Non-Executive Director and Investor
Current Chairman—Marketing Group of Great Britain
Russ is currently a non-executive director for three companies: GAME Group plc, Dialog - a publicly traded semiconductor company, and Unwire--a Danish, venture-backed mobile commerce business. He is also a limited partner in Ariadne Capital’s ACE Fund and an investor in and advisor to Amazing Media Group.
Previously, Russ was Vice President & General Manager at Skype with global responsibilities for its mobile division globally, responsible for Skype’s mobile apps as well as carrier and OEM relationships. He also had geographic responsibility for Europe, Middle East & Africa. Russ exited when Skype was sold to Microsoft.
Before Skype, Russ was at Telefonica, where he was the Global Innovation Director. This included managing a venture fund and an internal ‘incubation’ initiative. Prior to this role, he was with Telefonica’s O2 mobile business as Marketing Director, responsible for initiatives such as The O2 venue in London.
Before joining O2, Russ was the CEO of Mobileway, a venture-capital backed start-up sold to Sybase. Before joining Mobileway, Russ was a Managing Director at NTL (now Virgin Media).
Prior to moving into telecoms, Russ spent many years in consumer financial services, both with American Express and Charles Schwab, in a variety of marketing, advertising, and brand management roles.
He has a BS from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He lives in London with his wife Lesley and his three sons.
New figures released last week by Ascendant Corporate Finance reveal a welcome resurgence in the UK and Irish tech scene, and it appears that it's just a sign of things to come.
David Cameron's long awaited EU speech provides a good opportunity for UK policy makers, businesses and the general public, to re-address the UK's relationship with Europe.
The Autumn Statement announcement that Tech City will receive £50m of Treasury funding for development of the Old Street area is a further welcome move in the continuing upward curve for this unlikely 'hotspot'.
HP and Autonomy CEOs Meg Whitman and Mike Lynch have traded accusations over the value-shredding deal. If vendors and acquirers want to preserve their reputations, says one tech industry leader, they must get the valuation right at exit.
David Cameron used his conference speech to warn that we must "do or decline" and that we must "show determination and imagination" if we want Britain to be great in the future. It's a laudable pursuit, and one that must start with a pledge to stop doing ourselves down.
Recently, I spoke to Bloomberg as part of their 'Tech Tuesday' slot on my forecast for the emerging tech start-up scene in London. I look at the comparisons being drawn between Silicon Roundabout and Silicon Valley, as well as where the opportunities are for investors and how they need to evolve into mentorship for potential high growth tech companies.
This is an exciting time for East London. The regeneration of the Stratford area will prove one of the lasting Olympic legacies. Tech City, the cluster of digital and technology start-ups around the Old Street Roundabout, has mushroomed to 3,200 companies employing 48,000 people according to a new Centre for London report. In 2008 that number was a mere 15.
This summer's unabashed patriotism has not passed me by - I will be one of many supporting our top athletes from the stands at the Olympic Park.
But aside from our sportsmen and women, I will also be cheering on a very different 'Team GB'. Based just down the road from the Olympics base, its members have also made the UK a world-class contender in its field.
The scandal around Barclays' interest rate fixing and the computer glitch chaos experienced by RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank customers recently are just the latest reminders of the systemic problems facing the UK's banks.
Adding a marketing plan as an afterthought can be one of the biggest mistakes that a new business can make, but it's a mistake that I see all too often in UK digital start-ups.