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The V3 Hot Seat: Micro Focus chief technology officer Stuart McGill

13 Nov 2012

stuart-mcgill-micro-focus-ctoThis week V3 sits down with Stuart McGill, chief technology officer for UK mainframe application vendor Micro Focus.

The company is known both for its Cobol specialism and its recent contributions to the government's IT strategy. In September, ex-Micro Focus chief executive Stephen Kelly was appointed the chief operating officer for the Cabinet Office.

McGill joined Micro Focus in 1984, serving in various marketing and management rolls before taking over the CTO role in 2006. In this position, he has taken charge of a growing portfolio of products as Micro Focus acquired NetManage and Borland.

In taking the Hot Seat, McGill joins Moxie Software boss Tom Kelly and Box chief executive Aaron Levie as part of V3's weekly look into what makes those in the IT industry tick.

V3: What would be your dream job (apart from your current role, of course)?

Stuart McGill: The chief executive of Aston Martin. Happy to help.

Which mobile phone and tablet do you currently use?

I own a iPhone, iPad, iMac – do you see the trend?

Which person do you most admire in the IT industry?

I always admired Steve Jobs, as has everybody else, but I did have the opportunity to work with him and some of his team when at [computer manufacturer] NeXt (a firm founded by Jobs in 1985).

I admire Bill Gates from a software perspective, but also for the passion and drive he has in building a company around developers and the software they bring to the market.

Finally, I admire Bob Metcalfe (co-founder of the ethernet). He's just a great guy, innovative and charming.

Which technology has had the biggest impact on your working life?

The PC. Where would we be now without it?

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

The people you meet, and the drive and energy you gain to move forward. The highlight always lies ahead.

What was your first job?

I was a graduate trainee, working in product marketing for Cobol.

What’s your favourite thing about working in the IT industry?

The unbelievable pace of change, the immense opportunity, and the way it influences daily life for the better.

What will be the next big innovation of the coming years?

Collaboration of all forms via the web. We will have true social collaboration, not what we have today.

There will also be breakthroughs in how internet users can protect and maintain their privacy.

We'll also see smarter automation of our lives.

What keeps you awake at night?

So much to do…

What was the last book you read and was it any good?

Gods without Men by Hari Kunzru.

I also just enjoy reading about the history of Islam. I love history.

Do you prefer e-readers or real books?

Both – you can’t beat the experience of reading.

Twitter, Facebook or Google+?

LinkedIn and a little bit of Google+…

If you want to volunteer for V3's Hot Seat, or want to suggest an IT leader you think should take part, please email for more details

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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