Channel Q&A: Terry Burt

Red question mark made out of the letters of question

What has been your journey to CEO of 2e2?

I started life as an accountant but have worked in the IT industry for over 30 years now. I learnt my trade working for a systems integrator before moving on to do three lots of buy and build at K2 and 4Front. 10 years ago I then founded 2e2.

What has been your best moment in business?

There have been lots and I have enjoyed good fortune. You tend to remember the significant acquisitions and also the sales but nothing ever quite takes away the thrill of knowing you have just won a large customer contract after several months of hard work.

What was your biggest regret?

Not picking up the phone when Salma Hayak called.

What is the best business advice you have ever been given?

“Don't buy that company” was helpful advice and whilst I agree with the “cash is king” mantra, it also ranks with, “we will all die sometime”. I’ve also found that if you have sales you have problems, but it's when you have no sales you experience real problems.

Which company (other than yours) do you admire the most and why?

John Lewis; nicely understated, full of quality and principles and growing.

Which other CEO do you believe has done an outstanding job? Why?

In the world of technology, I admire Phil Doye at Kelway for how he built a nice business from the ground up which is no easy feat. At large, I admire former Tesco chief executive Terry Leahy for how he changed the business, bought growth and was ruthless about small grinding changes to improve the business. Everybody misunderstood what "every little helps" meant. Roy Keane is my favourite football player which probably says a lot about me.

Tell us about the Blenheim Triathlon Challenge?

Myself and twenty-odd (both contexts valid) CEOs from technology and business brands decided to test our competitive spirits while giving a bit back to the community and created an initiative called Leaderboard for Sport Relief as a result. It involves all of us taking part in various fundraising activities in the run up to the Blenheim Triathlon in June and we're hoping to rise up to £25k each. All of us are desperately pretending we have done no training but are actually at it for four hours a day and determined to win. Except for me, I just want to finish. Oh and Phil Smith from Cisco, he just likes the Lycra.

What's next for 2e2?

Survival I hope! We have implemented a vertical strategy now we have to make it work for our clients, staff and stakeholders. We have gone from a standing start to £400m in ten years, we are obviously delighted but it means we must continue the momentum!


ITPro is a global business technology website providing the latest news, analysis, and business insight for IT decision-makers. Whether it's cyber security, cloud computing, IT infrastructure, or business strategy, we aim to equip leaders with the data they need to make informed IT investments.

For regular updates delivered to your inbox and social feeds, be sure to sign up to our daily newsletter and follow on us LinkedIn and Twitter.