Until his retirement from IBM in July 2010, Larry Hirst was chairman of IBM Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He represented IBM to the European Commission and other authorities such as NATO and the EDA on issues of international public policy and business regulation. He was also responsible for the company’s corporate citizenship, environmental affairs, intellectual property, standards development and university relations activities across the region.
Previous roles in his 33 year career included the leadership of IBM’s business in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands and South Africa (between 2002 and 2008) and Vice President of IBM’s Financial Services Sector in EMEA (1994-2001). Chairman of IBM Netherlands 2002-2010.
He has been Chairman of the Transition to Teaching Committee, reporting to the Secretary of State for Education, a Commissioner for the Governments Employment and Skills Council. He was the Chairman of the UK Trade and Investment Executive Board, reporting to the Minister for Trade . He was the Chairman of e-skills the Sector Skills Council from 2003 -2010.
He is a non-executive director of ARM Holdings Plc and MITIE Group plc, the facilities, property and asset management company. He is a Member of the British Airways International Advisory Board and a Global Ambassador to Monitise plc. He is an adjunct Professor and Chairman of the Data Sciences Institute at Imperial College, an ambassador to the Everywoman company and a member of the Government Cyber Research Council.
Outside the UK, Larry has been an Advisor to the Presidential Advisory Council on Information Society and Development (PIAC) in South Africa.
In December 2009, he was announced as a private sector Business Ambassador by the UK Prime Minister, a role created to promote UK excellence. This appointment was renewed in Nov 2010 by the current Prime Minister. He stepped down from this role in 2013.
Larry was appointed C.B.E. in 2006, in recognition of Services to the IT industry.