Chris Gilbey

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Chris Gilbey
Born Christopher John Gilbey
(1946-05-13) 13 May 1946 (age 70)
Islington, London, England
Residence Berry, Australia
Nationality Australian
Occupation Businessman

Christopher John "Chris" Gilbey, OAM (born 13 May 1946, Islington) is an English-born Australian entrepreneur and music industry identity. He has helped shape the careers of artists such as INXS, Tommy Emmanuel, Keith Urban, The Church, The Saints, AC/DC, Wa Wa Nee, Euphoria, Edith Bliss and Stevie Wright. He has authored two books.

Early years[edit]

Chris Gilbey was born at Whittington Hospital in North London. He attended Tollington Boys High School in Muswell Hill and subsequently The South African College School in Cape Town, South Africa. He studied engineering at the University of Cape Town before returning to the UK to pursue a career in the music industry. Chris formed a pop group called Kate, which was signed to CBS Records in the UK. He co-wrote several singles by the band including its first single, "Strange Girl", which was a Melody Maker "record of the week".[1]

After Kate disbanded in 1969, Gilbey established a leather fashion business called Woof. He designed a number of Hobbit-inspired clothes, which were sold in Carnaby Street. His suede, hooded capes came to the attention of Twiggy, who modelled them.[2] Despite this, the venture was unsuccessful and Gilbey closed it in 1972. Gilbey migrated to Australia in November 1972.[citation needed]

Music industry history[edit]

Gilbey joined the Australian music label Albert Productions in 1973, where he began as A&R manager and subsequently became Vice-President of A&R. At Alberts, Gilbey was deeply involved in the promotion of AC/DC,[3] including producing or designing the band's controversial radio advertisements and album covers. Gilbey's production credits with Alberts include Grahame Lowndes' "Survival's A Song", SJC Powell's "Celestial Madness" and Bartholomew John's "Someone". Gilbey also produced the single "Show and Tell" by Bobbi Marchini. After leaving Alberts, Gilbey managed the seminal Australian punk band The Saints, moving with the band to the UK.[4]

In 1979, Gilbey returned to Australia to become managing director of ATV Northern Songs. He signed a number of artists in Australia and helped a number of songwriters who had moved overseas including Steve Kipner. He established a joint venture with EMI Records reactivating the Parlophone label as the imprint for the records that he produced. Among the artists that he signed during this period was The Church.[5] He produced the band's first hit single, "The Unguarded Moment", and debut album, Of Skins and Heart.

Gilbey left ATV Northern Songs at the time that the company was acquired by Robert Holmes a Court, and established a venture with MCA Music. During the next eleven years Gilbey built one of the most successful independent publishing companies in Australia and signed writers such as Allan Caswell, INXS, Noiseworks, Peter Blakeley, Tommy Emmanuel, Sharon O'Neill, Shona Laing, Don Spencer and Wa Wa Nee, as well as producing hit records with The Sunnyboys and Doug Mulray.[citation needed]

Subsequent to this, Gilbey became the Senior Executive VP of BMG Records in Australia, and led the development of one of the first transactional music web sites as well as the development of the enhanced CD. In 1978, Gilbey, along with Peter Hebbes, Ross Barlow and Jack Argent, launched The Golden Stave Luncheon. 187 members of Australia's music industry attended the first charity event at Sydney's Sebel Townhouse in 1978. Gilbey became the founding chairman of the Golden Stave Foundation. He was founding chairman of Export Music Australia. He received the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1992 for his contribution to the music industry and charity.[6]

Publishing history[edit]

Business history[edit]

Gilbey co-founded in 2000. In 2001 was Gilbey appointed to the post of CEO of Lake Technology, an ASX-listed company with a focus on Digital Signal Processing. He led the company until its sale through a friendly takeover to Dolby Laboratories in 2005.[7]

Following the sale, he consulted to Dolby's Consumer Division on global consumer strategy for two years. He and Dr Silvia Pfeiffer founded Vquence, a video metrics and semantic research business.[8] Gilbey stepped down as CEO in October 2007. In 2007, Gilbey, Karl Rodrigues and Bruce Marshall founded Gilbey, Rodrigues and Marshall. The business uses the principles of crowd psychology to interpret online social networks.[9]

In 2009, Gilbey began serving as a consultant to the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science based at the University of Wollongong to help develop a strategy to commercialise some of the centre's intellectual property in energy capture and conversion and medial bionics using electromaterials, 3D printing and nanotechnology. In 2010, he started teaching a course in the Arts Faculty of the University of Wollongong that set up small groups of high achieving digital communications students to work with outside organisations as a virtual digital communications consultancy. This course enables students to transition from academia into the real world of business. He has been asked to reprise the course (DIGC302) in 2011.[10] Between 2010–13 he taught in the Arts Faculty of Wollongong University to help graduating arts students understand how to transition into the workforce. He established a research project that involves science PhD candidates interviewing CEOs of companies to develop an understanding of the skills that PhD graduates need to transition into industry.[11]

Gilbey currently works with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science focusing on developing spin-out opportunities in the field of medical bionics. He also produces AdBioFab, which consists of three conferences a year that focus on bringing together industry, research and government to explore themes in the 3D printing and medical bionics areas .In 2012 he wrote the business plan and developed the strategy for the successful spinout of a hydrogen production technology company, AquaHydrex, He is involved in developing strategies for the commercialisation of graphene production in Australia and is an executive director in a bio banking start up company, Cytentia. He produces the AdBioFab conference twice a year.

Gilbey continues to provide strategic marketing advice to a number of businesses, focusing primarily on pre-seed and early stage businesses.[12] He also runs an e-publishing venture called Perceptric Press, which publishes non-fiction books designed to demystify complex ideas for intelligent readers.[13]


  1. ^ Profile,, 22 October 2007.
  2. ^ Felicity Green, "Twiggy On Singing', Dancing' And Playin' The Recorder", The Daily Mirror, 27 April 1970.
  3. ^ Interview with Chris Gilbey[permanent dead link], No Nonsense AC/DC Webzine; accessed 18 July 2014.
  4. ^ "The Saints A Salutary Tale" Archived 19 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.,; accessed 18 July 2014.
  5. ^ Interview with Gilbey,; accessed 18 July 2014.
  6. ^ Australian Honours Database,; accessed 18 July 2014.
  7. ^ Gilbey/,; accessed 18 July 2014.
  8. ^ History of Vquence Archived 5 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Gilbey, Rodrigues and Marshall website; accessed 18 July 2014.
  10. ^ of Wollongong website[permanent dead link],; accessed 18 July 2014.
  11. ^ The Transition Project website Archived 3 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine.; accessed 18 July 2014.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Perceptric Press website; accessed 18 July 2014.