Sally Waterston

Non-Executive Chair

The early years

Several aeons ago (in Technology terms – indeed in everybody’s terms) I fell into becoming a Mainframe computer programmer. I have an English degree and was desperate for a job in 1971, so when someone I had just met, asked me if I had ever thought of programming I leapt at the opportunity. I was so lucky to be asked as I found that the world of technology and business was where I felt most at home and happiest. I worked my way through the usual IT jobs, trainee programmer, systems analyst, project manager and then operations manager. After a career break I decided that I would like to work for myself and again I had some very lucky breaks. I learnt never to underestimate the kindness of strangers and their objective advice. I also discovered that it is important to grasp opportunities quickly and not be afraid of them.

Waterstons Ltd

After a few years as a sole trader, in 1994 I was joined by another ex-developer (Elaine Tullett) and by Mike Waterston and we formed a partnership. By the end of 1994 we had taken our first employee Ajaib Singh who is now Projects Director and we were starting to grow. Elaine left us to move overseas, but we are still in touch.

Those of us who started the business and those of us who are now directors all agreed (and still agree 20 years later) on the way we wanted the company to be run. Our people would be empowered, we would never measure how long they were in the office; we would measure outcomes and effectiveness. We have always done this and we have always recognised that People are much more important than Technology. Our people are excited by technology or they wouldn’t be working here. Our aim is always to improve businesses (and therefore the lives of the people within those businesses) by using that exciting technology as a tool.

My specialisms are in understanding manufacturing businesses and in customer service. I believe that Trust is the most important differentiator in our business. Our people and our clients trust us; we should never take that for granted or take advantage of it.


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