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Ed Bussey, the Co-Founder of, Emerges as Top Candidate for CEO Role at Oxford Science Enterprises

By Mark Kleinman, City Editor @MarkKleinmanSky

A former diplomat and serial internet entrepreneur, Ed Bussey, is currently in talks to become the CEO of Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE), the investment company supporting start-ups based on Oxford University’s academic research. This information has been obtained by Sky News, which suggests that Bussey, one of the co-founders of during the original dotcom boom, is being considered for the position. The post of CEO at OSE has been vacant since Alexis Dormandy left the company in December of last year. If Bussey’s appointment is confirmed, it would mean that an experienced entrepreneur will be leading a company that holds stakes in numerous start-ups across various sectors, including biotech and nuclear fusion.

Ed Bussey’s entrepreneurial background is well-established. Besides his involvement with, he also founded Quill, which specializes in digital content production. Furthermore, Bussey has gained valuable experience through his previous roles in the Foreign Office and the Royal Navy. Notably, in 2010, he undertook and successfully completed an unsupported trek to the North Pole to raise money for a charitable cause.

The potential selection of Ed Bussey as CEO comes after a period of instability in OSE’s boardroom, with several chairs and CEOs resigning within a short period. One such departure was Professor Sir John Bell, who served as Boris Johnson’s Covid testing tsar, and he resigned from OSE’s board in February due to other pressing commitments.

As an investor, OSE has provided financial backing to various companies, including Vaccitech, which played a significant role in developing the biotech platform underlying AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. In addition to this, two other notable companies in OSE’s portfolio are First Light, a nuclear fusion energy start-up, and Animal Dynamics, a deep-tech company.

A noteworthy event preceding Mr. Dormandy’s departure was OSE’s successful rights issue, which raised £250m from shareholders. The company boasts an impressive list of investors, including Google Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Temasek Holdings (the Singaporean state fund), and Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecoms technology giant.

The search for a successor to Mr. Dormandy at OSE is ongoing, but with Ed Bussey in the running, OSE can potentially benefit from his proven entrepreneurial expertise and leadership skills. With his experience in guiding successful start-ups and his background in various industries, including the online retail sector, Bussey would bring valuable insights and strategic decision-making to OSE. The appointment of an accomplished entrepreneur like Ed Bussey could contribute to the stability and continued growth of OSE, ensuring its success in supporting and nurturing start-ups emerging from Oxford University’s academic research.

An OSE spokesperson declined to comment on any specific details regarding the ongoing CEO selection process.

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