Although the appointment of a chairman emeritus is relatively rare, when it is done it is often done for life. After your key involvement at ARM why are you only set to do it for one year?
Sir Robin Saxby: At the moment it's part of an 18-month plan. We may extend it. It can be discussed as we get towards the end of my year.
EE Times: You said there are things that can be done with the IET. Can you give examples?
Sir Robin Saxby: I want to make it more global. We've already opened an office in China and another in Bangalore. To move that fast requires considerable effort.
Of course it's not just me. There's a whole team. I've been on the board for five years and I shall be an implementer for one year. But to give it the energy it needs requires that I pull back at ARM.
Also, as you probably know, I am a visiting professor at my old university, Liverpool. I lecture in both the engineering department and in the management school. There's an incubator we've got there down in the docks area where there are startups. It's very exciting. There's a grid computing services company doing great things, a business that's using leading-edge technology and being run by young people.
EE Times: Which leads on to another question. If the right offer or offers came along, perhaps after your year as president of the IET, would you consider joining the boards of other companies, perhaps U.K. or European startups?
Sir Robin Saxby: It is most unlikely. In my time at ARM I have received numerous invitations to join the boards of companies and, with one exception, I have turned them down. I am on the board of Glotel and am happy with that. Being a serial non-exec is not my style.
Being involved with ARM means I have been very fortunate. And it was all enabled by my education. So now I would rather help following generations through education.
EE Times: You mentioned global opportunities with the IET. Do you think that body could take on a European role?
Sir Robin Saxby: There is a European opportunity we are missing out on but probably not with the IET as some sort of Europe-wide professional body. Qualifications come from national bodies. National institutions are very established, but there maybe something we could do, such as an event in Brussels; looking at skill sets in Europe.