Jonckers Hires Former SDL Execs Silke Zschweigert and Dominic Kinnon

Belgian language service provider Jonckers hired two former C-level SDL executives within a month of each other. Silke Zschweigert joined the company as Chief Revenue Officer on September 15, 2019 and Dominic Kinnon, as Chief Delivery Officer on October 7, 2019.

Zschweigert spent 19 years at SDL, serving as Chief Delivery Officer prior to her departure in August 2018; while Kinnon was at SDL for 20 years, his last post being President of Global Language Solutions until January 2017. At Jonckers, both report to CEO Geo Janssens.

As Chief Revenue Officer, Zschweigert is responsible for Marketing, Sales, Customer Success Management, and Program Management. Kinnon, on the other hand, oversees Delivery Management, Community Management, the WordsOnline Implementation Team, and Talent Management.

Slator communicated with Zschweigert on the occasion of their hiring. Zschweigert told Slator that both she and Kinnon worked as consultants in and outside the language industry, particularly working with other LSPs, private equity, as well as corporate customers. “It was a great opportunity to see the industry from an outside-in perspective,” she said.

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Asked what motivated their return to the industry, Zschweigert replied, “I think there is a small group of us in the industry with language in our DNA. We’ve seen an industry from its infancy, dealing with hard-copy documents, with some great leaders…through the emergence of technology to the deployment of AI/NMT, etc. At the end of the day, we are still breaking down language barriers and connecting communities. That’s what we love to do.”

Silke Zschweigert

Silke Zschweigert

Chief Revenue Officer, Jonckers, from September 2019

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Zschweigert said she really enjoyed being part of SDL as it grew from USD 40m to the USD 400m company it is today. “I loved the people I worked with across the globe so the decision to leave was not an easy one. At SDL, we had a team of 2,500 great people, with a really high rate of retention. The greatest reward was building those teams of high-caliber talent who are now leaders in their own right. That’s personal success for us both.”

“However, working at Jonckers feels like a breath of fresh air!” Zschweigert continued. On what attracted the duo to Jonckers, she said, “Once we understood the solution that Geo (Janssens, CEO) was developing, we realized that it aligned with all our own thoughts and aspirations to move away from traditional TMS solutions and apply all our experience to a platform technology for the industry.”

Dominic Kinnon

Dominic Kinnon

Chief Delivery Officer, Jonckers, from October 2019

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She explained that the days of a pipeline solution to deliver language are over and the concept of serial TMS activities only leads to longer turnarounds, added cost, and large overheads.

Zschweigert pointed out, “If we look at other industries, customers are able to get instant near-real-time delivery of services through platform technology. That’s what we are doing at Jonckers.”

On how she sees the next 10 years, Zschweigert said NMT (neural machine translation) will continue to be the de facto industry standard and, as a result, so will near-real-time delivery via platform technology. “Machine Translation and human-in-the-loop will still be components of the workflows, and the people will continue to be added-value and risk managers to act where technology fails,” she said.