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Oxford Sciences Innovation Plc (OSI) has announced two new Board-level appointments, with experienced technology entrepreneur Charles Conn joining as Chief Executive and former Google CFO Patrick Pichette joining as Chairman.

Computer chip with human brain superimposed © Shutterstock

OSI provides capital and scaling expertise to businesses driven by intellectual property developed in Oxford University’s Mathematical, Physical, Life Sciences Division and Medical Sciences Division, with a core ambition to bring the very best of the University’s scientific research to the market. 

Charles Conn will take up his post on March 1st 2019 replacing outgoing CEO Dave Norwood, who retires. Patrick Pichette will join the Board as a Non-Executive Director on 1 March 2019 before becoming Chairman on 1 July 2019. OSI’s existing Chairman Peter Davies intends to move to a Non-Executive Director position to continue to support the company through its next stage of development.

Charles Conn is a seasoned entrepreneur, business builder and cross-sector leader. Most recently he led the Rhodes Trust as Chief Executive and Warden of Rhodes House in Oxford, securing the endowment and driving global expansion. Prior to this he co-ran a private investment partnership, Redjuice Capital, that invested in clean energy and technology start-ups, and was senior advisor to the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation in Palo Alto.

Charles co-founded Citysearch and, as CEO, led the company through its IPO, its merger with Ticketmaster, and its acquisitions of Microsoft Sidewalk, Match.com, Evite, and other companies. He was also previously a Partner with McKinsey & Company, and a leader of its growth strategy and energy practices. He sits on several company and nonprofit boards, including Patagonia and Arcadia Foundation. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School, Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and Boston University.

New Chairman Patrick Pichette is currently General Partner at Inovia Capital, a Canadian Venture Firm headquartered in Montreal, with offices in Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco and London. Prior to Inovia, Patrick was Google’s Chief Financial Officer from August 2008 until May 2015. During his tenure at Google, Mr. Pichette's responsibilities included Finance, but also other corporate functions including People Operations, Real Estate, Employee Services, Google.org and many others. 

Patrick has over 25 years of experience in financial operations and management in the tech and telecommunications sector, including seven years at Bell Canada, which he joined in 2001. During his time at Bell Canada, he held various executive positions, including CFO, and President Operations. Prior to this, Patrick was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where he was a lead member of McKinsey’s North American Telecom Practice. 

Patrick is currently a board member of Twitter and the Trudeau Foundation, and serves as an advisor to a number of tech start-ups including Arctoris (UK), Zoona (Africa) and Boosted Boards (California). In addition to his professional endeavors, he is also deeply involved in environmental conservation.

Peter Davies, outgoing Chairman of OSI, commented: “We believe that these appointments provide the ideal blend of industrial and entrepreneurial experience to aid the growth of the investee companies and build on OSI’s unique position as the preferred commercialisation partner to Oxford University, the world’s leading research university. The work of the last few years has been extremely successful in its breadth and intensity, the potential of which is evident in the world-class talent it has attracted. We are greatly looking forward to working with both Charles and Patrick - and to continue this development in the years ahead.”

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