My Digital Hero: Carl Uminski, Somo

We’re asking some of our industry’s leading figures to nominate their digital hero and to explain what’s so special about them.

Carl Uminski, Co-Founder and COO at Somo has almost two decades experience in the digital industry. A true mobile pioneer, before co-founding Somo, he  founded Overture and Yahoo’s first mobile search business.

Who is your digital hero? 

Jonathan Wall when he was Group eCommerce Director at Shop Direct. He still is a hero though, even if he is a Liverpool fan.

What has he done to win hero status in your eyes? 

It’s pretty straightforward – who else in the UK can lay claim to taking a business that was an offline magazine to essentially becoming one of the UK’s largest commerce success stories at Shop Direct, second only to Amazon. 

I was proud to have had a team that worked alongside him on that journey. 

How has his heroism helped drive digital? 

He gave a huge boost to commerce in the Liverpool region, showed the rest of the retail market how you can, with the right strategy, team and ultimately listening to customers, really achieve market-leading success in digital retailing.

What is the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve? 

The biggest challenge is that every CEO now needs to be a digital hero.  

It’s no longer about an individual or a department, it’s the entire business.  The sooner every CEO looks up and honestly realises what they’ve ignored over the past five years will make the difference we need. 

It’s not about blame, it’s about looking at the data and moving forward incredibly quickly.

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital? 

Those that know me will know that I’d never describe anything I do as heroic, I enjoy working with teams who want to win, regardless of what that is.  

For me it’s about having fun, empowering others and being part of growth wherever there is disruptive opportunity.  

I loved pioneering search with Overture in 2000 before Google thought Adwords was a good idea, I loved pioneering messaging before the iPhone and WhatsApp existed and today I love looking back at what we’ve all built at Somo in creating the UK’s largest independent digital product company, helping large organisations transform digitally, fast. 

Outside of running Somo I also enjoy being active with a number of innovative startups in Healthcare (Careology.health), Security (airspace.co) and Property (Howsy.com) amongst others. 

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