Leader’s Corner: Ako Sabir, Former AA

From digital transformations to extracting value from data - Ako Sabir has done it all. Discover more about his career trajectory and what it means to be a technology leader today.


Formerly the Chief Data and Analytics Officer at the AA, Ako's career has meandered through the depths of programming and coding, evolving into a myriad of technology leadership roles in diverse industries. 


In this exclusive leader’s corner interview at The Studio, Ako reflected on the pivotal role data plays in steering change, his advisory roles at different companies and how curiosity, experimentation, and a resolute commitment to fostering collaborative, value-driven cultures are essential to navigate the world of data and technology.


Leader’s Corner insights with Ako Sabir

“I started very much from really the depth of the technology and I was interested in effectively programming and coding.”


It was Ako’s insatiable curiosity that propelled him through various stages of technology architecture, from software to solution and enterprise architecture. “I was more interested in how you then put all of that together to really transform businesses.”


The evolution continued as he assumed technology leadership roles, predominantly as a CTO and occasionally as a CIO. Ako's immersion in diverse industries, including financial services and media, led him to a pivotal realisation:


“It became again clear to me that there is actually the data that drives all that change and transformation and generates the outcome.”


The inspiration for Ako's deep-drive into technology leadership came from the thrill of experimentation and coding at a young age. He recalls the wonder of turning ideas, vague or clear, into tangible code that could materialise outcomes. 


Ako also underscored the importance of research, conversations and experimentation. Beyond discussions around AI, he delved into the potential of quantum computing. 


“I think it's a combination of what the advancements in technology can do when you put them together and specifically how you can use that in a business environment to advance the business goals, but actually how do you also use that to benefit the wider society as well?”

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