Cosworth has appointed digital and business transformation specialist Stephen Dyke into the newly created role of Chief Operations Officer (COO) to support the company’s growth within the transportation technology sector.

Dyke joins Cosworth from engineering firm Ricardo, where he spent two years as Managing Director, leading the company’s automotive and industrial offering across EMEA. He was also Chair of the EMEA Board, as well as statutory director of Ricardo UK Ltd, so brings to Cosworth recent and relevant credentials in the fields of automotive, commercial, defence, marine, aerospace and energy sectors.

Since Cosworth was established in 1958, its name has been synonymous with technological prowess and high performance. From pioneering innovations in motorsport, Cosworth has transitioned into a profitable transportation technology company with leading expertise in the areas of performance, digitalisation, and electrification.

Recent growth has been driven by high profile programmes and partnerships in the fast-evolving intelligent transportation space. Today, Cosworth is a high-quality business with a unique brand heritage, an impressive track record and high revenue visibility.

Dyke’s appointment as COO, reporting to Chief Executive Officer Hal Reisiger, will allow the company to accelerate its roadmap to electrification and to solve new mobility challenges through hybrid and EV propulsion, data connectivity and automation technology.

Prior to his work with Ricardo, Dyke was responsible for leading data and digital transformation within Amey, EY and Network Rail, as well as running the transport and logistics Business at CSC, now known as DXC Technology.

Underpinning his career, Dyke spent over twenty years in the Royal Air Force (RAF), during which he studied electronic systems engineering at Cranfield University. Intelligence and data have always played a critical role in his career, whether planes, trains or automobiles, using a passion for tech-enabled transformation to help translate business needs into sustained organisational change.

Stephen Dyke said: “Cosworth is an exciting business and much broader in its capabilities than many yet know from the outside. Since joining, I have learned more about our high-performance engineering and an opportunity to scale the company’s suite of offerings into new sectors and geographies. I am looking forward to supporting the business growth, taking everything for which Cosworth is renowned, and evolving our product strategy that integrates into future mobility solutions. Speaking to Hal and the Executive Team, I got a clear understanding of the company vision, to take Cosworth’s golden thread of internal combustion engine technology, electronics and software, and use them to drive a future of sustainable and intelligent mobility.”

Q+A with Stephen Dyke

How did your time in the Royal Air Force influence your career?
“I joined the air force as an apprentice when I was 16 years old. I wanted to do something that was meaningful and a bit punchy. I was a frontline avionics technician on the Tornado when they were first introduced into operational service in the late 1980s. I quickly developed a desire to look at the bigger picture, to join elements together; that set me off on a path led by technology, intelligence and data.”

What sort of roles did you have in the RAF?
“After I got my engineering degree at Cranfield University, I became an aeronautical engineering officer. There were a lot of operational roles, project management and budget control. Warfare became information centric, situational awareness focused, data and communications-driven, and so I moved into that area; in my late twenties, I developed a formative understanding of project management, sound operational management, solid communications and outcome-driven transformation.”

How were those skills transferable from the RAF into business?
“I had built up strategic, operational, leadership and project experience, but I was missing the ‘P’ in ‘P&L’. When I left the Air Force, having completed my master’s degree, I went to work for CSC, a large IT outsourcing company, where I spent three years on transformation consultancy with the P&L before becoming Vice-President for transport and logistics. Network Rail then asked me to join them. I ran a data-to-intelligence transformation programme, which was about taking huge amount of costs out of the capital infrastructure. We did the same thing in the intelligence service, moving data through to intelligence. You collect, evaluate, collate, process, analyse and then communicate. This is applicable in any business model and ultimately defined data driven insight and better decision making.

What drove your decision to move to Cosworth?
“I was inspired by Cosworth’s vision and strategy for organic and inorganic growth, and its focus on clean, intelligent, connected mobility with a strong focus on the user experience. We are at a pivotal point in the mobility sector and understanding what the future of mobility means. I also appreciated Cosworth’s software-oriented approach, especially when considering the millions of lines of code in today’s production cars; they are an integrated software machine. Vehicles will only become more software-oriented in the future, and the user experience and data will be key to improving products. Cosworth’s vision fits with my technology-enabled, data-driven experiences and that really excites me.”

What does the COO role entail?
“My role will be to support Hal, as CEO, to implement the operational elements of the business. It’s about bringing that golden thread, the vision and strategy, into an active plan that bears in mind market and competitor sensitivities and the capabilities of the business. How can we define our next generation of offerings, products, and solutions to meet the vision and delight our customers and ultimately the end user, drivers, and passengers? I see myself as the agent of chief executives to make the vision a reality and to support the managing directors in their day to day running of their business units.”

By Alison