Semafone, the leading provider of data security and compliance solutions for call and contact centres, announced the appointment of Gary E. Barnett to the role of chief executive officer as the company prepares to expand its presence in the U.S. market. Effective immediately, Mr Barnett will replace Tim Critchley who, as CEO of Semafone since 2009, has led the company from a UK start up to an award-winning international business spanning five continents.
As the company places further focus on expanding its customer and partner relationships across the U.S., Barnett brings a unique mix of industry knowledge and software solutions expertise to accelerate global expansion.
Gary Barnett is recognised worldwide as an authority on contact centre (CC) and unified communications (UC) technologies and solutions. With a 30-year track record of delivering outstanding leadership and stakeholder value in senior leadership roles at both Avaya and Aspect Software, he was recognised by the contact centre industry with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have someone of Gary Barnett’s calibre and experience to lead Semafone into the future,” said David Sear, Semafone’s chairman. “Barnett is the perfect fit with his deep knowledge and market expertise as a pioneer of contact centre technologies. It’s an exciting and pivotal time in Semafone’s development as the company looks to further expand into the U.S. market and Barnett will provide the leadership needed to successfully take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Mr Barnett said, “I am privileged to have the opportunity to bring my passion for contact centre compliance and extensive market experience to the CEO role at Semafone. Working closely with Semafone, its customers and partners in my previous role, I’ve developed a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that truly matter most. I am thrilled to begin executing on those opportunities, address the industry’s challenges, and drive Semafone to innovate and evolve with faster, frictionless cloud technology – further consolidating the company as the world’s most trusted solution for protecting telephone-based card data.”
Speaking on behalf of the board, David Sear said, “Tim Critchley has done an amazing job building Semafone from the ground up and overseeing our entry into the U.S. market. We wish him further success as he pursues new opportunities.”
Semafone provides software to contact centres so they can take personal data securely over the telephone. Semafone’s data capture method collects sensitive information such as payment card or bank details and social security numbers directly from the customer’s telephone keypad for processing. This prevents personal data from entering the contact centre, which protects against the risk of fraud and the associated reputational damage, ensuring compliance with industry regulations such as PCI DSS.
The company was founded in 2009 and now supports customers in 22 countries on five continents. Semafone is vertical agnostic and its extensive customer base includes companies such as AO.com, AXA, The British Heart Foundation, Rogers Communications, Santander, Sky, TalkTalk and parts of the Virgin Group.
BT offers a hosted version of Semafone’s technology – Cloud Contact PCI. Major investors of Semafone include Octopus Investments and BGF (Business Growth Fund).
Semafone has achieved the four leading security and payment certifications: ISO 27001:2013, PA-DSS certification for Cardprotect its payment solution, PCI DSS Level 1 Service Provider and is a registered Visa Level 1 Merchant Agent.