Macquarie alumnus to head CSIRO
Macquarie alumnus to head CSIRO


Macquarie alumnus to head CSIRO

Technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist Larry Marshall has been appointed to head Australia’s peak science and research organisation CSIRO when current chief executive Megan Clark steps down in 2015.

Dr Marshall, who has a doctorate in physics from Macquarie, was chosen from a field of more than 70 candidates for a role that is arguably the most important position in national science administration.

“Dr Marshall combines commercial and scientific credentials with extensive global experience, making him the world class leader we were seeking for CSIRO,” said the chairman of CSIRO, Simon McKeon. Mr McKeon said in a statement, adding that Dr Marshall had “an impeccable record as a scientist, a technology innovator and business leader.”

Beginning his career as a cadet research scientist at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in 1985, Dr Marshall has been a big supporter of local technology start-ups through his early stage investment fund, Southern Cross Venture Partners. Southern Cross has invested in start-ups like online retailer Shoes of Prey and peer-to-peer payment outfit Pygg. The firm is based in Silicon Valley and also has offices in Sydney and Shanghai.

In addition, he sits on a number of technology company boards and is the co-chairman of Sydney-based early stage fund Blackbird Ventures.

In an interview with The Australian Dr Marshall said that his three-way perspective of science, as a researcher, start-up CEO and investor gave him the hard-to-find combination of technical capability, business ability and risk-taking instinct that is needed to lead an organisation like CSIRO into the future.

“You’ve got to be a scientist to lead scientists. It’s hard to find someone who can do that, but at the same time have business experience (as a) CEO.”

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