Grapevine Leaders | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Climbing the ranks with Steve Wainwright, Managing Director, EMEA at Skillsoft

This month, Recruitment Grapevine charts the career journey of Steve Wainwright, Managing Director at Skillsoft


1982 – 1986

BSc Managerial and Administrative Studies

After spending a year working and travelling in Australia I chose to study at the University of Aston because, at the time, it was one of the only universities offering a year in industry. I spent my third year with ICL, working in HR, and Sales and Marketing support. I learnt more about working life and business during this year than I did studying theory in the previous two years.



1999 – 2013

Vice President

Leaving university, I was clear I wanted to go into sales, and I joined P&G because of its reputation and training. When BT was privatised, I moved into the ITC sector, where I spent a number of years in fast moving, dynamic and entrepreneurial sales roles. I then spent 13 years at Oracle, where the varied internal career opportunities offered me a new challenge every two to three years. In an organisation like this you can continuously learn and grow, and I worked across a range of areas – from Infosec to middleware – and as a public spokesperson for the organisation.



2013 – 2014

VP and GM, Europe, Middle East and Africa

I wanted to move into general management and joined VCE – a joint venue between Cisco and VMware – to open a number of new offices, including in Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.



2014 – 2016

UK Head of Technology Sales and Member of UK Board

I moved back into the software industry following the launch of SAP Hana. This was my sweet spot (drawing on my Oracle experience) and I led the UK business to be the most successful in EMEA.



2016 – 2017

VP of App Cloud, US

Seeing how the market was developing, I wanted to go into a pure play SaaS environment. This led to a role as Head of App Cloud for Salesforce in the US, and in 2016 I moved to San Francisco. This was a culture change as much as it was a professional one, and I learned a great deal about the US economy and market – as well as leading a cloud business.



2017 – Present

Managing Director


In 2017, I decided to move back to the UK and join Skillsoft. I had seen over the years why eLearning was such a fast-growing market – it is an important part in every company’s path towards digital transformation. My experience in the IT sector showed me not just the importance of digital transformation, but the skills gaps many organisations have and the subsequent importance of eLearning. Skillsoft’s investment in its Percipio platform puts it in unique position to lead this market, and I am excited to be part of this journey.