Does GFirst LEP filming point to a new chairman of the board?

Filming outside GFirst LEP’s headquarters has prompted speculation about whether the powerful business group has found a new chairperson to replace the outgoing Diane Savory.

GFirst LEP’s search for a new chairperson and Twitter posts of its chief executive talking to cameras outside its Oxstalls headquarters might have led to people putting two and two together.

That Dr Diane Savory OBE would be obliged to step down from the role she has owned for three terms (nine years) and more was not news to those who follow Gloucestershire’s local enterprise partnership.

The official announcement came last month that one of the key architects of its success would depart in August, with GFirst LEP immediately launching its recruitment drive.

‘Filming something exciting today,’ Jessica Gray, GFirst LEP’s marketing manager posted on Twitter, with an image of long-serving chief executive and Dr Savory’s righthand man, David Owen, looking like he was about to announce something important.

However, an insider at the LEP confirmed while the filming was to do with the vacant role, and new board members, this was existing board members, including Neill Ricketts, of Versarien, calling on new talent to step forward.

The LEP describes the role of chair as ‘an opportunity for an experienced business leader to play a pivotal role to help Gloucestershire bounce back from the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic’.

Dr Savory’s CV included her time as one of the architects of Gloucestershire-based listed fashion brand SuperGroup, and ideally her replacement will have similar board-level abilities.

‘Extensive current knowledge and experience in one of Gloucestershire’s key sectors, businesses or the voluntary/community sector’ is also on the check list.

One thing was sure, according to the insider, by the time of the inaugural SoGlos Gloucestershire Business Awards on Thursday 9 September 2021, ‘we will certainly have a new chair in place for that event!’.

If you think that could be you, or you could bring something to the table as a board member, visit GFirst LEP.

By Andrew Merrell


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© SoGlos
Thursday 22 April 2021

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