One Team One Culture
We’re passionate about our unique team spirit and we own our vision, culture, and values.
Every day, we encourage, motivate, and support each other to maintain a friendly positive atmosphere where everyone feels valued and cared for.
Winner of over 60 awards
Chess help you
Chess is one of the UK’s leading independent and trusted technology service providers, employing 300 skilled people across the UK, supporting over 20,000 organisations.
By leveraging world-class technology, Chess helps you to connect your people, protect your data, grow your business, reduce your costs and work better together, which means your business, your people and your customers can thrive. At Chess, we’re passionate about our unique culture and our continuous investment in our people to be industry experts.
We’re extremely proud that our people voted us No.1 in ‘The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work for’ list 2018, and we continue to celebrate more than ten years in the top 100.
Meet Our Team
Our Blueprint for Success
Our Blueprint sets out the reasons why we want to grow, our vision for the future, the areas we want to focus on and the importance we attach to our culture and values. All our people use it every day and at every opportunity; with suppliers, customers and in recruitment. It helps us explain who we are, and we use it to make sure we remain true to our values. Every Chess person uses the Blueprint to challenge the business and our leaders, if they feel we are not living up to our beliefs.
1993 Chess Born
Born in 1993, Chess is the invention of CEO, David Pollock. He’s so passionate about Chess that he christened the business after his first two children, Charlie and Jess.
Originally a utilities reseller, Chess started out in water, then moved into gas, then electricity. In the late nineties, with deregulation in the industry, we started focusing on telecoms, purchasing fixed-line, mobile and broadband telecoms products from operators such as BT and Cable & Wireless, reselling to 10,000 small and medium-sized businesses, including Sale Sharks rugby club and Bargain Booze.
1995 Investors in People
Investing in People for over 20 years. Culture, opportunity and leadership — these standards epitomise Chess and in 1995 the foundation was laid when we received the Investors in People accreditation.
2005 100 People and the First Blueprint
After 12 years of growing and acquiring companies that buy into our ethos, we decided that if we carried on expanding, we wanted to make sure we protected all that we wanted to be as a business. We needed a plan.
For six months, we worked with a business growth consultant. During that period, we took the business on a journey to establish who we were and who we wanted to be. We talked to everyone, ran workshops, did surveys and took absolutely everything on board. What came out of that was our first Our Blueprint for Success.
2006 The Sunday Times Fast Track 100
Reflecting our outstanding growth, Chess is featured in The Sunday Times Fast Track list for the first time. The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing sales over their latest three years.
2010 BSI Environmental Standard
“To play our part in the wider community by minimising our impact on the environment.” – Our Blueprint for Success
In 2010 we decided to take our commitment to supporting our community and the environment to the next level by acquiring a BSI Environmental Standard. This accreditation is given to companies that want to manage their environmental responsibilities and make their day-to-day operations more sustainable.
2014 Avenir Telecom
With the formation of Chess Partner Services, we purchased the UK airtime division of Avenir Telecom Group. With their excellent reputation across the industry, this offered a real opportunity for partner and mobile growth, adding knowledge and expertise to our business.
2015 IRW Acquisition
Continuing our buy-and-build growth strategy, we acquired leading Scottish Microsoft Partner and specialists in bespoke software design, development and support, IRW Systems. This resulted in the formation of Chess Digital and allowed us to be uniquely positioned to deliver a range of consulting and software services to our existing and new customers and partners. This foundation is essential for enabling the next wave of technological change for customers focusing on the transition to cloud-based technologies and applications.
2016 2nd in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For
Chess marked its seventh consecutive year in the list by rising from 3rd place in 2015 to 2nd place in 2016.
“Everyone at Chess is committed to building an energetic, hard-working, fun and exciting place to work that attracts, retains and inspires people to give their best. It is this total commitment by our people to Chess Culture that makes us one of the Best Companies to Work for in the UK and “a great place to be a customer” As it says in our blueprint for success, as proud as we are of our past achievements we’re excited by the future…. A great start to 2016.”
- David Pollock, CEO and Founder
2016 Lanway Acquisition
In a move to strengthen our ICT proposition Chess acquired Lanway. Lanway provided a full range of hosted and cloud solutions, ICT product supply and installation, storage, managed services, networking infrastructure, data security, professional services, business continuity, unified communications and systems management. This acquisition took Chess people to over 550, maximizing the talent, knowledge, experience and skill set within the business and strengthening our ICT, network and mobile capabilities.
2017 Foursys Acquisition
Expanding our business into the cybersecurity market we welcomed multi-award-winning cybersecurity provider Foursys.
Named a Top UK Education Partner for Sophos, the Foursys’ team of experts service customers across the UK and have 20 years’ experience delivering cybersecurity consultancy to public sector, SMB, corporate, and enterprise organisations.
“Cybersecurity is of upmost importance for any modern business. Foursys share our passion for delivering technological advantage and, importantly, this acquisition enhances our security offering to our customers. Together with their expertise, we have the talent and technology needed to deliver truly integrated solutions across enterprise, mobile and cloud environments.”
- David Pollock, CEO and Founder
2018 Officially #1
‘The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For in the UK’, following nine consecutive years in the list, having come 3rd in 2015 and 2nd in 2016 and 2017. Chess’ Founder and CEO, David Pollock, also wins the award of being named ‘Best Leader’ for the Second Year Running.
“I'm so proud that we've finally made it to first place. I was also thrilled to be named 'Best Leader' for the second year in a row, an award for all our great leaders at Chess. We couldn't achieve half of what we do without the support of our people, our loyal customers, our partners and our suppliers. We are passionate about making Chess not only a great place to work but also a great place to be a customer.
“It is this total commitment by our people that makes us the Best Company to Work for in the UK and I couldn’t be more proud. A great start to 2018 and a great way to celebrate our 25th year in business.”
- David Pollock, CEO and Founder
Chess Gear Up for 20’s Growth
Chess Limited announces the appointment of Mark Lightfoot as Chief Executive Officer to succeed David Pollock, who moves to Executive Chairman. Mark has been with Chess for 11 years as Financial Director and most recently as Chief Financial Officer.
“The Board of Directors are delighted to announce Mark as Chief Executive Officer. Mark has consistently been an example to us all on the merits of hard work and attention to detail. He drives outstanding performance across his team, ensuring great financial control, and has a proven track record in building external relationships and securing financial support as we continue our growth journey."
- David Pollock, Executive Chairman and Founder
“I’m delighted to be the new Chief Executive Officer at such an exciting time for Chess. My focus will be on leading our exceptional team through the new decade, growing the business through performance and our unique culture, whilst building on our position as a perennial Sunday Times Best Company to Work For.”
- Mark Lightfoot, CEO
Gender Pay Report
At Chess we’re committed to creating a fair, ethical and diverse place to work where all our people are given the same opportunities to help them reach their full potential. In our gender pay report you’ll find details on our figures, what this means for us and what we’re doing to do to improve gender balance within our organisation