ScaleUp Group Member, Mike Tobin OBE has been inducted to the Smith and Williamson Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame, joining John O’Connell and Duane Jackson.
An entrepreneur, a philanthropist and author, Mike is probably best known for turning Telecity into a billion-dollar company.
“By his early 20s, he was UK Technical Director at Goupil, promoted to managing director at the tender age of 21 after a series of sales wins. He spent 11 years at International Computer Group, living in France and working with businesses across Europe” writes his profile.
“His first experience of turning around a business came with ICL Denmark, a loss-making business that he turned to profit in just two years. […] He took the company from near bankruptcy to a valuation of £3.6bn, cementing his own reputation in the process. However, he says the reality was less straightforward. ‘A lot of the time it felt like luck rather than planning. After two months in the role, I had to go to Prague and knew our business there was virtually bankrupt. All I could think of on the plane home was the cash burn. On the plane back I was thinking ‘this is a nightmare, we have no customers’.
“He got back to London to the news that the Danube had flooded, including completely inundating the group’s data centre. He immediately returned to Prague and cut a deal with insurers and received a significant insurance payment – £8m, which helped keep the company going long enough to get new investors.
“Having restructured the business, de-listing it and leading a merger with Telecity in 2004, he led the combined group until 2014. He stepped down and founded Tobin Ventures, which looked at supporting new opportunities in technology, backing groups such as Audioboom plc – the world’s largest podcast platform.”
Read his full Hall of Fame profile here.
Smith and Williamson’s Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame lists accomplished entrepreneurs who have aimed higher and worked smarter. With vision and dedication, they have built great teams and strong, sustainable businesses. They share their experiences, what helped, what hurt and the lessons for the next generation of business owners.