CTO Craft coaches

We’re delighted to update you on our amazing CTO Craft Coaches. We now have an impressive eighteen coaches available to help you develop your career and progress through the everyday challenges of working in tech. Our coaches will not only help you in your career, but in turn, this will also influence your role and team. 

In fact, we have so much to tell you about them that we’ve broken the information into part 1 and part 2 blogs so that we don’t miss anything out.

Part 2 is coming soon. 

About our CTO Craft coaches

Our coaches come from various backgrounds and industries and have been exposed to a range of challenges and successes throughout their careers. It’s our job to match you with the coach most suited to your needs and who can add value to your career and development.

So, let us introduce you to a selection of our knowledgeable and inspirational coaches:

Laura Tacho – Engineering Leadership Coach and Consulting CTO/VPE 

Laura is a technology leader with a successful track record leading engineering and product development teams at companies including CloudBees, Aula Education, and Nova Credit. 

As a VP of Engineering and now as an engineering leadership coach, she’s on a mission to equip engineering leaders with the confidence and skills to build high-performing teams that consistently deliver without compromising authenticity, equality, and inclusion.

Having spent most of her career in developer tools and distributed systems, Laura has experience in debugging systems of infrastructure as well as systems of people. She particularly enjoys working with engineering leaders who are growing along with their companies and facing all kinds of challenges for the first time. 

Laura was recently a speaker at our CTO Craft conference, and you can read more about her in our Spotlight Q&A.

Graham HobsonEntrepreneur. Advisor. CTO. Founder of Photobox  

Graham is an experienced entrepreneur who has held various senior roles, including CEO, CTO, board member, investor, social impact supporter and advisor. 

In 2000 he founded Photobox (a photo printing and personalisation business), which grew to become the largest personalisation company in Europe. He was CEO at Photobox until 2006 and CTO from 2006 when they acquired Moonpig, plus other leading brands in Europe. The company was sold in 2016 to Private Equity. 

Graham has since worked with many startups and scale-ups in advisory or CTO roles, and in 2018/2019, he was primarily focused on supply-chain tech at Peoplevox (now exited to Descartes Systems Group). 

These days Graham works with many client companies and individuals to advise on scaling, technology and strategic project execution.

Susan SolomonCoaching Senior Tech Executives since 2000

Susan certified as a Co-Active Coach in 2000 and has coached hundreds of individuals in tech from over eleven countries. 

After earning a PhD in British Literature from The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, she began a career in the tech publishing industry, where she published over forty Computer Science, Maths and Information Technology university textbooks. 

Susan has taught Undergraduate and MBA courses in the Business Schools of five universities in the United States and The Netherlands on leadership, organisational behaviour, negotiation, conflict resolution, and business communication.  

She now specialises in coaching Senior Tech Executives who want to maximise their potential using a confidential, completely objective sounding board. Susan focuses on how to manage up, hone leadership skills, manage (intercultural) teams, retain the best and brightest and navigate burnout.

Joel Chippindale – CTO Coach and Adviser; former CTO at Unmade, FutureLearn and Econsultancy 

Joel is a CTO coach with 20 years of experience building, scaling and leading software development teams.

With a BSc in Natural Sciences from Cambridge, Joel has worked mainly in start-ups, including CTO roles at Econsultancy, FutureLearn and Unmade.

Joel uses a combination of coaching techniques to help individuals make the most of their skills, knowledge and experiences, and he helps them develop their capabilities. He believes in the importance and value of building inclusive, empowered, sustainable teams and can offer advice based on his hands-on experience leading engineering teams.

His coaching programmes are personalised to individual needs. He helps to navigate change, manage both up and sideways more effectively, improve decision-making and delegation and help with technology strategy.

Paul ButcherCTO XLIO Ventures; former CTO at English Language iTutoring,  Texperts and Commtag/Smartner 

Paul, the senior technologist behind several successful start-ups, has repeatedly driven the entrepreneurial process from business plan and prototyping to execution and exit. He is a recognised authority on software engineering and has written two critically acclaimed books on the subject. 

Paul was Chief Software Architect of SwiftKey, subsequently acquired by Microsoft, and he went on to co-found English Language iTutoring, subsequently acquired by Cambridge Assessment English. He is currently the CTO of XLIO Ventures. 

He has expertise and experience in many areas, including due diligence ahead of investment or M&A, board-level involvement in all aspects of software development, design and development of both B2B and B2C products and agile software development, mobile app development, start-ups and intellectual property and licensing.

Eris Weiss – CTO and Executive Coach to fast-growing tech companies, author, and public speaker  

Eric helps founders/CEOs, CTOs, and CPOs overcome their growing pains, become inspiring leaders and scale up quickly, all while maintaining balance and freedom. He has experience in almost every facet of building products and startups and can provide guidance in many roles.

As a product manager, he helped build and launch the Sony Playstation 3 and spent ten years building analytics platforms driving Qualcomm’s $9 billion technology licensing business. He also spent five years as CTO of a technology company, driving product strategy through data collection, analysis, and experimentation.

He’s spent the last fifteen years developing software products from every angle and helping his clients build products, engage their customers and find product-market fit. Eric has helped companies from startups to Fortune 100 companies gain maturity in their leadership, product strategy, and agile development process.

Adelina Chalmers – CTO Strategic Advisor and Founder at The Geek Whisperer

Adelina Chalmers D.P.S.I., Dip H.E. cuts straight to the heart of the matter when advising CTOs and focuses on the most pressing issues in the business. Since 2011 she has worked with science and technology companies from 50 to 50,000 staff on communication, leadership and strategic challenges. 

She won Cofinitive’s Top 7 People to Watch 2019 with her business, The Geek Whisperer® and was nominated on Computer Weekly’s Top Influencing Women in IT list in 2021. She has worked with scientists and engineers, from Software Engineers to CEO/CSO/CTO, who work for Fujitsu, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. 

Adelina helps CTOs with many areas of development, including how to think strategically, improving engineering performance and leadership and negotiation/influencing skills with the C-Suite and their teams.

David Yakimischak  – Chief Technology Officer

David has worked in finance, healthcare and publishing in different technology, marketing and business roles over the years. In addition, as a CTO in various companies, David possesses a wealth of experience and expertise and is not afraid of new challenges.

Graduating with a BA in Computer Sciences from the University of Toronto and an MBA from John Hopkins University, David worked for Merrill Lynch and Dow Jones as a Datacenter Manager and a Director of Product Development. Since then, he has taken on various CTO roles in publishing and healthcare. David currently works as a CTO in a health tech startup.

David understands how technology fits into a company, and he can take a complex situation and break it down into something simple.

They’re pretty impressive, aren’t they? We’re incredibly grateful to all our coaches for their time, expertise and enthusiasm and are pleased to have such talented leaders on board. With their wealth of experience, they offer a combination of leadership and executive coaching and subject-specific mentoring to help you build your skills, objectives, self-knowledge and decision-making.

To find out more about our coaching programme and how you can be involved, please visit our website.


If you or your CTO / technology lead would benefit from any of the services offered by the CTO Craft community, use the Contact Us button at the top and we’ll be in touch!

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