SMX Executive Team


Ian McDonald - CEO

Ian McDonald was appointed to the CEO role in September 2013. Ian moved to New Zealand from Scotland in 2004, where he was a founder of Connect Scotland and Global Connect. There he created and managed the Connect Investment Conference to be one of Europe’s most successful venture capital investment conferences. Connect Scotland and Global Connect have been internationally influential in bringing together investors, technology start-ups and management expertise. Recent experience and achievements in New Zealand include helping to grow online registry company Foster Moore into a world leader in registry applications. A range of corporate development consulting assignments have helped define, validate and execute market development strategies for New Zealand technology companies looking to grow in European, North American and Asian markets.

Colin Print - Chief Financial Officer

Colin Print joined SMX in May 2016 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Prior to joining SMX, he was the Chief Financial Officer at UXC Oxygen Limited. In his role as SMX CFO, Colin is responsible for leading and managing SMX’s Finance and Commercial team. Colin ensures the financial and commercial integrity of SMX's business. He is a professional, results driven senior financial executive with more than 25 years of progressive experience in finance and operations management within multinational, trans-Tasman and New Zealand owned companies and has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry. Colin brings a valuable mix of strategic and technical financial and commercial skills to SMX. Colin has worked in both senior financial and contract management roles for tech companies including Alcatel, EDS, and UXC.

Thom Hooker - Co-Founder and CTO

Co-founder of the company and SMX's Chief Technology Officer, Thom Hooker is responsible for the architecture of SMX’s cloud-based email security solution, as well as the hands-on management of product development and customer support. Prior to founding SMX with Jesse Ball, Thom acquired a wealth of experience and knowledge working for companies including Telecom Xtra, Cable & Wireless, NTL, IBM, EDS, and Air New Zealand. Thom lead a development team to design the customised SMX email security solution, built from the ground up as a SaaS platform into which new capabilities and applications could easily be slotted. With his involvement in architecting large-scale state-of-the-art IT systems, Thom provides the experience that allows SMX to maintain its position as a leader in the messaging and data services market.

Karen Liesenfeld - Chief Operations Officer

Karen Liesenfeld joined SMX in May 2015 as Operations Manager and was appointed to the position of Chief Operations Officer in January 2016. Prior to joining SMX, she was Platform Operations Manager at Touchpoint Group. In her role as SMX COO, Karen is responsible for leading and managing SMX’s technical teams spanning support, development, operations and integration. She ensures the availability of SMX's cloud services across all sites and that SMX delivers consistently excellent service and support quality for its customers. Karen is an experienced platform operations and infrastructure manager who has more than 15 years of experience in the IT industry. Strategic, inventive, creative and resourceful, Karen brings a valuable mix of management and technical operations skills to SMX and a deep understanding of how to build relationships that create strong bridges between people, processes and technology. She thrives on challenges and has a passion for innovation, change and people management. Originally from Germany, where she spent 10 years working as an environmental engineer before taking the leap into IT, Karen immigrated to New Zealand in 2005. Karen has owned a web and internet design company in Germany, and worked in both technical and management roles for New Zealand tech companies including Gen-i, Telecom and Touchpoint Group.

Colin Taylor - Vice President Development

Colin Taylor is the driving force behind SMX's core application infrastructure. With an Honours degree in Computer Science from Auckland University and over eleven year's software engineering experience he is responsible for delivering SMX's bespoke application code. Colin has an extensive enterprise architecture background and has worked for Xtra, E-force, Practiv and Friends Provident in the UK. He was also the lead developer in the IBM team that designed the UK Lottery online subscription service.

Paul Barnetta - Principal Email Architect

Paul Barnetta joined SMX in 2008. In his current role of Principal Email Architect, Paul is responsible for the design and development of all email-related services at SMX. Paul is passionate about building robust and precise systems that integrate seamlessly with the SMX platform to enable customers to take advantage of emerging email technologies. Prior to joining SMX, Paul worked in New Zealand and Malaysia with large telcos and enterprises including Telecom, EDS, Solnet, IBM and Provenco.