David Stokes

David Stokes is the General Manager of the Partner Ecosystem at IBM.

David Stokes is currently General Manager of Partner Ecosystem at IBM EMEA. In this strategic role, based in Madrid, he oversees the partner ecosystem, emphasizing collaboration and growth. David's journey at IBM has included significant leadership roles, such as Chief Operating Officer for Europe and Chief Executive of IBM UK and Ireland. 

In addition to his corporate responsibilities, David Stokes is actively involved in mentorship programs, serving as a Mentor in the Dalyell Scholarship Program at the University of Sydney. He also served as a Board Member for The Tech Partnership, contributing to the strategic direction of the organization. His involvement in Social Business Trust as an Investment Committee Member reflects his commitment to supporting social enterprises.

David plays a key role in championing diversity across the business by chairing the IBM UKI Diversity Council as well as being an active advocate of the importance of gender diversity. He is also a keen sponsor of the IBM graduate, student and apprenticeship programmes.


David's journey began in 1997 when he joined IBM, where he would spend the next seven years in various leadership roles within the IBM Software Group, honing his skills and shaping his trajectory within the technology giant.

Stokes' career took an international turn in 2005 when he assumed the position of Vice President, General Business, overseeing the UK, Ireland, and South Africa. His strategic vision and leadership skills became evident during this time, setting the stage for his subsequent roles within IBM. He continued to ascend the corporate ladder, moving to Shanghai in 2009 as Vice President for General Business in Growth Markets, and later to Prague in 2011 as Vice President for Central and Eastern Europe.

In 2013, Stokes took on the role of Chief Executive for IBM UK and Ireland, where he demonstrated his ability to navigate and lead in complex business environments. Over the next four and a half years, he left an indelible mark on the organisation, steering it through a dynamic period of technological evolution.

Stokes' journey reached another pinnacle in May 2017 when he assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer for Europe, showcasing his proficiency in managing large-scale operations. His tenure in this position was characterised by strategic decision-making and a keen focus on operational excellence.

In January 2021, Stokes embarked on a new chapter as the General Manager for Partner Ecosystem in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, at IBM. In this capacity, he played a pivotal role in shaping and strengthening IBM's relationships with its partners across the region, contributing to the company's overall success.

Notably, Stokes' leadership extends beyond the corporate realm. He has been actively involved in mentoring aspiring talents, exemplified by his role as a Mentor in the University of Sydney's Dalyell Scholarship Program since September 2020. Furthermore, his commitment to social impact is evident in his role as an Investment Committee Member for the Social Business Trust, where he contributed to supporting high-growth potential social enterprises.

Stokes' influence extends to governance as well, as seen in his tenure as a Board Member for The Tech Partnership from 2013 to December 2017. This multifaceted involvement reflects not only his dedication to technological advancements but also his commitment to nurturing talent and fostering positive societal impact.

Currently, as a Fellow at the British Computer Society since January 2023, David Stokes continues to bring his wealth of experience and leadership acumen to the forefront of the tech landscape. His journey, marked by diverse roles and impactful contributions, serves as a testament to his resilience, strategic foresight, and unwavering dedication to the world of technology.


As the EMEA leader, David ensures that IBM's partners deliver the latest technology and expertise to tackle businesses' biggest challenges and drive economic growth. He is focused on connecting skills, technology and companies to drive adoption of IBM’s leading open hybrid cloud platform and responsible AI technologies.

In his own words:

“What drives my passion for technology is its potential to tackle society's most pressing issues. I strongly advocate for inclusiveness and neurodiversity and recognize that embracing diverse perspectives and unique talents is vital to unlock innovation and drive positive change.”

Recognition and Awards
Under the leadership of David Stokes, the IBM Partner Plus program has undergone transformative milestones, positioning it as a catalyst for accelerated investment and growth in the IBM Ecosystem. Launched in January, the program emphasizes a collaborative approach by reimagining partner engagement with increased access, support, and competitive incentives across software and infrastructure. This initiative ensures partners of all sizes and locations benefit from an integrated and transparent program, providing greater control over their growth trajectory through enhanced technical expertise, faster time to market, and client success. Noteworthy achievements within the program include the integration of partners into over 23,000 deals, with a substantial impact in EMEA, valued at over $2.8 billion USD. Additionally, the skilling initiative has attracted almost 45,000 individuals on a learning journey since its launch, and the program has welcomed over 1,400 registered partners, including 553 from EMEA, reflecting the success and momentum created by partners within the ecosystem.

David Stokes
London, UK
University of Sydney, St. Augustines' College, Sydney
Social Media
Fri Mar 01 2024

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