Michael Richard Lynch

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Michael Lynch
Dr Michael Lynch OBE FREng FRS.jpg
Michael Lynch in 2014, portrait via the Royal Society
Born Michael Richard Lynch
(1965-06-16) 16 June 1965 (age 50)[1]
Ilford, Essex
Alma mater University of Cambridge (BA, PhD)
Thesis Adaptive techniques in signal processing and connectionist models (1990)
Doctoral advisor Peter J.W. Rayner[2][3][4]
Known for Autonomy Corporation
Notable awards

Michael Richard Lynch, OBE, FREng, DL, FRS (born 16 June 1965)[1] is an entrepreneur with a scientific background. He is the co-founder of Autonomy Corporation and the founder of Invoke Capital, and has several other roles, including membership of the Council for Science and Technology which advises the UK government. His entrepreneurship is associated with Silicon Fen. Lynch is known for his work applying techniques from signal processing and pattern recognition to unstructured information, and Autonomy is a leader in this area. In October 2011, Autonomy was sold to Hewlett-Packard for $11bn.[7][8][9]

Early life and education[edit]

Lynch was born in Ilford, Essex in 1965 and grew up near Chelmsford, Essex. His mother was a nurse and his father a fireman.[10]

In 1976, aged 11, he won a scholarship to Bancroft's School, Woodford.[11] 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 Peter Rayner,[2][3][4][12] his mentor in the signal processing laboratory of the engineering department. After graduating he went on to do a PhD in signal processing[13] and communications research at the University of Cambridge, and then undertook a research fellowship in adaptive pattern recognition.[14]

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.[15]

In 1996 Lynch co-founded Autonomy Corporation.[16] and he served Autonomy as CEO. During this time Autonomy acquired Dremedia, Virage ($13m), Verity ($500m), Zantaz ($375m) and Interwoven ($606m).[17]

In October 2011 Autonomy was sold to Hewlett-Packard for $11Bn,.[7]

In May 2012, HP fired Mike Lynch.[18]

In February 2013, Lynch raised $1 billion through his Invoke Capital fund to invest in up and coming British technology companies.[19]

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." [20][21]

Other Interests[edit]

He is a member of the board of Cambridge Enterprise,[22] and a member of the Council for Science and Technology.[23] He is also a member of the Council of the Foundation for Science and Technology[24] and a Hub Mentor in the Enterprise Hub of the Royal Academy of Engineering.[25] Lynch is a trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew,[26] and a member of the board of the Create the Change Campaign at the Crick Institute, for Cancer Research UK.[27]

He is a non executive director of Blinkx plc.[28]

He has previously served as a non-executive director to the board of the BBC,[14] on the board of the British Library,[29] and as a trustee of the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA), where he was chairman of their investment committee.[30]

Awards, honours and media coverage[edit]

In September 2012 he was inducted into the Digital Hall of Fame, British Interactive Media Association.[31]

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.[32]

Time magazine named Lynch in their 25 most influential technology people in Europe in 2000.[33]

The World Economic Forum presented Lynch with an award for Autonomy as a technology pioneer in 2000.[34] Lynch was awarded an OBE in the 2006 New Year Honours.[35]

He is a Lady Margaret Beaufort fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge.[36]

In 2007, he was awarded Technology Entrepreneur of the year by the European Technology Forum at their 2007 conference.[37]

In March 2008, he was chosen Innovator of the year at the European Business Leader of the year awards 'EBLA'.[38] In June 2008, he was elected a Fellow[5] of the Royal Academy of Engineering.[39]

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.[40] In January 2009, Management Today chose him as entrepreneur of the year.[39]

Lynch has twice been a finalist for Investor Relations award of the year.[41] In 2009 he was voted one of the top 25 best CEOs pan sector in Europe by fund managers in the annual Extel survey.[42] He is Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Suffolk.[43] In October 2013 he accompanied the Chancellor, George Osborne, on a trade mission to China.[44]

His nomination for the Royal Society reads

The Financial Times has described Lynch as "the doyen of European software".[45] PC Advisor has called him "Britain's most successful technology entrepreneur".[46] In a profile in the Sunday Times, it was suggested in passing that Lynch is the nearest thing Britain has to Bill Gates.[47][48][49]


Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, when dealing with Lynch and his colleagues said : "either Mr Lynch has a very poor memory or he is lying".[50] However Lynch was proved right when Frank Quattrone, Autonomy's advisor, confirmed the presentation at the center of the controversy had been his and not given by Lynch as Oracle had asserted.[51]

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. [52] The total writedown amounted to $8.8bn of the purchase cost of more than $10bn. [53] These irregularities have been contested.[54] 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.[55] [56] [57] 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.[58]

Lynch wrote an open letter to HP’s shareholders, accusing HP of misleading them over the matter.[59] Deloitte have also gone on the record supporting Lynch’s opinion.[58] Lynch and other ex-Autonomy executives have set up AutonomyAccounts.org to provide a platform to voice their rebuttal of criticism.[60]

In August 2014, HP did a deal with law firms suing them on behalf of shareholders over the matter. HP would pay them and they would help HP sue Lynch and the former Autonomy CFO for fraud. HP's deal was objected to by a number of parties and was considered highly suspect as the lawyers were to be paid but not the shareholders. Judge Breyer threw the case out. [61] HP's claims were investigated at HP's request by the UK Serious Fraud Office, however the SFO announced in January 2015 that it was ending its investigation with no action. [62]

Personal life[edit]

He is married and has two daughters.[63] His entry in Who's Who (UK) lists his recreations as Jazz saxophone and preserving rare breeds.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d LYNCH, Michael Richard. Who's Who 2015 (online edition via Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b "The Quest for Meaning". Wired. February 2000. 
  3. ^ a b Rayner, P. J.; Lynch, M. R. (1990). "Complexity reduction in Volterra connectionist modelling by consideration of output mapping". International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing. p. 885. doi:10.1109/ICASSP.1990.115982. 
  4. ^ a b Rayner, P. J. W.; Lynch, M. R. (1989). "A new connectionist model based on a non-linear adaptive filter". International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing. p. 1191. doi:10.1109/ICASSP.1989.266647. 
  5. ^ a b "List of Fellows". 
  6. ^ a b "Dr Michael Lynch OBE FREng FRS". Archived from the original on 2014-05-02. 
  7. ^ a b Profile: Mike Lynch The Guardian, 19 August 2011
  8. ^ "Good Listener". Director magazine. May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Britain's first software billionaire". salon.com. July 2000.  (interview)
  10. ^ Business big shot: Mike Lynch of Autonomy The Times, 8 July 2008
  11. ^ OBA President's Report - 2009
  12. ^ RAYNER, Prof. Peter John Wynn. Who's Who 2015 (online edition via Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
  13. ^ Lynch, Michael Richard (1990). Adaptive techniques in signal processing and connectionist models (DPhil thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  14. ^ a b BBC Press Office
  15. ^ Security Group Seminar University of Cambridge
  16. ^ The Kindness of Strangers VNU Net
  17. ^ Autonomy to buy Zantaz for $375m, place shares Reuters, 3 July 2007
  18. ^ HP fires Mike Lynch PCR, 25 May 2012
  19. ^ Ben Martin (9 February 2013). "Mike Lynch raises $1bn for technology investment". Telegraph. 
  20. ^ British tech entrepreneur Lynch invests in cybersecurity firm backed by ex-MI5 boss
  21. ^ After Autonomy
  22. ^ One of Britain's Leading Entrepreneurs Joins Cambridge Enterprise
  23. ^ Members appointed to Council for Science & Technology 10 Downing Street
  24. ^ Foundation for Science and Technology
  25. ^ Royal Academy of Engineering
  26. ^ Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Archived January 6, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Meet the team Cancer Research UK
  28. ^ "Shareholder Information". Blinkx. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  29. ^ "Mike Lynch". British Library. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  30. ^ "Mike Lynch". NESTA. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  31. ^ Digital Hall of Fame
  32. ^ Institute of Engineering Recipients of the Achievement Awards
  33. ^ "Mike Lynch - Autonomy" Time Europe
  34. ^ Autonomy Wins Global Technology Award At World Economic Forum
  35. ^ MBE for Soham murders detective BBC News, 31 December 2005
  36. ^ Christ's College, Cambridge
  37. ^ Innovation & Growth Forum
  38. ^ European Business Leaders Awards website
  39. ^ a b Royal Academy of Engineering
  40. ^ "Agenda Setters 2008"
  41. ^ Barclays, Cookson and Detica Grand Prix Winners at IR Magazine Awards PR Newswire, 29 June 2009
  42. ^ Extel Survey: European Investor Relations 2009
  43. ^ Deputy Lieutenants of the County of Suffolk
  44. ^ London will offer China more than Singapore can, says Boris Johnson
  45. ^ Financial Times
  46. ^ The Thoughts of Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch PC Advisor
  47. ^ James Ashton "Autonomy is at the heart of a new data revolution" Sunday Times, 1 February 2009
  48. ^ Profile: Mike Lynch, Autonomy founder The Telegraph, 16 October 2011
  49. ^ Mike Lynch sells his Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard Real Business
  50. ^ "Larry Ellison Of Oracle Calls Autonomy CEO Lying Liar". Gizmodo. 30 September 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  51. ^ "Quattrone blasts Ellison, says Autonomy is right". The Register. 30 September 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  52. ^ HP makes a series of serious and damaging allegations about the management team of Autonomy.
  53. ^ HP takes $8.8bn charge on Autonomy.
  54. ^ "Mike Lynch, Autonomy’s Founder, Says He’s Baffled by H.P.’s Claims - NYTimes.com". Retrieved 2012-11-26. 
  55. ^ HP Issues Statement Regarding Autonomy Impairment Charge
  56. ^ Hewlett’s Loss: A Folly Unfolds, by the Numbers
  57. ^ HP Plunges on $8.8 Billion Charge From Autonomy Writedown
  58. ^ a b HP/Autonomy investigation: Tangled web of hardware and resellers
  59. ^ Open letter from Mike Lynch to the shareholders of Hewlett-Packard
  60. ^ "AutonomyAccounts.org". Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  61. ^ "Dealpolitik: More Evidence of Broken Shareholder Litigation System". Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  62. ^ "Autonomy HP sale investigation by Serious Fraud Office closes". BBC. 19 January 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  63. ^ Biography AutonomyAccounts.org