Signpost Appointment (IMage credit Pixabay/geralt)Pleo has appointed Meri Williams as its new CTO. The appointment follows the departure of Petr Janda in March 2022 to found Synq, a startup building a data management platform for teams that own business-critical data. Williams has deep experience working across organisations of all sizes, from Proctor & Gambol and the public sector to small and rapid-growth start-ups such as Monzo Bank. Her previous CTO roles include Monzo Bank, Healx and M&

Williams is also a strong advocate for diversity, equity & inclusion; she is a trustee on the board of Stonewall and an active supporter of roles for women in technology. She is also a technology advisor to Kindred capital VC. She is a published author, international speaker and chair (co-curator & host) of The Lead Developer series, which has expanded from starting in London in 2015 to running in London, New York, Berlin and San Francisco.

For Pleo, this is the second significant appointment after it brought in Abigail Slater as its new head of operations in the UK&I in October. Pleo is investing in its leadership with proven leaders who have helped to scale other organisations.

Nicco Perra, a co-founder at Pleo, commented, “We are delighted to have Meri join the Pleo team. She brings a wealth of industry experience to Pleo and Meri’s background in utilising technology and data insights to generate value for companies aligns perfectly with Pleo’s growth plans—as well as our continued role in helping businesses gain greater control and visibility over their spending. As a valued voice for LGBTQ+ rights and the role of women in technology, and as well as rapidly scaling technology organisations, Meri has simultaneously improved teams’ diversity, inclusion, and ways of working. This fits with Pleo’s determination to foster workplaces, including its own, based on belonging, where everyone feels valued. Meri will be an incredible force for us and the companies we work with.” 

Why Williams?

There are a lot of synergies between the Pleo spend management platform and that of the mobile-first challenger bank Monzo. One of the key features of Pleo is its Pleo spending Cards that help small to medium-sized organisations capture all the information about corporate spending. They enable organisations to track, manage and enable spending limits on all purchases across the organisation.

At Monzo, Williams grew the technology team by 300%. With her prominence and network within the developer ecosystem, Pleo hopes to attract another brilliant team of developers to further accelerate the company’s growth. A year ago, Pleo raised $200 million in an extension to its Series C funding round six months earlier, which raised $150 million. Pleo should still have funds to help grow the team further and accelerate product enhancements.

Meri Williams, CTO, Pleo
Meri Williams, CTO, Pleo

Williams commented, “I’ve been incredibly impressed by Pleo’s journey over the past few years, from a disruptor in the business spend management market to an essential platform of choice for thousands of enterprises across Europe. Now, the organisation has expanded again to become a vital lifeline for thousands of businesses across Europe. The excitement of this journey is in how, along with the Pleo team, I can continue the company’s journey into becoming an indispensable partner during a time of economic uncertainty and trepidation. I am thrilled to be joining this first-class team that inspired me in every interaction thus far.” 

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

This is a superb hire by Pleo, luring Williams from a busy life of NED, advisor and a champion of developers and LGBTQ+ rights. She stepped away from the role of CTO of Healx where she doubled the tech team and helped power up the organisation.

What is interesting about Williams is that her tenures at firms as CTO are successful, and she appears to consciously transition away from the organisation rather than abruptly leave. It indicates her positive impact on the organisation and an ethos that is not always seen.

She is also an active supporter of better representation within technology roles. Meri and her wife Elly sponsor scholarships to help more girls start STEM careers in her hometown of Stellenbosch, South Africa, through micro-charity One Goes Up, Arts scholarships and Women in Technology scholarships at The University of Bath. She also serves as a board trustee for Stonewall, the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ rights charity.

Pleo has found a dynamic CTO with a very successful track record, and it will be interesting to follow the next chapter for both Pleo and Williams’s career.


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