Deep expertise, global reach

Our People

François Gobillot
Director, France

Experience in PR: 13 years

Expertise in technology industry: 12 years

Specialisations: Enterprise IT, telecoms, new media

Client experience: Citrix, VMware, Red Hat, Alcatel-Lucent, Verizon Business, Symbian, ZTE, DoubleClick, Zanox, Real, SlingMedia

Professional qualifications: Marketing degree

On completion of his degree in business and communications, François started his career as a PR officer for the French Army in the South Pacific. He returned to France and took on a role at AxiCom in 1998, where he rose steadily through the ranks to become country manager in 2002.   

François’ specialism is in defining local and international strategies and this has seen him drive the PR launch of many French start-ups.

Aged 11 Francois won the French National Championships for BMX Freestyle.  A man of serial passions he then moved onto motocross, tennis, wind surfing and now, with middle age beckoning, he is currently consumed by all things golfing.

Julian Tanner
Principal and CEO Europe

Experience in PR: 24 years

Expertise in technology industry: 24 years

Specialisations: Healthcare technology, enterprise IT, Clean Tech

Client experience: IBM, Microsoft, Picis, Intelligent Energy,

Professional qualifications: MSc Chemistry from Durham University,

On completion of a MSC in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Durham University Julian began his career in technology PR in 1985. He has since covered almost all areas of the industry, from component electronics to systems software, and from mobile devices to mainframe computers.

His career took him from Paris to Silicon Valley before he returned to the UK to found AxiCom in November 1994, in the ensuing years he has built the company from a two-person start-up to a global business with over 100 employees.

Julian’s other claims to fame are that he worked for 3-Michelin-star chef Raymond Blanc for five years, wrote the press release that launched Microsoft Windows and owns the world’s largest dog.

Lyle Closs
Managing Director, Europe

Experience in PR: 27 years

Expertise in technology industry: 22 years

Specialisations: Telecoms, international programme management

Client experience: Most recently Dell, ZTE, IBM, Fractus

Professionalqualifications: BA, Dip. Marketing, Dip. Teaching

Australian by birth, Lyle started work as a business press journalist in Sydney, then worked in PR and marketing roles, in agencies and in-house, across the full spectrum of technology business.

Lyle moved to the UK with his family in 1991 and worked as PR Manager for global accounting software company Sage before moving to London to work on the IBM account with a London agency. He then moved to Ogilvy PR where he led the European technology practice for five years, his primary client being IBM’s EMEA agency network. He joined AxiCom in February 2001.

An experienced climber, Lyle was a member of the Australian Bicentennial Antarctic Expedition which in 1988 made the first ascent of Mount Minto, one of the highest mountains in Antarctica.

Helen Ridgway
Principal and Managing Director, UK

Experience in PR: 20 years

Expertise in technology industry: Extensive experience across technology industry from enterprise computing to consumer tech

Specialisation: Media relations, analyst relations

Client experience: ARM Holdings. Fujitsu, Neverfail, Sling Media, IBM, HP, ADT Security, PC World to name a few

Professional qualifications: BA Hons Economic History, 5 years as technology journalist, Member of IIAR (International Institute of Analyst Relations)

Helen was born on an oil refinery in Venezuela and spent her childhood in South America. She graduated from Liverpool University with a BA Hons. in Economic History.

Helen has 15 years experience in IT communications working as a journalist and PR professional. Helen started her career as a high-tech journalist working for EMAP Business & Computing on CadCam International and IBM System User and later as a freelance writer contributing to a wide variety of titles including PC User, Computing, Informatics and Financial Director.

She moved into PR in 1991 where she helped to grow and ultimately lead a high-tech practice. Helen co-founded AxiCom in November 1994 and has helped to manage and build the company’s business in the UK and across Europe.

Helen owns a gifted and talented cat called Sam who has learnt how to open doors.