Paul joins us with over 20 years of experience under his belt, he steps into the company to ensure success as we continue to grow across both the motorsport and automotive fields.
Paul Newby has been appointed VP of Engineering and Operations for Performance Electronics at Cosworth. Paul joins us with over 20 years of experience under his belt, he steps into the company to ensure success as we continue to grow across both the motorsport and automotive fields.
What was your background before joining Cosworth?
Going right back to when I graduated from university with a Computer Science degree, I joined Nortel, having done my sandwich year with them. I started my career there as a Software Engineer, developing web-based tools for the Network Management group.
Nortel was a telecoms company and as time went on, I progressed onto developing the network management software and eventually moved onto high-capacity switches doing optical. I worked on Fibre to The Home (FTTH), similar technology to what we are becoming accustomed to now in the UK. I was working on that back in 1997 for Nortel Networks.
I took voluntary redundancy from there as there were very few people left after several rounds of downsizing, and I found it had pretty lonely. From there, I moved into mobile and started working for Symbian, creators of the first smartphone OS. Within Symbian I worked in several different roles; I was responsible for leading the connectivity team, then went on to lead the location-based services team (GPS). I finally ended up as a Strategic Technical Lead working for the CTO office on company-wide special projects.
One of the last projects that I did there was called Symbian Light, the purpose of which was to take Symbian OS from smartphone platforms down into feature phones. It was from there that we were acquired by Nokia, and I became a Principal System Architect in the System Architecture Office. I was responsible for Symbian OS as a whole, ensuring alignment from a chipset strategy point of view. This was a great opportunity for me to work directly with silicon vendors such as Qualcomm and STE, and marked the start of my journey into IP and System on Chip development.
I decided to leave Nokia for Arm, which is where I was for the last 12 years. I originally joined Arm within the GPU organisation, with the goal to grow the software team from around 50 people up to 150 people and to instil industry best practices. I then went on to run the whole of GPU, growing it to a 750+ organisation, delivering the most successful GPU in the world by volume.
One of the last products my organisation delivered just before I left was the first purpose built automotive high-performance GPU with functional safety. This experience provided me with valuable transferable knowledge that I can bring into Cosworth.
I really enjoyed working for Arm, but it got to a point where I felt I was handle turning, focussed on driving efficiencies and I wasn’t really learning anymore. It was time for a change and to do something quite different.
With your move into a very different business, can you tell us more about your current role at Cosworth?
I have joined Cosworth Performance Electronics, heading up Engineering and Operations. My team and I are responsible for the building, validation and delivery of Cosworth’s Automotive and Motorsport products (HW, SW and Mechanics).
A key driver for my career move was to work for a product company. Arm is an IP company, and so tangible products were always downstream of it. Working at Cosworth is very different and has provided me with a very steep learning curve. My background for the last 12 years had always been in IP, where my supply chain was predominantly engineers, no parts or components. Moving into electronics product and manufacturing is a completely different ball game.
It’s great to be learning again, I feel like I’ve learned more in the last month at Cosworth, than I did in the last four years at Arm. Everyone at Cosworth has been extremely welcoming, supportive and helpful. It’s a great group of people.
How did you view Cosworth before you joined the team?
As I mentioned, I’ve grown up with Cosworth. My family were involved in rally driving so, at a young age, most weekends I’d be touring around the country to different rallies – and Cosworth was right at the heart of it. In fact, we were rallying the Sierra Cosworth and the Escort Cosworth at the time, when the likes of Richard Burns and Colin McRae were competing. Because of this, I’ve always been interested in motorsport and this synonymous brand that was associated with rally at the time has gone on to bigger and better things.
That’ was how I grew up with Cosworth and it was really the brand that brought me here – it popped up on LinkedIn and I just thought ‘I’ve got to reach out and explore where this could go’. The job that was advertised is not the one I’m doing now but, because of the strength of the brand, I was really interested to see whether something could be arranged and that’s what pulled me in.
How have your views on Cosworth changed since you’ve joined the company?
The brand is still massive for me, and it has been great discovering all the new and different areas Cosworth is pursuing. I have also been hugely impressed by the team, specifically with what they achieve as a fairly small team, and their commitment to Cosworth.
The journey from motorsport into automotive requires a new level of discipline, maturity and operational rigour, which is not in place today and is a considerable amount of work. This is the reason why I’m here.
What’s great is that the team want to improve and to take the brand to even higher heights. So, hopefully I’m not going to let them down, I’m hoping I can help expand on and continue Cosworth’s legacy. The potential here is huge.
Are there any specific goals that you would like to achieve within Cosworth?
I primarily want to help with taking Cosworth from race to road and beyond. So, the journey of expanding into automotive and driving higher volumes, growing the business far beyond where it is today.
The barrier to entry into automotive OEMs is considerably higher than where we’ve been operating thus far. I want to leverage my industry experience, gained over the years, to support the team by deploying industry best practices and operational rigour. Allowing the team to focus on what they do best, creating awesome new technology. I genuinely want to help the organisation be more effective and efficient.
The other focus is with electrification; vehicle infrastructure is evolving and consolidating towards a single system. Vehicles are quickly becoming data centres on wheels. Virtualisation and software are key driving forces towards the ‘software defined vehicle’, which is the future.
I want to utilise my years of software and Arm experience to help Cosworth on its journey to this future.