Informal Interactions with Andrew Stevens

With your career so intertwined with technology and being “switched on,” how do you unplug and create time and space to be offline outside of working hours?

Without a doubt, it’s important to unwind, relax, and not think about work. I’m very lucky at CNet, having built a very good team of people around me who don’t place too many demands on my time, so it’s more a case of “please don’t join this meeting because you’re going to interfere and cause us problems!” My job is people-focused—making sure the people around me have what they need to succeed, in particularly the right work/life balance. I’m the type of person who enjoys time offline. I have three grown-up children, and I made plenty of mistakes with my oldest in not being present enough, so I think there is an element of getting it right with lessons learned from the past. It’s good fun to spend time with all my family now—the oldest two are grown up and have partners, and it’s interesting to see their lives unfolding and developing. I have a golf group I play with who are all much better than me. Friends are important: I like spending time with friends, and they always make sure I stay grounded.

As a busy executive, we are impressed that you also make time to serve as a trustee for several valuable foundations. Can you tell us more about these activities and the personal rewards they bring you?

I’m privileged to be a trustee of two charities, the Edge Foundation and the Ipswich Town Foundation. The Edge Foundation works to inspire the education system to give all young people across the UK the knowledge, skills, and behaviors they need to flourish in their future life and work. This aim, and particularly promoting the acceptance of technical, vocational education, is one that is very close to my heart, and it brings me huge satisfaction to be able to use the experience I have gained over many years in the industry for the good of others by creating programs that enable people to achieve their aims and aspirations, and helping to find sustainable financial ways to be able to offer long-term solutions.

The Ipswich Town Foundation engages, inspires, and develops a diverse range of people across the community and supports them through the power of football and other sporting activities. Sport is a big part of my life—I play golf and watch a lot of football—and it’s a social mechanism that people need, not only for exercise, but also for being part of a community and the support that comes with it. I’ve met so many people from different industries and backgrounds, which has helped me develop a mentality I’m proud of; I always try to see what “good” looks like and strive to make it even better.

Andrew with CNet’s Global Sales Manager, Ken Hillyer, and Financial Controller, James King, at the company’s annual get together
Andrew’s three children on his daughter’s wedding day
At the FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium (London) with sons and nephews
A day at the football for Andrew and his sons
A family day out to the Suffolk coast
Enjoying pre-match drinks with friends before an Ipswich Town Football Club home match
Andrew and his partner, Hayley, visiting St. Paul’s Basilica in Rome
At the House of Lords (London) with CyrusOne VP, Matt Pullen, for a lunch celebrating the UTC Heathrow & Partners initiative
Andrew and teammates at Inside_Networks’ annual charity golf day
Presenting a CNet Masters Degree graduate with his scroll