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Marcus Delano East (born February 7, 1972) is a British Product and Technology Executive, Non-Executive Director, Board-level Technology Advisor, author, speaker, and a former politician with a passion of driving commercial and social change through digital transformation. He has over 25 years of experience in Information Technology, specializing in digital transformations and e-Commerce. Marcus is currently the Chief Technology Officer at National Geographic.
East has a strong track record in amassing audiences and building engaging relationships with communities through smart products, social, and video solutions for some of the world’s most renowned brands.
Early Life and Education
East was born in Enfield, North London, to Inez Elizabeth and Patrick East. He grew up there before traveling extensively for this work. East later moved to Silicon Valley to pursue his passion for technology as an executive. East already had a Cambridge education and had held top jobs in technology for popular brand names in the United Kingdom, but he moved to America to push further.
East's education started at the Bounds Green School in North London. He later attended The Latymer Grammar School in Enfield, where he was a member of Dolbé House, rising to the rank of House Officer in his penultimate year. During his time there, he developed a strong interest in charity and was awarded the foundation’s 'HE Horlock Prize' for Outstanding Community Service in 1989. Later, East attended the London Metropolitan University for his honors degree majoring in Management and Information Technology. He completed his Masters in Management (major in Social Enterprise) from the University of Cambridge.
East credits his strong academia for allowing him to build a successful career in technology.
MarcusEast has been associated with Information Technology for more than two decades. He has managed teams and resources in excess of 1000 people, and with annual budgets exceeding $100m. He has worked with globally renowned brands using digital technology to create a lasting change by improving electronic commerce and enterprise-level digital transformations.
He started his career at IBM, where he spent six years as a consultant, before joining Omnicom’s Agency.com as a Vice President. After Agency.com, he went on to hold executive positions in Inspired Broadcast and Breathe Networks (where he led a management buyout) and worked as an advisor to Peter Gabriel.
In 2009, he joined Comic Relief as Chief Information Officer (CIO) and built the Future Media & Technology function, which delivered critical technology platforms and solutions for the organization. He is credited with helping the organization to embrace agile (software), taking the charity into the cloud, and building the fundraising platform known as FROST.
In 2016 East was persuaded by Marc Bolland, then CEO of Marks and Spencer, to return to the UK to become the Global Digital Director of the international retailer. He was tasked to help the company to enter the digital age by bringing a strong digital culture, but a number of personnel changes in the company that struggled to adapt made it an unattainable challenge. East left the company in 2017.
He then returned to the United States to join National Geographic as the Executive Vice President of Product & Technology/Chief Technology Officer, working closely with 21st Century Fox Global CTO, Paul Cheesbrough, and NatGeo Chief Digital Officer, Rachel Webber. His primary responsibility in this role was to redevelop the National Geographic's core platforms and to build a strong Product & Technology functions. This team won a number of awards for its work, including the Webby Award for Media Company of the Year and a number of other awards for digital experiences and products. During this time, National Geographic launched a number of successful new products including the award-winning National Geographic app.
On July 10, 2019, it was announced that East had joined Google’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (Office of the CTO) returning to Silicon Valley as part of the engineering function for one of the world’s top technology companies.
He also revealed that he is to become an author and that he is being mentored by one of the best-selling authors, Tucker Max, to publish a book about Digital Transformation called "Working with Dinosaurs", which should be released in early 2020 by Lioncrest Publishing.
East’s other career roles include working as a Chairman for visit4ads; Trustee & Treasurer for Foodcycle; Trustee & Treasurer at MyBnk; CEO at Breathe; Managing Director at Inspired Technology; Vice President Business Development at agency.com; and Global Client Manager at IBM.
Having worked in the UK, US, and Asia, East has an international perspective on the challenges facing organizations and societies, and how technology affects them. He talks with energy, enthusiasm, and humor, and his audiences always find him thought-provoking, entertaining and informative in equal measure – nurturing both real experiences with stimulating, well-informed thoughts about the future. He has spoken at various prestigious conferences like LOC World, and FIBO 2018.East has also appeared on reputable media platforms like BBC 5 Live's Wake Up To Money show.
East has been a political activist and official, working on the campaigns for Boris Johnson’s election as Mayor of London in 2008. He has also been active in his local community as a member of the Conservative Party before emigrating to the United States.
East stood for election in the May 2010 Local Elections and was elected as Councilor for Chase Ward, Enfield, and served a full four-year term representing the ward [no capital] alongside Tom Waterhouse and Simon Maynard from May 6, 2010, until May 5, 2014."
East is a:
- Member of the Chartered Management Institute
- Fellow of the British Computer Society (BCS) Chartered Institute for IT
- Member of the Global Council of the WSA Board of Directors [World Summit Awards, a United Nations Initiative]
- Advisor to the UNESCO Information For All Program (UN IFAP)
- Ambassador for the Oxford Unversity Foundry’s L.E.V8 Programme for Female Entrepreneurs.
- Judge for the D&AD Impact Awards as a member of the D&AD Impact Council
East lives in Silicon Valley with his wife, with whom he got married in 2017. He is known to be a supporter of Arsenal Football Club, where he is also a Debenture Holder.
In his spare time, he actively supports charities and is a mentor for the Unreasonable Group, and a judge for the D&AD Impact Awards. East was also announced as an ambassador for the Oxford University Foundry's L.E.V8 program for female entrepreneurs in May 2019.
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