Automation specialist TestPlant hires new CEO from Plat.One

John Bates (pictured), former head of Plat.One, joins UK testing firm backed by Carlyle Group as CEO. George Mackintosh, the outgoing CEO who founded the company in 2008, moves to a non-executive role. Bates says US growth is a priority.

London-based test automation specialist TestPlant has appointed John Bates as CEO, replacing George Mackintosh, who joins the company board as non-executive director.

TestPlant was founded in 2008 and has positioned itself as a medium-sized test automation firm, prioritising automation for mobile apps and its key eggPlant testing tool. It numbers Citigroup, Nationwide and Banco Sabadell among its financial services clients and in January 2016 received equity backing from Carlyle Group, the US investment firm.

Carlyle Group was also an investor in Apama, a streaming analytics company co-founded by Bates and one focused on financial markets clients. Progress Software acquired Apama in 2005.

Bates then worked as CTO of big data, head of industry solutions, and CMO at German technology firm Software AG. He is leaving his current position of CEO at Plat.One – a software firm that specialises in Internet of Things solutions – to join TestPlant. Plat.One, based in Palo Alto, was acquired by SAP in September 2016.

“Having backed John Bates and his first business Apama with a previous Carlyle fund and remained in close contact throughout the years,” said Michael Wand, managing director of the Carlyle Group and TestPlant director.  “We are pleased that we can re-engage with such a seasoned executive who brings a tremendous amount of unique and highly applicable talent and experience to TestPlant.”

Speaking to QA Financial, Bates said he plans to leverage his experience in financial services to deepen TestPlant’s reach into that industry vertical.

“I spent a lot of time working in fintech at Apama, where I helped develop technologies that facilitated algorithmic and high-frequency trading strategies,” said Bates. “I developed relationships with big banks such as  Citi and HSBC, and I know that the quality assurance aspect is absolutely essential. And it is not just testing, but the whole world of DevOps and continuous integration. They [banks] need speed more than anyone.”

“I hope that I can use this experience to help us expand in not just retail banking, but also capital markets, where testing is needed for the user interface of trading apps, for example.” said Bates.  

More business in the US market is also a priority: “The US is is the largest contiguous market in the world and – along with Europe – it remains our focus market,” said Bates. “As we continue to grow, we will be putting more resources into growth in the Asia-Pacific region.”  

The announcement of TestPlant’s new CEO follows the recent appointment of Dru Jacobs to the role of Chief Marketing Office at the company. Jacobs was formerly with CA Technologies.


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