Elona Mortimer-Zhika crowned ‘Tech CEO of the Year’ at the UK Tech Awards 2023
Elona Mortimer-Zhika won ‘Tech CEO of the Year’ at this year’s UK Tech Awards. Elona was recognised by the judges for having a clear passion for the industry, being an inspirational role model and driving success at IRIS Software Group (IRIS) with determination, a strong vision and flair.
Elona joined IRIS in 2016 as Chief Financial Officer, was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2018 and then Chief Executive Officer in 2019. Before joining IRIS, Elona held several senior leadership roles in Big 4 and PE-backed businesses, including Mavenir, Acision, Arthur Anderson and Deloitte. Elona is also a Board member of Boardwave, an exclusive network of European Software tech leaders.
Passionate about diversity, Elona is a mentor and coach to many women and young people from under-privileged backgrounds, and as a female leader and mum of two boys, she is paving the way for others.
She has successfully cultivated a commitment culture at IRIS, fostering a sense of dedication and loyalty among employees, with a humble approach and a genuine appreciation for the strengths of individuals.
Elona’s exceptional leadership abilities are evident throughout her tenure at IRIS, with the business almost trebling in size. Some highlights from the past year include:
- Elona led IRIS to achieve its key targets in FY23 despite difficult macro- economic conditions. It exceeded its budgeted revenue, EBITDA and cash collections, with double digit growth in revenue and EBITDA and >100% cash conversion. C.95% of IRIS’ revenue is recurring, with >60% delivered via cloud platforms. Further, 25% of revenues are now in the Americas, a region which IRIS began to expand into 2.5 years ago
- IRIS was recognised for its exceptional workplace culture by Great Places to Work for the third year running, ranking #9 in ‘Best Workplace in Tech’, #30 in ‘Best Workplace for Women’ and #42 in ‘Best Workplace for Wellbeing’
- Elona has encouraged a learning and diversity culture through funding various apprenticeships and masterships to support upward social mobility; launching the ‘Activate Programme’ to nurture >100 graduates, apprentices and those starting their careers, as well as partnering with organisations including The Princes Trust, The Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Salford University to offer work placements, particularly to those from underrepresented and under privileged backgrounds
- Elona has championed women through supporting programmes such as ‘Thrive’, ‘Women in Leadership’ and ‘Returnship.’ As a result, female representation has increased with 46% of IRIS’ cohort now women, exceeding the industry average of 30%
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