Martha Lane Fox
|The Right Honourable
The Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho
|Born||Martha Lane Fox
10 February 1973
|Occupation||Entrepreneur, life peer|
Fox co-founded Last Minute during the dotcom boom of the early 2000s and has subsequently served on public service digital projects. She sits on the boards of Twitter and MONOQI and chairs the board of charitable organization Go ON UK. She previously served on the board of Channel 4.
Born in Oxford, Lane Fox is the daughter of academic and gardening writer Robin Lane Fox. She was educated at Oxford High School, an all-girls independent school in Oxford, and at Westminster School, an all-boys public school in London with a mixed-sex sixth form. She read ancient and modern history at Magdalen College, Oxford, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.
Fox showed interest in acting and prison governorship but instead joined information technology and media consulting firm Spectrum, where she met Brent Hoberman. Her first project—entitled "What is the Internet?"—was commissioned by British Telecom.
In 1998, Fox and Hoberman founded Last Minute, an online travel and gift business that generated significant publicity, floating at the peak of the dot-com bubble. She stepped down as managing director in 2003. Meanwhile, the company survived the dot-com crash to be bought out by Sabre Holdings in 2005 for £577m.
She was appointed Digital Champion for the UK in 2009, tasked with spearheading a two-year campaign to improve computer literacy. The following year she was assigned to establish the Digital Public Services Unit within the Cabinet Office.  and invited to sit on the Cabinet Office Efficiency and Reform Board.
The following month she was honored by David Cameron for her Manifesto for a Networked Nation, a challenge to increase British internet engagement. In April 2012, she launched Go ON UK, a charity dedicated to improving digital skills within the United Kingdom. She resigned from her position as Digital Champion in late 2013.
Fox entered the House of Lords as a crossbencher on 26 March 2013, becoming its youngest female member. In her maiden speech she addressed the need for digital literacy in all sectors of the economy.
She is a patron of Reprieve, a legal action charity notable for its involvement in the release of UK resident Binyam Mohammed from Guantanamo Bay, and Camfed, an organization dedicated to fighting poverty, HIV, and AIDS in rural Africa through an emphasis on education of young women.
When telecommunications company Orange withdrew its longstanding support for the Orange Prize, Fox was one of several benefactors, along with Cherie Blair and Joanna Trollope, who offered to sustain the contest until another major sponsor could be found.
Honours and assessment
Fox was appointed Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for "services to the digital economy and charity". In February 2013 she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4. In the same month it was announced that she was to be appointed a life peer in the House of Lords as a crossbencher.
In May 2004 she was severely injured in a car accident in the tourist resort of Essaouira in Morocco and was flown to England for treatment at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, and later Wellington Hospital in London. She was discharged from hospital in December 2005.
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- "Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho awarded BCS Distinguished Fellowships | News releases | Press Office | Policy and media | BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT". www.bcs.org. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
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- Simon Brooke (4 July 2005). "Lane Fox's new venture". thisismoney.co.uk.