Chief Executive Officer, STACK Infra
Like many of his peers, Eland didn’t follow a traditional route into the data centre industry. He majored in International Business at the University of Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School, where he also studied French and Japanese, and attended École supérieure de commerce in Tours.
Now Chief Executive Officer of STACK’s EMEA region, Eland entered the data centre sector around 15 years ago. He explains: “There really wasn't much of an industry as we know it today, and in terms of educational path there was really no route directly into the data centre industry. For me, it was a focus on the international business arena and general business management.”
He joined the telecoms industry in the late 1990s before his first introduction to data centres in 2006. Eland then joined Data City Exchange as CEO in 2008, developing and delivering an early-stage box modular solution in the UK, Europe and US before leading the data centre investment programme for AXA Investment Managers.
“I’ve experienced both sides, operator and investment, which has given me a holistic view of the industry,” he says. He returned to the operator world in 2017 with NTT Global Data Centers where he served as Chief Strategy Officer before joining STACK in April 2022.
STACK’s hyper growth in EMEA also means growing the team, and Eland often encounters the industry's skills gap. “I think the speed of growth is the key difference with the data centre industry as we know it today,” he explains. “We want the best minds and individuals that fit the culture we're trying to cultivate, and we’ve seen time and time again that those can come from outside the sector as well as within. We're keen to harness the best from the full spectrum of sectors, from different backgrounds and at different stages of life.”
Eland leads his team — a workforce made up of more than 30 nationalities — with the core values instilled in him by his parents: honesty, integrity, loyalty, and humility, whilst encouraging ambition and challenge.
“I like to lead by showing rather than telling,” he details. “I was given a piece of advice many years ago: you can't do it all, you can't know it all, so surround yourself with subject matter experts. Give them the room to develop and do what they do best. That's certainly something that we're trying to drive from a cultural perspective within the business.”
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“When they sign an agreement with us, our customers have secured an avenue to grow for decades, and we assume a strong long-term expansion capacity commitment while giving them the comfort of growing in the same location, with a trusted partner”