After graduating from Cambridge University, Mark began his career in computing as a research fellow at the Open University. Leaving academia Mark and a colleague further developed these ideas and founded Integrated Micro Products. Over 15 years Mark grew this to a several hundred person business, made a US acquisition, floated it on the US NASDAQ stock exchange and was ultimately acquired by Sun Microsystems. From 1996-2000 Mark was Vice President responsible for Sun’s Telco Platforms Group and provided leadership in Sun’s telecoms and internet strategy development.
Since leaving Sun he has continued to develop his business career as Chairman of Northern Enterprise Ltd, as a Director of Northstar Ventures and of NF Holdings Ltd, (all North East based Venture Capital companies) and as a non-executive director/Chairman of a number of small and medium sized technology companies. Mark is also an active investor in businesses ranging from biotechnology to biomass heating and is a member of the Hotspur Angel Investment Syndicate.
As a significant donor to local charities, Mark is Chairman of County Durham Community Foundation and has also been a trustee of the Community Foundation serving Tyne, Wear & Northumberland. He is Chairman of the Haydon Bridge Development Trust and of the Tynedale Community Bank and is a Director of the Prince Bishop Community Bank.
Coming full circle on his career Mark re-entered academic life with his appointment in 2005 as David Goldman Visiting Professor of Business Innovation at Newcastle University where he is now Chairman of the University Council. In 2014 he was elected deputy-chair of the national Committee of University Chairs.
Mark was awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List 2013 for services to entrepreneurship, community engagement and higher education.
He is married with four children and two grandchildren. Despite this he finds time to be an enthusiastic cyclist, skier and sailor; in all cases at the highest speed possible!