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CSIRO appoints venture capitalist as new CEO

CSIRO appoints venture capitalist as new CEO

Dr Larry Marshall will take the reins from Dr Megan Clark in January

Venture capitalist, scientist and innovator, Dr Larry Marshall, has been named as the new leader of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

Marshall has been appointed as the new chief executive of the CSIRO and will take up the role in January 2015.

He will replace outgoing chief executive, Dr Megan Clark, who has been at the helm for the past six years.

He is currently managing director of Southern Cross Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital firm specialising in creating Australian technology companies and growing them globally in Asia and the United States.

Marshall was educated at Macquarie University, where he took a doctorate in physics.

He began his career in the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and has 25 years experience as an international technology entrepreneur and holds 20 patents protecting commercial products.

He has founded six successful United States companies in biotechnology, photonics, telecommunications and semiconductors.

CSIRO chairman, Simon McKeon, said Marshall had an impeccable as a scientist, a technology innovator and business leader.

“His wealth of experience in developing and applying science and technology makes him an excellent fit," he said.

“The chief executive of CSIRO is probably the most important position in national science administration, so we conducted an extensive global search for an innovative scientist with strong business leadership qualities, and more than 70 candidates were considered."

He said Marshall combined commercial and scientific credentials with extensive global experience.

"The Board is confident that Dr Marshall will lead CSIRO in a manner which ensures that it continues to provide advice of the highest quality to government as well as provide best practice collaboration with the private sector," he said.

McKeon also thanked current chief executive, Dr Megan Clark, for her leadership of CSIRO for the past six years. Clark will leave CSIRO at the end of December this year.

“Dr Clark leaves CSIRO with a legacy to be proud of, most notably for her long term commitment to the global competitiveness of Australian science through the establishment of research precincts; and to major knowledge infrastructure projects such as the new research vessel,” he said.

Marshall is currently managing director of Southern Cross Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital firm specialising in creating Australian technology companies and growing them globally in Asia and the United States.

Marshall was educated at Macquarie University (Sydney) where he took a doctorate in physics.

He has a longstanding partnership with SoftBank China, China’s most successful VC firm, and co-manages the Renewable Energy Fund, founded in 2012, with them.

He has lived in the US for 25 years and founded and/or was chief executive of Light Solutions, Iridex (Nasdaq:IRIX), Iriderm, Lightbit, Translucent, AOC, Arasor (ASX: ARR), and the Renewable Energy Fund; driving two of them to successful IPOs.

He is currently on the boards of Mocana, Quantenna, Wave, Nitero, SBA, Advance, SXVP, REVCF, Laser Focus World and serves as Chairman of RIO, Crossfiber and Advance Innovation.

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Tags Southern Cross Venture PartnersSimon McKeonLarry MarshallSoftBank ChinaMegan ClarkDefence Science and Technology OrganisationCSIRO chairman

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