CSIRO appoints venture capitalist Larry Marshall as new CEO
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CSIRO appoints venture capitalist Larry Marshall as new CEO

The country's peak science and research organisation has appointed technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist Larry Marshall to lead the group when current chief executive Megan Clark steps down in 2015.

The chairman of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation [CSIRO], Simon McKeon, said Dr Marshall had "an impeccable record as a scientist, a technology innovator and business leader."

CSIRO board chairman Simon McKeon, a former Australian of the Year, says Larry Marshall was chosen on an "impeccable record as a scientist, a technology innovator and business leader."

CSIRO board chairman Simon McKeon, a former Australian of the Year, says Larry Marshall was chosen on an "impeccable record as a scientist, a technology innovator and business leader."Credit:Jesse Marlow

Mr McKeon said Dr Marshall was chosen from a field of more than 70 candidates for a role that is "probably 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," Mr McKeon said in a statement.

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Outgoing chief executive Dr Clark has been in the role for six years and has overseen a major restructure within the organisation.

When he starts in January, Dr Marshall will join at a tough time for CSIRO. The organisation is still reeling from budget cuts announced in the May federal budget.

Dr Marshall has been a big supporter of local technology start-ups through an early stage investment fund he runs, 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

As the fund's managing director he sits on a number of technology company boards. He is also the co-chairman of Sydney-based early stage fund Blackbird Ventures.

Dr Marshall has a doctorate in physics from Macquarie University. He began his career as a cadet research scientist at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in 1985.

More to come.

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