The IoD’s outgoing director general, Simon Walker, has been appointed as lead non-executive board member at the Department for International Trade
The new role forms a key part of the department’s long-term strategy for the UK’s trade policy, promotion of UK exports and investment, and take-up of UK export finance – all of which are designed to ensure that Britain continues to be competitive in the global marketplace.
After facing stiff competition from over 180 candidates, Walker becomes one of four of new non-executive board members, all of who boast a wealth of extensive business and policy experience.
International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, hailed the appointments as “a significant milestone for the department and also for UK government.”
Fox added, “In promoting the UK as a place to trade and do business with, it’s important that we are building on our department’s expertise and bringing in the best talent.
“I’m delighted to welcome our new non-executive board members, whose extensive business knowledge, experience of global trade and corporate governance experience will help us shape the department and forge the UK’s trade agenda. The competition was extremely strong and our successful candidates are absolutely outstanding.
“(They) will work closely with the secretary of state and ministerial team to assist the new department in delivering an effective long-term strategy for the UK’s trade policy, promotion of UK exports and investment; and take-up of UK export finance.”
Walker leaves the IoD after five years at the helm. During that time, he lambasted companies such as Barclays and Sports Direct for bad corporate governance and led a campaign to prevent an incoming CEO getting a £25m ‘golden hello’ welcome package. He also modernised the IoD to attract more young entrepreneurs and start-ups to its membership.
Walker will take up his new position imminently and said, “As Britain seeks to forge a new place in the world, ensuring our businesses are able to trade easily across the globe will be central to our economic success. The views of companies, employees and the wider community all need to be heard as new arrangements are established with trading partners in Europe and further afield.
“The Department for International Trade has an essential role to play in pulling down barriers to trade in both goods and services and I am extremely pleased to be able champion free trade as lead non-executive board member,” said Walker.
Department for International Trade
The new Department for International Trade non-executive board members:
Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors, announced as lead non-executive board member
Julie Currie, chief financial and reporting officer at the Lloyds Bank Foundation, will chair the Audit and Risk Committee
Dr Pippa Malmgren, founder of DRPM Group, will provide an independent voice to the department
Noel Harwerth, outgoing chair of GE Capital Bank Europe, will join the UK Export Finance Board as chair, and will also attend the DIT Departmental Board