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Jim Saunders

Jim Saunders

Chief Product Officer SDL

Jim Saunders was always more attracted to the sciences, with a BSc in Computer science he excelled in the computer industry, but like most engineers, the finer arts were never so easy. When he was a child, his French teacher kindly wrote on his annual report card: “Jim is a very lovely boy, but he will never speak French”. There must have been something in that back-handed compliment that electrified Jim’s motivations to learn to communicate in another language. Years later, not only would Jim move to France where he now speaks French fluently, but he would also help untangle one of the greatest challenges to the software industry in the early 90’s: how to internationalize and localize complex software products so they can support complex languages such as Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Hebrew, Arabic. 

Nowadays, these questions are less relevant as modern operating systems have internationalization built into their core, however, his ability to think out of the box, and adapt to new challenges has served him well. 

Growing up in the UK, Jim always excelled in mathematics, physics and other STEM subjects, however, in order to start his bachelor's, he needed a 3rd subject. On a whim, he signed up for computer programming which led to a lifelong love for the most technical challenges he could find. He graduated from the University of Essex with honors and a BSc in computer science, and joined Digital Equipment company., one of the 3 top computer companies in the 1980’s. 

With various roles at Digital, Apple, and Netscape, Jim’s curiosity took him to the heart of the Silicon Valley in California. As the Core Application Development Director at Netscape, Jim got first-hand experience with the Web, and building SaaS applications for a Global audience. He went on to run the development organizations for Netscape.com and later American Online where his products were used by hundreds of millions of consumers globally. 

Most recently before joining SDL, Jim was the EVP at Xura responsible for a delivery organization in excess of 700 employees worldwide. When asked what attracted him to SDL, Jim says: “While the industry has made major advances since the 1990’s, companies still struggle with delivering multi-lingual products in a timely, cost effective manner. Language, for as much as we have figured it out, still remains one of the greatest technical challenges, and I feel the job I started 20 years ago isn’t finished yet. I’m looking forward to untangling that complexity with SDL, a leader in the global content space.”