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Brett Dawson, Former CEO of Dimension Data, announced as Chairman of Free2Cycle

3rd July 2017

Free2Cycle, the new behavioural change initiative which aims to dramatically increase the number of cyclists on the roads, has announced the former CEO of Dimension Data, Brett Dawson, as its new Chairman, bringing to the table more than 20 years worth of leadership experience.

Dawson, who left Dimension Data having helped globalise the business and successfully quadruple the company’s revenues to $8bn, will now bring his entrepreneurial talent to Free2Cycle as it gears towards launch.

Commenting on his appointment, Dawson said: “Free2Cycle is strongly aligned to my personal ethos - being involved in initiatives that are beneficial to society and the environment is a personal priority. What makes Free2Cycle unique is the combination of being financially attractive for our clients, whilst significantly improving the health and happiness of their cyclists and, in addition also making a sustained and positive impact on the environment. My experience in business highlights the importance of valuing and investing in the wellbeing of your staff.”

“Sickness absence costs UK businesses an estimated £29 billion each year, a study published in the Economic Evidence report for workplace health 2016 suggests [Ref. 1]”, Dawson continues. “Therefore, it is even more prevalent than ever before that cyclist health is seen as a priority in business. Free2Cycle aims to unlock an estimated 7 million of those cyclists in Britain who are not currently cycling to work but potentially would and will benefit from doing so.”

Dawson’s announcement comes one year after his departure from the South African-based technology giant, Dimension Data, where he spent 12 years at the helm of the technology services group. During his time as CEO, Dawson led the company through four major transitions; turning the company around after the dot-com crash, expanding Dimension Data and solidifying its position on a global scale, moving into IT as a service, and the buyout by Japan’s NTT.

CEO of Free2Cycle, Eric G Craig, says of the company’s new Chairman: “We are pleased to welcome Brett on board at Free2Cycle. The depth of experience that he brings within a large-scale business is a major asset, and his commitment and experience in the delivery of benefits to society and the environment is a real advantage to us. His accolades at Dimension Data are outstanding, and his vast experience, knowledge, and commitment shown to projects he involves himself in, will be an asset to us. Brett’s style of leadership, which is to be motivated in making decisions that will benefit the company, people and the environment, as well as being a team player in all aspects of working life, fit in with our ethos here at Free2Cycle and we are delighted to welcome him as part of the team.”

Free2Cycle is a game-changer in the cycling industry, combining effective use of technology with a financial services model that will increase business for both manufacturers and cycle retailers alike. By providing the means, and encouraging cyclists to use a bike as a preferred choice of transport, Free2Cycle aims to improve the health and wellbeing of cyclists whilst also creating sustainable environmental improvements.

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  1. Health at Work: Economic Evidence Report 2016 (ERS Research and Consultancy)

Notes to editor

About Free2Cycle:

Growing the wellbeing and wealth of Great Britain, Free2Cycle is a behavioural change initiative that sets itself apart from other cycling business models.

Stimulating the cycling economy, Free2Cycle is determined to unlock an estimated 7 million cyclists in Britain who are not currently cycling to work but potentially could and would benefit from doing so.

How Free2Cycle works:

  • The Funder signs up online -
  • The Cyclist enters pledged commute mileage and is free to choose a bike funded by pedal power alone from £355 to the value of £1,750, dependent on their mileage pledge. If cyclists would like to upgrade their bike, they are free to make an additional upfront or monthly contribution
  • The Funder has no upfront payment to make for the bike and commits to contributing 20p per mile of the cyclist’s commute mileage achieved
  • The Funder receives a report of the resulting carbon savings

Incentives for Cyclists:

  • Healthier lifestyle
  • Substantial financial savings by switching to using a bike for their commute, estimated at £150 per month by Department for Transport (DfT) research
  • The freedom to choose their style of bike from a range of suppliers and their preferred retailer

Incentive for Funders:

  • Healthier, happier and appreciated staff
  • Reduced sick days
  • Regular carbon-savings report
  • Ideal to address corporate social responsibilities programmes both for cyclists or within the wider community

Revolutionising the way in which products are purchased, Free2Cycle uses ‘pedal power’ as the currency. By providing cyclists with free bikes and encouraging them to use them, the funder contributes 20p per commuter mile achieved by the cyclist (on average £20 - £30 per month).

As a central objective driving Free2Cycle, ‘pedal power’ does more than just pay off each cyclist’s bike; it also helps the environment by reducing carbon emissions. Each funder signed up to Free2Cycle will receive monthly carbon-savings reports.

About Brett Dawson:

Brett brings with him a huge breadth of business experience, acumen and skills to Free2Cycle. His previous position as CEO of Dimension Data gave him extensive experience in a managerial and industry leadership role, and during his 12 years at the technology services company, he oversaw and led its growth and expansion, quadrupling its sales from $2billion to $8billion.

His business background means he not only shares the expansion objectives of Free2Cycle, but also has the experience of building a business on a global scale.

Brett is a Chartered Accountant and holds a B Com. and a BAcc degree.

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