Tom Ilube

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Tom Ilube

Tom Ilube.jpg
Tom Ilube in 2016
Thomas Segun Ilube

July 1963 (age 57)
EducationEdo College
Alma materUniversity of Benin
Cass Business School
OccupationEntrepreneur and educational philanthropist

Thomas Segun Ilube CBE (born July 1963)[1] is a British entrepreneur and educational philanthropist. He is ranked first in the Powerlist 2017, an annual listing of the UK's 100 most powerful people with African or Afro-Caribbean heritage.[2]

Early life[edit]

Ilube was educated at Edo College in Benin City, Nigeria, followed by a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Benin. He later received a master's degree in business administration from London's Cass Business School.[3]


Ilube was chief information officer (CIO) for the internet bank Egg.[2][4]

Ilube founded the Hammersmith Academy, a state secondary school in Hammersmith, west London, which opened in September 2011 and has become one of the UK's "most innovative technology schools".[2]

He created and launched Noddle, a credit reference service,[5] in his time as MD of consumer markets at CallCredit Information Group. In 2005 Ilube co-founded Garlik, the online identity company sold to Experian in 2011[6] He and is the founder and CEO of Crossword Cybersecurity plc, which was admitted to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on the London Stock Exchange in December 2018.[7]

Ilube was appointed as a non-executive director of the BBC, effective April 2017[8] and a non-executive director of FTSE100 company WPP plc,[9] the world’s largest advertising company[10] by revenue, effective October 2020.


Ilube is the chair and founder of the African Gifted Foundation,[11] a UK education charity focused on science and technology in Africa. They recently launched the African Science Academy, Africa's first all-girls science and maths academy.[12] He was chair of Ada, the National College for Digital Skills.[13] which opened in 2016 as the first brand new UK further education college in 23 years.[14]

Ilube provided the prize money for the Nommo Awards for African science fiction and speculative fiction, announced at the Ake Book Festival in 2016.[15]


He was the first recipient of the City Livery Club centenary "Root and Branch" Award in 2014, presented by The Princess Royal.[16] Ilube was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Wolverhampton in 2005.[17]

In October, 2016, Ilube was named by Powerlist as the most influential black person in the UK after topping the annual list of the 100 most powerful people of African and African Caribbean heritage in Britain.[18]

Ilube received the 2017 Beacon Award for innovation in philanthropy.[19] and in the same year, New African magazine listed Ilube as one of Africa's most influential people.[20]

In 2018, Ilube was awarded an honorary doctorate by City University of London.[21] and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2018 Birthday Honours for services to Technology and Philanthropy.[22]

In 2018, Ilube was elected an advisory fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford,[23] and in 2020 an honorary fellow of Jesus College, Oxford.[24]


  1. ^ "Thomas Segun ILUBE". Companies House. Retrieved 4 January 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c "Tom Ilube named the most powerful man in Britain". The Voice Online. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Emmanuel Ogunsola (28 October 2016). "6 things you should know about Tom Ilube, Britain's most powerful black person". Retrieved 6 November 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Tom Ilube. "Tom Ilube: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". Retrieved 6 November 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Adams, Rachael (29 September 2011). "MM Profile: Tom Ilube - Money Marketing Money Marketing". Retrieved 11 November 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Experian in deal for ID expert Garlik". The Independent. 24 December 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Crossword Cybersecurity shares start trading on AIM". Proactiveinvestors UK. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  8. ^ "BBC - BBC names Board appointments - Media Centre". Retrieved 9 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Stone, Amilia (5 October 2020). "WPP appoints Tom Ilube CBE as an independent Non-Executive Director". DirectorsTalk Interviews. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  10. ^ Sherman, Alex (24 August 2020). "'The worst is behind us,' says CEO of WPP, the world's largest advertising company". CNBC. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  11. ^ "African Science Academy | Africa's leading science and maths academy for girls". 7 August 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Building Africa: Founder of Africa's first STEM school for girls named most influential black Briton - Innovation". (in German). 26 October 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "People - Ada. National College for Digital Skills". Retrieved 5 November 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ Anna Davis (10 March 2016). "New college in north London 'will boost women in tech sector". Retrieved 11 November 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ "New awards for African authors - The Herald". Retrieved 9 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "City Livery Club honours Cass alumnus". 7 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "2005 BCS Prize Winners | Project Prize Winners | BCS Wolverhampton Branch | UK Branches | Member groups | Membership | BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT". Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Tom Ilube named the most powerful man in Britain". Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Beacon Awards 2017 honour exceptional UK philanthropists - UK Community Foundations". UK Community Foundations. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  20. ^ "New African Magazine announces its 100 Most Influential Africans of 2017". New African. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  21. ^ "Tom Ilube receives honorary degree from City". City, University of London. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  22. ^ "Birthday Honours 2018: the Prime Minister's list (CSV) - GOV.UK". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  23. ^ "St Anne's College, Oxford > About the College > Emeritus, Honorary, & Supernumerary and Senior Research Fellows". Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  24. ^ "College announces four new Honorary Fellows | Jesus College, University of Oxford". Retrieved 28 April 2020.