Tom Ilube CBE

Posted on 10 October 2020

Tom Ilube, technology entrepreneur and educational philanthropist, is the Founder and CEO of Crossword Cybersecurity Technology - a company researching industry needs and commercialising cybersecurity technology.

Also a Non-Executive Director of the BBC, Tom was previously Managing Director of Consumer Markets at Callcredit Information Group, and also founded Garlik, a venture capital-backed identity protection company.

Across his wide ranging career, Tom has also served roles at Egg plc, Goldman Sachs, PwC and the London Stock Exchange. 

He is an Advisory Fellow of St Anne's College, University of Oxford, an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, and is Chair of the education charity: African Gifted Foundation, and launched the African Science Academy, the first girls’ science and technology school on the continent. 

In 2017 Tom was named as Britain’s most influential Black person and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2018 Birthday Honours for services to Technology and Philanthropy and has received honorary Doctorates from City, University of London and University of Wolverhampton.

Highlights

What I learnt quite early on at University was that there were people who were so much cleverer than me.

I was clever enough to be in the room but not clever enough to do it for a living.

I try and collect really clever people and look at them with amazement.

At the core of what I do is, am I working with fascinating people?

Early on in my career when I came back from Nigeria having grown up here, gone to Nigeria, come back again, I wanted to build a career and there was an element of me that wanted to prove that I was good enough.

Every time I achieve something I sort of think ‘Ooh was that a fluke?’

I was constantly the new boy […] and when you are the new boy you have to suss things out and figure out how to fit in and be interesting enough, but not too interesting otherwise you might attract the bullies, but you don’t want to be the boring kid in the corner.

When I see something and I think that’s what I’m going to do, I get excited by it.

I don’t get daunted by the effort involved.

If I can’t fix something, I feel that very deeply.

I really had to stretch and emotionally stretch up and drag and pull myself out of it.

I have got used to being a role model.

My charitable work is the reason why I do the other stuff.

What I’ve found over the years is that I can achieve a lot in a soft way.

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