Michael Richard Lynch

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Michael Richard Lynch
Born (1965-06-16) 16 June 1965 (age 49)[1]
Alma mater Christ's College, Cambridge
Thesis Adaptive techniques in signal processing and connectionist models (1990)
Doctoral advisor Peter Rayner[2]
Known for Autonomy Corporation
Notable awards

Michael Richard Lynch, OBE, FREng, DL, FRS (born 16 June 1965)[1] is a scientist, entrepreneur and government scientific advisor. He is also the co-founder of Autonomy Corporation and the founder of Invoke Capital. His entrepreneurship is associated with Silicon Fen. Autonomy is a leader in the area of computer understanding of unstructured information, an area which is becoming known as meaning-based computing. In October 2011, Autonomy was sold to Hewlett-Packard for $11bn.[4]

Early life[edit]

He was born in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, Ireland, in 1965. His family moved to England, where he grew up near Chelmsford, Essex. His mother was a nurse and his father a fireman.[5]

In 1976, aged 11, he won a scholarship to Bancroft's School, Woodford.[6] From there he went to Christ's College, Cambridge to study Natural Sciences. He combined mathematics, biological and physical sciences, taking the combination of advanced physics, mathematics and biochemistry in the IB Tripos. For part II, he chose electrical sciences where he first met Dr Peter Rayner, his mentor in the signal processing laboratory of the engineering department. After graduating he went on to do a PhD in signal processing[7] and communications research at the University of Cambridge, and then undertook a research fellowship in adaptive pattern recognition.[8]

Personal life[edit]

He is married and has two daughters.[9]

Entrepreneurial career[edit]

In the late 1980s Lynch formed Lynett Systems Ltd, producing designs and audio products for the music recording industry including the first ever sampler for the Atari ST, the Lynex, which was followed by the ADAS sampler for Atari, Mac & PC. This led to the offshoot D2D Systems which produced a software-only hard disk recording system for the Atari Falcon.

In 1991 he set up Cambridge Neurodynamics, which specialized in computer-based finger print recognition.[10]

In 1996 Lynch co-founded Autonomy Corporation.[11] and he served Autonomy as CEO. During this time Autonomy acquired Dremedia, Virage ($13m), Verity ($500m), Zantaz ($375m) and Interwoven ($606m).[12]

In October 2011 Autonomy was sold to Hewlett-Packard for $11Bn,.[4]

In May 2012, HP fired Mike Lynch.[13]

In February 2013, Lynch raised $1 billion through his Invoke Capital fund to invest in up and coming British technology companies.[14]

In September 2013, Lynch announced Invoke had made its first investment, putting up to $20m into Darktrace, which describes itself as "the world's first behavioural cyber defence platform." [15][16]

Other Interests[edit]

In December 2006, he was appointed as a non-executive director to the board of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation).[8] He is also on the investment committee and board of the British Library [17]

He is a trustee of NESTA the National endowment for science technology and the arts, and he is chairman of their investment committee.[18] He is also a non-executive Director of Cambridge Enterprise, advising on technology transfer for Cambridge University [19] and a supporter of The Prince's Trust technology group. He is a member of the Council of the Foundation for Science and Technology[20] and on the Enterprise Committee of the Royal Academy of Engineering.[21] Philanthropic interests include being a trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew,[22] and a member of the board of the Create the Change Campaign at the Crick Institute, for Cancer Research UK.[23]

He is a non executive director of Blinkx plc and an advisor to the Prime Minister in the area of science policy.[24]

Awards and media coverage[edit]

In September 2012 he was inducted into the Digital Hall of Fame, British Interactive Media Association.[25]

He was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999 by the Confederation of British Industry and was awarded the Institution of Electrical Engineers medal for outstanding achievement.[26]

Time magazine named Lynch in their 25 most influential technology people in Europe in 2000.[27]

The World Economic Forum presented Lynch with an award for Autonomy as a technology pioneer in 2000.[28] Lynch was awarded an OBE in the 2006 New Year Honours.[29]

He is a Lady Margaret Beaufort fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge.[30]

In 2007, he was awarded Technology Entrepreneur of the year by the European Technology Forum at their 2007 conference.[31]

In March 2008, he was chosen Innovator of the year at the European Business Leader of the year awards 'EBLA'.[32] In June 2008, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.[33]

In October 2008, Silicon.com readers voted him one of the top five most influential people in technology along with Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Jobs, Jimmy Wales and Eric Schmidt.[34] In January 2009, Management Today chose him as entrepreneur of the year.[33]

Lynch has twice been a finalist for Investor Relations award of the year.[35] In 2009 he was voted one of the top 25 best CEOs pan sector in Europe by fund managers in the annual Extel survey.[36] He is Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Suffolk.[37] In October 2013 he accompanied the Chancellor, George Osborne, on a trade mission to China.[38]

His nomination for the Royal Society reads

Distinguished as a world leader in the application of non-linear adaptive signal processing and pattern recognition to unstructured information. Founder of Autonomy the UKs largest software company which was sold to HP for $11Bn in 2011. Creator of the Bayesian framework and platform at the heart of Autonomy's products and CEO of the company for 15 years. An inspiration and role model for entrepreneurs particularly in the engineering and technology sectors providing mentoring, enthusiasm, and financing at scale. An advisor to the government and major organisations at the most senior levels.[3]

Press coverage[edit]

The Financial Times has described Lynch as "the doyen of European software".[39] PC Advisor has called him "Britain's most successful technology entrepreneur".[40] In a profile in the Sunday Times, it was suggested in passing that Lynch is the nearest thing Britain has to Bill Gates.[41][42][43]

Dispute with Hewlett-Packard[edit]

On 20 November 2012, Hewlett-Packard announced a writedown of assets following the Autonomy purchase due to "disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations at Autonomy", which occurred before the acquisition. The total writedown amounted to $8.8bn of the purchase cost of more than $10bn. [44] These irregularities have been contested.[45] HP stated a major part of the issue was it was unaware that Autonomy sold hardware, and claimed that this was booked as software and hidden from the auditors. [46] [47] [48] An FT investigation unearthed documents that show that HP was in fact aware of Autonomy’s hardware sales. They were booked as hardware and were fully disclosed to Deloitte, the Autonomy auditors. [49]

Lynch wrote an open letter to HP’s shareholders, accusing HP of misleading them over the matter. [50] Deloitte have also gone on the record supporting Lynch’s opinion. [51] Lynch and other ex-Autonomy executives have set up AutonomyAccounts.org to provide a platform to voice their rebuttal of criticism. [52]


  1. ^ a b c "‘LYNCH, Michael Richard’, Who's Who 2012, A & C Black, 2012; online edn, Oxford University Press".  (subscription required)
  2. ^ "The Quest for Meaning". Wired. February 2000. 
  3. ^ a b "Dr Michael Lynch OBE FREng FRS". Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Profile: Mike Lynch The Guardian, 19 August 2011
  5. ^ Business big shot: Mike Lynch of Autonomy The Times, 8 July 2008
  6. ^ OBA President's Report - 2009
  7. ^ Lynch, Michael Richard (1990). Adaptive techniques in signal processing and connectionist models (DPhil thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  8. ^ a b BBC Press Office
  9. ^ Biography AutonomyAccounts.org
  10. ^ Security Group Seminar University of Cambridge
  11. ^ The Kindness of Strangers VNU Net
  12. ^ Autonomy to buy Zantaz for $375m, place shares Reuters, 3 July 2007
  13. ^ HP fires Mike Lynch PCR, 25 May 2012
  14. ^ Ben Martin (9 February 2013). "Mike Lynch raises $1bn for technology investment". Telegraph. 
  15. ^ British tech entrepreneur Lynch invests in cybersecurity firm backed by ex-MI5 boss
  16. ^ After Autonomy
  17. ^ British Library
  18. ^ NESTA Board Members
  19. ^ One of Britain's Leading Entrepreneurs Joins Cambridge Enterprise
  20. ^ Foundation for Science and Technology
  21. ^ Royal Academy of Engineering
  22. ^ Botanic Gardens, Kew
  23. ^ Meet the team Cancer Research UK
  24. ^ Members appointed to Council for Science & Technology 10 Downing Street
  25. ^ Digital Hall of Fame
  26. ^ Institute of Engineering Recipients of the Achievement Awards
  27. ^ "Mike Lynch - Autonomy" Time Europe
  28. ^ Autonomy Wins Global Technology Award At World Economic Forum
  29. ^ MBE for Soham murders detective BBC News, 31 December 2005
  30. ^ Christ's College, Cambridge
  31. ^ Innovation & Growth Forum
  32. ^ European Business Leaders Awards website
  33. ^ a b Royal Academy of Engineering
  34. ^ "Agenda Setters 2008"
  35. ^ Barclays, Cookson and Detica Grand Prix Winners at IR Magazine Awards PR Newswire, 29 June 2009
  36. ^ Extel Survey: European Investor Relations 2009
  37. ^ Deputy Lieutenants of the County of Suffolk
  38. ^ London will offer China more than Singapore can, says Boris Johnson
  39. ^ Financial Times
  40. ^ The Thoughts of Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch PC Advisor
  41. ^ James Ashton "Autonomy is at the heart of a new data revolution" Sunday Times, 1 February 2009
  42. ^ Profile: Mike Lynch, Autonomy founder The Telegraph, 16 October 2011
  43. ^ Mike Lynch sells his Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard Real Business
  44. ^ HP takes $8.8bn charge on Autonomy.
  45. ^ "Mike Lynch, Autonomy’s Founder, Says He’s Baffled by H.P.’s Claims - NYTimes.com". Retrieved 2012-11-26. 
  46. ^ HP Issues Statement Regarding Autonomy Impairment Charge
  47. ^ Hewlett’s Loss: A Folly Unfolds, by the Numbers
  48. ^ HP Plunges on $8.8 Billion Charge From Autonomy Writedown
  49. ^ HP/Autonomy investigation: Tangled web of hardware and resellers
  50. ^ Open letter from Mike Lynch to the shareholders of Hewlett-Packard
  51. ^ HP/Autonomy investigation: Tangled web of hardware and resellers
  52. ^ "AutonomyAccounts.org". Retrieved 2014-02-22. 

External links[edit]