Director Biographies and Committees
Please click here for more information regarding Frontier’s Board committees, or see pages 42-43 of the 2023 Annual Report.
President and Founder
Joined: January 1994
David was the founding shareholder of Frontier in January 1994 and CEO for over 28 years until August 2022, when Frontier announced David’s transition to his new role of President and Founder.
David is the co-author of the seminal Elite title and has 40 years’ experience in the games industry. David is also one of the six founders of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a charity which aims to inspire a new generation of children to get interested in computer science through the use of a low-cost credit card-sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard.
David is a member of Cambridge Angels, investing and supporting early-stage companies, including investing in companies that can help reduce our carbon footprint. David is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of BAFTA (one of only 103 starting with Alfred Hitchcock), he was the recipient of three honorary doctorates (from Abertay University, The Open University and York University), and received an OBE in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to the UK computer and video games industry. He is also a Vice President of the charity SpecialEffect, a charity helping to transform people’s lives by enabling them to interact with and control technology, particularly video games.
Chief Executive Officer
Joined: November 1998
Jonny has over 30 years’ experience in the games industry. He joined Frontier in 1998 from Sensible Software. Over the course of his career, he has been involved in all aspects of the creation of over 30 published games such as Sensible Soccer and Cannon Fodder, along with Frontier’s suite of games, including RollerCoaster Tycoon® 3, Elite Dangerous, Planet Coaster, Jurassic World Evolution and Planet Zoo.
Jonny’s titles span the full range from independent development to 400-person projects, encompass a diverse range of genres, and together have been enjoyed by over 50 million people worldwide.
After serving as Chief Creative Officer over 10 years from 2012, Jonny stepped up to the Chief Executive Officer role in August 2022 to lead the next phase of the Group’s evolution.
Jonny holds both zoology and computer science degrees and is an active member of BAFTA, serving as a judge for nine years. He is committed to supporting future developers, including initiatives such as Brains Eden.
Non-Executive Director and Chairman
Joined: March 2022
Ilse joined the Board in March 2022 and was appointed as Chairman in November 2023.
Ilse’s executive career included 12 years at the BBC, including four years as Head of Digital Marketing and Communication.
Ilse went on to lead the Freeview platform (an ITV, Channel 4, BBC, Sky, and Arqiva joint venture) from a start-up to becoming the UK’s largest TV service in her 10 years as Managing Director. She then oversaw the creation of the Freeview Play on-demand TV service, building a multi-disciplinary launch team and leading interactions with multiple stakeholders.
Ilse’s non-executive career has included roles at digital technology companies and charitable organisations including chairing the United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF.
Ilse is currently Chair of the Education Development Trust, a global commercial/social enterprise providing education services and consultancy in the UK, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Chief Financial Officer
Joined: April 2017
Alex has over 20 years’ experience in high-growth technology businesses. Alex joined Frontier from Xaar plc (FTSE: XAR), a world leader in industrial inkjet technology, where he was Chief Financial Officer from February 2011. Prior to this, Alex rose to VP Finance of Cambridge fabless semiconductor company CSR plc during a 10-year period during which CSR listed on the Main Market, and grew significantly both organically and through acquisition. Alex qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte in Cambridge prior to joining CSR in 2000.
Alex served as Company Secretary from joining until August 2022, when Jessica Bourne was promoted to General Counsel and Company Secretary to take on those responsibilities.
Chief Operating Officer
Joined: September 1995
James has over 28 years’ experience working with David Braben and Jonny Watts at Frontier. Over this time, he has gained experience in every area of game development, prior to moving to an operational role covering a wide variety of disciplines and where he has been integral to Frontier’s success, particularly during the significant scale-up phases of the last decade.
James joined the Board as Chief Operating Officer in August 2022, providing support to Jonny Watts as he transitions into his CEO role, and to the whole Board as Frontier continues to grow and evolve.
Joined: September 2001
David transitioned from Chief Operations Officer to a Non-Executive Director role at the AGM in October 2018 in order to focus his attention on a start-up opportunity outside of the games industry. David is Investor Director of Pre-Cleared Limited, which operates the only licensing platform delivering officially licensed tracks from the music industry to performance sports worldwide.
David has over 30 years’ experience of engineering and commercial management roles in high-growth technology companies. In 2001 David joined Frontier from ARM, the FTSE/NASDAQ listed microprocessor IP licensing company where he served for six years, helping to grow the company and, as Director of Software Systems, setting up a division of the company to facilitate adoption of the architecture in key target market segments.
Joined: September 2017
James is Chief Strategy Officer and a Senior Executive Vice President at Tencent. He is responsible for various functions, including strategic planning and implementation, investor relationships, and mergers, acquisitions and investments activity. James joined Tencent in 2011. Previously James was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in New York, leading the bank’s communications, media and entertainment research team. James received a degree from Oxford University and holds a Chartered Financial Analyst Certification.
Joined: June 2023
Leslie-Ann has a wealth of expertise in senior financial positions, having led commercial decision making, M&A and operational activity in the UK and international markets. She also has a range of experience in Non-Executive Director roles.
Leslie-Ann’s executive career includes seven years as Global CFO of Metal Bulletin, the international metals publisher, where she was responsible for finance, M&A, IT, and investor relations. Prior to that, she held a number of internal finance and audit positions, including at Warner Inc. and EMI Records, as well as being CFO of Polygram Film International.
Leslie-Ann is currently Non-Executive Director and Audit Committee Chair at Learning Technologies Group plc, Bloomsbury Publishing plc and Centaur Media plc.