Board of directors

Dr Paul Atherton, Executive Chairman

Dr Paul AthertonDr Paul Atherton is a successful, serial technology entrepreneur who focuses on start up companies from UK universities. He co-founded Queensgate Instruments in 1978 whilst studying for a PhD in astrophysics and was MD from 1987 until its sale in 2000 for more than $200M.

Paul was Chairman of C2V (Micro Gas Chromatographs) until 2009 when it was acquired by Thermo-Fisher. He was founder and Chairman of Midaz Lasers until 2012 when it was sold to Coherent Ltd. He was an Angel Investor in Natural Motion and supported it through five investment rounds until its sale to Zynga for $527M in 2014.

Paul was a Non Executive Director of Imperial Innovations from 2004 until 2014, helping it raise several hundred million pounds for investment in UK technology start ups. He is Chairman of Sussex Place Ventures – the London Business School Venture Fund. He is Chairman of Phase Focus Ltd and a Director of Infinitesima Ltd.

Paul’s most recent investment is in the start up FungiAlert (an Imperial College spin out focussing on fungus detection in crops).

Paul is Chairman of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Ultra Precision Engineering. He has a PhD in Physics from Imperial College and an MBA from the London Business School (of which he was a Governor for six years). He is a Fellow of LBS and The Institute of Physics. Paul is Founder and Executive Chairman of Nexeon.

Dr Nigel Pitchford

Nigel PitchfordDr Nigel Pitchford represents Touchstone Innovations (formerly Imperial Innovations) on the Nexeon board. Nigel is Touchstone’s Chief Investment Officer, having joined in 2012. He was previously a Partner at DFJ Esprit, and prior to that spent 12 years at 3i, becoming a Partner in 2006, and ultimately leading the venture team’s healthcare activities across Europe and the US. Nigel is a board member of Touchstone Innovations plc, Veryan Medical, Abzena and Oxular as well as Nexeon.

During his venture career he has been responsible for leading investment rounds into Domantis (sold to GSK for $454m), Apatech (sold to Baxter for $330m), Arakis (sold to Sosei Pharma for $187m), Horizon Discovery (AIM: HZD) and Oxford Immunotec (NASDAQ: OXFD), amongst others. He has also served on the boards of EUSA Pharma (sold to Jazz for $700m) and HBI (sold to Meda AB for $282m).

Nigel studied chemistry at the University of Oxford, before completing a PhD at the University of Durham. His research activities included rational drug design and saw him join the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre in 1994, where he worked on new product design and projects for pharmaceutical company clients. He completed a Warwick MBA before joining 3i in 1997.

Christina McComb, Senior Independent Director

Christina McCombChristina has an extensive background in venture capital and SME investment. She is currently Senior Independent Director of the British Business Bank plc and Chairman of the Engage Mutual Assurance Group. She is also a non-executive director of Baronsmead VCT2 plc and Standard Life European Private Equity Trust plc.

Early in her career she was a director at 3i plc, and she has been CEO of growth equity fund C5 Capital, and Head of Investment and Commercialisation at Partnerships UK plc, an early investor in Nexeon.

Dr Antti Vasara

Antti VasaraDr Antti Vasara joined Nexeon as a non-executive director in 2014. He has a strong track record in the development of strategy and products at Nokia through his experience as Vice President of Nokia’s corporate strategy unit and Senior Vice President of the Nokia Eseries product line. During his many years’ experience at Nokia, he held senior technology leadership roles in the commercialisation of consumer devices, including as Senior Vice President of Devices Productization and SVP of Mobile Phones Research & Development. Dr Vasara has also held senior positions at Tieto Corporation, a Nordic IT and R&D services company, and at Comptel, the listed software company. Earlier in his career, Dr Vasara spent seven years as a management consultant at McKinsey. He has a PhD in Technical Physics from Helsinki University of Technology.

Tony Posawatz

Tony PosawatzTony Posawatz became a non-executive director at the end of 2014. He is well known in the automotive industry for leading the team that brought the award-winning Chevrolet Volt from concept to production. He is an expert in vehicle electrification, alternative/advanced propulsion and energy and clean technology, with over 30 years’ experience, much of it at General Motors. He was recognized as an Automotive News All-Star and was awarded The Detroit Free Press Automotive Leadership Award. After leaving GM, he became President & CEO of Fisker Automotive, the producer of the award-winning Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Tony Posawatz has experience of both very large company environments and technology start-ups, including fund-raising and business development negotiations in China/Asia. He is President & CEO of Invictus iCAR LLC, an automotive innovation consulting firm, and serves on several boards. He is a licensed professional engineer and has an MBA from Dartmouth College.

Ian Jenks

Ian Jenks is a non-executive Director of Nexeon, having previously been an advisor to the company. He has extensive experience of growing leading edge technology businesses. He is currently a board director of Optimal Payments, Birdstep Technology and Econic Technologies. Earlier in his career, he was President – Lasers and Fibre Optics at JDS Uniphase, Executive Chairman of Evo Electric, Chairman of Quantasol and Partner in Crescendo Ventures. Ian has a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Bristol.