Answer Digital has promoted Richard Pugmire to the role of CEO. He will work with the management team to deliver ambitious growth plans as the company builds on its artificial intelligence (AI) expertise.

The Leeds-based technology consultancy is employee-owned and supports the NHS and a range of private-sector companies with services ranging from data and software engineering to artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

Commenting on his new role, Richard Pugmire, said: "Since its move to employee ownership nearly four years ago, Answer has undergone its own transformation. It has doubled in size and attracted talented colleagues from across the UK. It now delivers work that is making a difference to the world.

"From deploying a multi-modal AI platform that supports clinicians with faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatments to building the next generation of payments platform that empowers consumers to take control of their finances, we have lots to be proud of."

Answer employs over 110 people across the UK, with half this number the product of its nine-year investment in its training Academy, which gives people digital skills in software development, business analysis, systems integration, test automation and project management.

Gary Parlett, chairman of Answer, concluded: "Our ethos is to grow from within, so it’s great to see Richard step up to the role of CEO after nearly nine years in the business joining as a technical architect, heading our healthcare sector and joining the Board at our transition to being an employee-owned company in 2020.”

“Answer has established a reputation for delivering real-world AI projects, and we will continue to invest and grow our capabilities in this area. As an employee-owned company, we can focus on building a culture that attracts the best talent the industry has to offer, and, through our Academy, develop the next generation of talent."

Answer recently received national recognition for the Artificial Intelligence Project of the Year at the UK IT Industry Awards for its pioneering work in advancing AI, and accelerating the diagnosis of cancer, stroke and other health conditions in the NHS.