Christopher M. Earnshaw

Christopher M. Earnshaw
Christopher M. Earnshaw
Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Associated organizations
British Telecommunications
Fields of study
IEEE Ernst Weber Managerial Leadership Award


Chris Earnshaw was born on 4 May 1954, in Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Upon earning his BSc. in physics with honors from Sheffield University in 1976, he joined what is now British Telecommunications.

Chris Earnshaw's technical and business leadership at British Telecommunications (BT) has had a profound effect on networking technologies in the United Kingdom, and around the globe. In addition to overseeing the design and operation of advanced UK and global networks for BT, he was a pioneer of the concept of global communication platforms.

The many highlights of his career. thus far include his role as President and CEO of Concert, a BT joint venture that built a groundbreaking global communications platform to deliver advanced data and voice communications services to multi-national organizations. He also spearheaded the integration of BT's networks and IT systems divisions, and led the resulting group.

More recently, Mr. Earnshaw has led programs to ensure that platforms are in place to underpin the explosion in IP-based technologies and the Internet. These programs range from the deployment of high-speed core networks to the deployment qf DSL-based access technologies. Mr. Earnshaw is currently BT's Group Engineering Director and Chief Technology Officer with responsibility for overall engineering and technology policy, including the company's R&D program, with an annual investment budget of $12 billion. Early in his career, he was an essential member of the team responsible for the design of System X, the UK's stored program control digital switching system. He was subsequently the driving force behind both the creation of BT's long-distance digital network, and the introduction of intelligent network platforms in the 1980s.

A promoter of engineering in a number of ways, Mr. Earnshaw instigated the Investing in Our Future campaign, designed to educate and motivate a workforce of 40,000 engineers. He also helped to establish the acclaimed BT Masters program in conjunction with University College London.

A Fellow of Britain's Institute of Electrical Engineers, Royal Academy of Engineering, Institute of Physics, and Royal Society of Arts, he is also a Member of Court at Cranfield University, and a Board Member of the US based International Engineering Consortium.