Advisor / NED

An overview of the commercial boards I oversaw and managed

Advisor and Non-Executive Director Roles

This collection of companies saw my responsibilities span £5M to £5B with positions that spanned providing technical to strategic to management advice and on to major investment decisions out to £5Bn year on year.

Each of the companies was struggling with turbulent times with some prospering, some being bought out and some even being broken up. None of it was easy but exemplified the management of almost anything in a fast changing and highly non-linear marketplace.

Needless to say - I worked hard - contributed a lot - and learned so much about people and risk management/ mitigation and the creation of success!

Director and NED Board Memberships (short list)

  • BT Network Operating Board 1990 - 1996
  • eBookers Founding Director 2000 - 2003
  • ConceptLabs CA Founding Director 2000 - 2006
  • PicoSecond Pulse Labs CO NED 2000 - 2006
  • Create Ventures (VC Fund) UK NED 2000 - 2006
  • Motorola Visionary Board 2003 - 2005
  • Cochrane Associates Ltd 2005 - 2020

Advisory Board Memberships (short list)

  • CSC 1996 - 2002
  • CSC TTI Vanguard 1998 - 2018
  • CSC Concours 1999 - 2005
  • Mahindra BT 2002-2007
  • Regus 2012 - 2014
  • MIT Medial Lab Dublin 2002 - 2005
  • Irdeto 2012 - 2016
  • QCRI 2013 - 2018
  • Facebook 2017 - 2019
  • University of Pretoria - 2022

Ethos & Mode of Operation

In any capacity, I will always:

  • Seek to make responsible management, engineering/scientific decisions consistent with good working practices
  • Search out the truth in order to improve the understanding of any situation or condition
  • Seek to avoid conflicts of interest, and immediately flag potential or real conflict to affected parties
  • Be open, honest, and realistic in stating claims and/or making estimates based on the available data
  • Establish the provenance of all data and research material
  • Identify/flag potential consequences of data gathered & produced, as well as predictions/decisions & proposals
  • Identify and promptly disclose all factors that might endanger people, organizations and/or the environment
  • Respect and guard all forms of customer data, confidences, and intellectual property as if it were our own
  • Reject all forms of bribery, corruption and coercion
  • Treat all organisations & individuals fairly, honestly, and with respect
  • Strive to maintain and continuously improve our managerial, technical and professional competence
  • Seek, accept, offer, honest/constructive criticism of our work and acknowledge the contributions of others
  • Operate in a safe and aware manner under all conditions
  • Aid and assist others in their professional duties & aspirations
  • Strive to deliver good value and positive change for all clients

Startup Rules

In order to minimise risk and maximise my resources I employ 4 simple rules when starting any new business:

  • I never enter a sector where there is active/fierce competition
  • I never start anything unless I can get it to market in < 9 months
  • I never start anything unless it has the potential to become, or become part of, something really big
  • I only work with friends and people I can really trust And implicit in all this - it has to be fun, and When I engage with any existing business or group I always look for uniqueness - I never engage with any ‘me too’ operations.

Assignments and Relationships

To maximise my effectiveness and build for the future I:

  • Never start anything if I don’t think I can make a significant contribution
  • Always think in terms of long terms relationships, outcomes, and consequences
  • Avoid working on the trivial or something someone else could pick up with ease
  • Look at the potential for introducing some significant change and/or advance
  • Try to create bridges for the future by ‘under promising’ and ‘over delivering

Short termism is the kiss of death for any business!