year on year growth in 2023. Prior to this, Dan was Head of the UK Partner SA team, where he was able to work with some extraordinarily successful hypergrowth partners including AWS’s first ever ML competency partners.

“Firemind has really stood out to me as an incredible partner with huge potential, so I was delighted to get the opportunity to join and help them really scale their journey on AWS.”

Dan is passionate about growing teams and developing people, becoming a bar raiser in AWS, with responsibilities covering over 383 interviews, and hiring around 120 people over a 7-year career. He was also lucky enough to gain the opportunity to build two teams from scratch, whilst focusing on the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). In 2021, Dan became an AWS EQ Evangelist, which gave him the opportunity to coach leadership teams across Amazon on leading with empathy, creating happier, higher performing teams.

Dan’s impressive background does not lie simply with AWS. For the last 22 years, he has worked in the IT industry, leading technical, presales and business development teams in the UK and across EMEA.

As the Chief Commercial Officer at Firemind, Dan will manage all aspects of the company’s sales and marketing teams, including product development and the AWS alliance. He will own and develop Firemind’s sales and marketing strategy, helping us provide the best possible solutions for our customers problems, whilst scaling the Firemind team to accelerated growth over the coming years.

Dan had this to say in response to his move from AWS to Firemind:

“It was not an easy decision to leave AWS as I have had such an amazing career there. I have worked with thousands of AWS partners across EMEA, seeing some exceptional partner growth and success. But Firemind has really stood out to me as an incredible partner with huge potential, so I was delighted to get the opportunity to join and help them really scale their journey on AWS. I want to merge the best of the Firemind culture with that of my experience at AWS, to create a culture of inclusion where people can achieve their full career potential, feeling empowered to innovate with elevated levels of performance, job satisfaction and work life harmony. I will also use my strong network of relationships within AWS and knowledge of the Amazon Partner Network (APN), to really grow the AWS alliance to the next level, and make Firemind the ‘go to’ AWS partner for AI and Data.”

Q & A 💬

Thanks for the introduction above Dan. Now it’s time for the infamous Firemind Q & A, giving us a more informal opportunity to learn more about our new CCO. Let’s start with some more background about yourself.

I’m Dan, I turned 50 this year (so must be one of the oldest in the company!) and I live in Winchester. I was born in Wokingham but grew up in a small village near Lincoln so everyone south of Watford thinks I’m a northerner and everyone north of the midlands thinks I’m a southerner! I studied Psychology at university and actually started my career working in Mental Health rehabilitation centres but had a complete change in 2001 after creating a website in 2000. This change really sparked my interest in technology and I moved down to Reading to restart my career from scratch working for on a helpdesk. I’ve spent the last 22 years working for various IT companies from very small (Adapt, acquired by Rackspace) to much larger (Citrix and Dell) and I spent the past 7 years in Amazon (that’s 35 human years) where I really accelerated my career in leadership roles and moved from technical presales to business development. It has been an incredible ride! 4 years ago I started a new team on my own and by end of 2022 it had grown to 40 people achieving vast partner attached revenue goals with hundreds of millions achieved in the first half of 2023 before I left. But I felt I was becoming a little stale, too comfortable and realised I needed to put myself out of my comfort zone again, which is why I joined Firemind!

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

A year ago, I realised I was becoming disconnected from partners, because as my AWS team had grown, I was managing managers of teams. I asked my team to introduce me to some interesting partners, one of them was Firemind. It was love at first sight! I was so impressed with them, their technical capability and their super slick messaging in particular. I’ve worked with thousands of partners at AWS, including incredibly successful partners like Peak and Inawisdom, but I see even more potential in Firemind than any of those. I don’t think any other partners would have enticed me away from AWS.

Which areas of our business interested you the most?

I felt as a leader of bigger teams I became too disconnected from the tech and I wanted to rekindle some of that from my SA days, whilst maintaining the commercial focus. I love the GenAI focus at Firemind, this for me is the most exciting time in IT since the boom. PWC published a report estimating that AI’s contribution to the global economy could reach $15.7 trillion by 2030 and this has sparked a significant shift in investor interest, migrating from cryptocurrency to AI technologies and start-ups. We have an incredible opportunity at Firemind to ride the wave!

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

I will manage all aspects of Firemind’s sales and marketing teams, including product development and the AWS alliance. My remit is to enable Firemind to provide the best possible solutions for our customers problems, whilst scaling the business to accelerate our growth over the coming years.

Any highlights from your first few days with the business?

Meeting everyone! I love the buzz in the office.

Which aspects of the job are you most excited about?

On the people side, I’m really excited about the opportunity to lead a completely new team and help these people grow. On the business side I’m so excited about the GenAI opportunity ahead of us.

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

My goal is to achieve at least 250% YoY growth in our revenue, become an AWS reStack partner, achieve AWS Premier status, strengthen our partnership, streamline some of our processes to make everyone’s life easier and create a culture in Firemind that makes us the go-to partner everyone wants to join.

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

I love watching all sports. I used to play cricket and football and participate in triathlon, but I’m too old for that now so focus more on swimming 3 times a week and running 3 times a week. When I gave up cricket, I did start running competitively for Winchester Athletics Club as well as taking on an ultramarathon in Normandy. I also attempted to set a World Record at the London Marathon for the fastest computer game character (Sonic the Hedgehog) completion. I was doing well, but at the halfway point but the costume affected me more than I expected, and I got cramp in the last 8 miles, missing out on the record by 9 mins (3hr 18). To cap off my disappointment I was overtaken by a crab on the home straight! I’ve just started circuits which makes me ache for days! I love spending time with my family also. I have a 17 year old son and a 12 year old daughter. I’m really into my music, with a very eclectic style that includes classical, rap, but mainly dance music (seeing Fred Again in Sept). I passed grade 8 piano when I was 17 but have never really practiced properly and have set myself a goal to get back to a decent level, ( I have no choice as I’m playing at my sister’s wedding at the end of the month)! I really want to get back into composing music as well. Back in the early 2000s I used to love making dance music.

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

Walker and Royce Glass Petals, Stop time.

Any fun nicknames we should know about?

A bit obvious but my cricket team called me chalky white. My wife calls me Fangol as I had a predictive text problem, whatever I typed would always come out as as Fangol instead of Daniel.

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

Chicken Malayan Madras hot!

What is at the top of your bucket list?

I love cricket and I dream of becoming a member at Lords, but that’s never gonna happen, so I’d say at the moment, it’s to take a sabbatical and tour Asia and South America.

What is one skill you would really love to learn?

I try and set myself a new skill every year to prove you can teach an old dog new tricks. In 2021 I learned to stand up surf, in 2022 I tried to learn Italian as my last boss was Italian and my great great grandfather came from Italy, also it’s a beautiful language so I did start learning with Duolingo, but failed to keep it up. I have two things to learn this year. (i) Re-learn walking on my hands, having been able to do it all my life I lost the ability to do it 5 years ago for some reason. (ii) Breath hold work, I’m going to subscribe to a course that teaches you to hold your breath for 4 mins, I love the relaxation you get from breathwork.

How do you wind down after work?

I love a great drama. Succession is the second best thing I’ve watched after Breaking Bad. Love doing exercise, getting out into the greenery around us (we back onto a nature reserve), meditation and spending time with family. I’m also an open water swimming fan, I swim all year round with a couple of friends in our local river. I love the benefits of cold water immersion, it gets down to around 2 degrees celsius in the winter which is painful, but the after effects during recovery are amazing!

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