Dr Larry Marshall, CEO of CSIRO
Dr Larry Marshall, CEO of CSIRO

Macquarie alumnus to lead Australia’s peak science and research organisation


Technology entrepreneur, venture capitalist and Macquarie alumnus, Dr Larry Marshall has been appointed to lead Australia’s peak science and research organisation, CSIRO.

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 Australia’s 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 added that Dr Marshall had ‘an impeccable record as a scientist, a technology innovator and business leader.’

Dr Marshall began his career at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in 1985 and has been a consistent supporter of local technology startups through his early stage investment fund, Southern Cross Venture Partners. Southern Cross has invested in startups including online retailer Shoes of Prey as well as peer-to-peer payment outfit Pygg. They are based in Silicon Valley with offices also located in Sydney and Shanghai.

In addition, Dr Marshall also sits on a number of technology company boards and is the Co-Chairman of Sydney-based venture capital firm, Blackbird Ventures that invests in global Internet businesses formed by Australians.

In an interview with The Australian, Dr Marshall said his three-way perspective of science – as a researcher, a startup CEO, and as an 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 the CSIRO into the future.

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

Macquarie offers a range of study options for those with a keen interest in physics and the Master of Research offers a unique research training pathway to a PhD.

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