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Phil Smith

Chairman +

Phil Smith



Phil Smith joined the IQE Board in 2016 and took over as Chairman in April 2019 and Executive Chairman from September 2021 to January 2022.

Phil is a Chairman and Director as well as an advisor, mentor and speaker.  As former Chief Executive and Chairman of Cisco UK and Ireland, Phil is passionate about innovation, skills, technology, digitisation and leadership.  Phil is currently Chairman of IQE PLC, a leading advanced materials solutions company, headquartered in Cardiff, focused on the Compound Semiconductor market. Phil is also a Chairman of Streeva a Fintech based growing payments company and Chairman of Appyway which is leading on smart mobility.

In the broader innovation and skills space, Phil is also former chair of Innovate UK, the Government’s innovation agency as well as former Chair  of Techskills , an employer led organisation championing digital skills. In his industry and government roles he is co-Chair of the Digital Skills Council and is on the board of the Digital Economy Council.  Additionally, Phil also sits on a number of advisory boards in organisations as diverse as Coventry University and the National Theatre.

Phil championed and was passionate about, innovation, entrepreneurship and productivity whilst at Cisco and continues now in many of his roles. He is founder member of the Productivity Leadership Group and a commercial trustee of Be the Business.  He is additionally a Board Mentor for Critical Eye.

Phil was awarded a CBE in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to Technology, Business and Skills and in September 2019 was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

He has been recognised with several industry accolades and awards from mentorship for women to CSR, company culture, employee engagement and leadership as well as change and digitalisation. Those include Orange Business Leader of the year, a member of Wired 100 and listed in the inaugural 50 Kindest Leaders in 2018.

Phil’s contribution to industry has been recognised with Honorary Doctorates from Birmingham City, Warwick and Glasgow Universities and an Honorary Fellowship from Cardiff.

Phil is the founder of a group of CEOs and leaders who, since 2012 have raised close to £1m for Sport Relief participating with their teams in Triathlon based events.  Phil is a keen Triathlete and cyclist and has qualified in Triathlon for Team GB in 2014, 2015 and 2017, competing in Canada and the Netherlands.

Phil lives near Stratford upon Avon and is married to his wife Steph, has four grown-up children and five grandchildren.