Alexis Dormandy has reportedly been “forced out” and left the university venture fund shortly before Christmas.

Alexis Dormandy collects his GUV Award for Personality of the Year 2021 from James Mawson
Alexis Dormandy collects his GUV Award for Personality of the Year 2021 from James Mawson, CEO of GUV publisher Mawsonia

Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE), the investment company set up by University of Oxford, starts the new year without a chief executive after the departure of Alexis Dormandy.

Dormandy was “forced out of the role”, sources told Sky News last month, but it is unclear what exactly led to the parting.

The same report claimed he was stepping down “imminently” and while LinkedIn still shows him in charge of OSE, he is no longer named on the fund’s website.

It is unclear who is in charge of OSE while headhunters try to find a replacement, due to be in the job by spring. Chief financial officer Jim Wilkinson has previously acted as interim chief executive but it is not known if he has taken on these duties once more.

Dormandy’s departure comes after only two years in the job. He helped raise £250m for the fund in July 2022 and he was also in charge when OSE rebranded from its original name of Oxford Sciences Innovation.

Dormandy won the GUV Award for Personality of the Year in 2021 and previously joined the Talking Tech Transfer podcast to discuss his career.

For all its successes in building out the Oxford ecosystem, OSE has seen multiple executive changes since its creation in 2015.

Inaugural chief executive David Norwood, another winner of the GUV Award for Personality of the Year, stepped down in February 2019 when he was replaced by Charles Conn. Patrick Pichette joined as chairman at the same time.

However, Conn left OSE after only 10 months — handing the keys to interim CEO Jim Wilkinson — and Pichette followed in February 2020.

Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).