Executive Search

About Portman Partners - Executive Search




About us

Portman Partners is a company within the Datacenter People Group. Datacenter People was formed in 2010 as the first Talent Acquisition firm to focus on the datacenter industry worldwide. Since formation the company has risen to become the #1 talent search firm, working with the leading clients in the Internet and Cloud Infrastructure sector, from hyperscale operators to regional colos, designers, builders and plant & equipment manufacturers around the world, providing talent with skills ranging from executive management, sales, engineering, software and operations.  Our work has brought us into contact with many of the world leaders in our industry. And those on the periphery. And we believe that there are very few great executives who wouldn’t be tempted to move to a great company with great people. And of course, a great compensation and incentive package sometimes helps!

what we are

  • Leadership Partners

  • Culture-Shapers

  • Strategic Advisors

  • Counsellors

  • Board Advisors


Get in touch

We at Portman know that finding the next leader for your company is a choice not to be taken lightly. That’s why we work with you to understand your business, your needs and your further growth plans.

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Peter Hannaford

Peter has been involved with datacenters for over 40 years, from computer operations through programming and systems development, to starting his own company Waterfields in 1989, which became one of the biggest datacenter design & build companies in Europe before being sold in 2001. His next venture was to found Tecnikon, which designed and patented the first water-cooled server rack with an integrated vertical cooling coil specifically for high-density computing. Tecnikon was acquired by APC in June 2003. 

At APC Peter helped develop Tecnikon’s innovative cooling solution into one of APC’s most successful product lines, envied and imitated by a large number of competitors. APC was itself acquired by Schneider Electric in February 2007, and as APC became more and more integrated into the Schneider organisation, Peter's entrepreneurial instincts resurfaced and he left in September 2010 to form Datacenter People (www.datacenterpeople.org) to offer specialist recruitment services and consulting to the datacenter industry. Datacenter People is now the leading talent sourcing firm servicing the datacenter sector worldwide with offices in London, Singapore, Tampa and Dublin. A regular speaker at conferences and events around the world, and named as one of 50 most influential people in the industry by Data Economy in 2017, Peter is now focussing on leadership roles with Portman.

email: Peter.Hannaford@portmanpartners.com


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Bruce Taylor

Bruce Taylor is a distinguished industry leader dedicated to Digital Infrastructure - Datacenters, IoT, Edge, Cloud and Networking, necessary for Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0.

A researcher, writer, editor, publisher and conference producer since the early 1980s, Bruce has been a thought leader in the datacenter and cloud infrastructure sector since 2005.

Bruce has been a Principal and Senior Executive of The Uptime Institute, responsible for guiding its strategic acquisition by 451 Research. Bruce served as Chief Strategist (2005-2008) and Founding Principal of its Symposium conference and trade expo business line, launched in 2005 and established it to be a thought-leadership forum for datacenter executives and technical professionals. Bruce is currently a member of the DatacenterDynamics leadership team, serving as an Advisor for the U.S. and Canada business and is a host of the popular DCD Debate webcast series.

In 2016, Bruce founded DXPLANET 4.0, a boutique bespoke research and content provider covering the business of digital transformation and industry 4.0.

email: Bruce.Taylor@portmanpartners.com


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Mark Acton

Mark has over 25 years’ experience in the data center sector, working for such firms as CBRE, Uptime, Dell and Intel. 

A regular public speaker at international events and a recognised industry advisor on data centre technical issues as well as being involved in European data centre Standards development through CENELEC and BSI, Mark is also the current Chair of the Best Practice Committee for the European Code of Conduct for Data Centre Energy Efficiency.

Mark received his Batchelors from the University of Hull in 1983, and is a keen rugby fan.

email: Mark.Acton@portmanpartners.com


Dave Pye

Dave Pye

Dave is a recognised business leader with a 25 year background in the professional services and recruitment sector.  

Dave has had a wide-ranging career leading one of the UKs largest staffing organisations which employed over 800 people, through rebranding, acquisition and growth, and has also worked as CEO with a number of smaller boutique and niche businesses.

Specialising in enabling executives to scale-up faster, more efficiently and more cost effectively, he understands the different challenges faced by leaders. He has been quoted in numerous publications including articles within The Times, Computer Weekly, Computing Magazine, Director Magazine (IoD) and the Financial Times.

email: Dave.Pye@portmanpartners.com


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Maria Morse

Maria has 13 years experience working within the mission critical industry. Comprising three years with data centre pioneers EYP Mission Critical Facilities as Marketing Lead for EMEA, followed by over four years as Business Development Principal within HP Critical Facilities Services, post acquisition of EYP in 2008. She then spent two years as Head of Strategic Relationships at DatacenterDynamics before moving on to CMO for i3 Solutions Group where she managed Marketing Strategy for EMEA and APAC.

Maria was previously Mayoress of Greenwich and has a Masters in Design Management, majoring in applied research and the use of design in strategic commercial environments. She has lectured at the University of Salford.

email: Maria.Morse@portmanpartners.com