New agency head

Gillespie returns to Scottish Enterprise as CEO

Adrian Gillespie: new post

Scottish Enterprise has appointed Strathclyde University’s chief commercial officer Adrian Gillespie as chief executive.

He will be paid a salary of £180,000 and takes up the position on 1 September. His predecessor, Steve Dunlop, who announced his resignation last October after just two and a half years in the job, was paid £176,702.

As a member of Strathclyde’s executive team Mr Gillespie oversaw growth of its economic development projects such as the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and the Glasgow City Innovation District.

Prior to his time at the University, he spent 16 years at Scottish Enterprise where he held leadership positions in the technology and energy sectors, before becoming managing director leading SE’s support for high growth companies, innovation, entrepreneurship and infrastructure development.

Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “This is a crucial time for business, trade and investment in Scotland and I look forward to working with Adrian, and leaders from across our business community, to push forward with an ambitious agenda of recovery and economic transformation.

“By working together and galvanising the expertise and ingenuity of businesses, trade unions and workforces, we will be able to seize Scotland’s economic potential and deliver greater, greener and fairer prosperity.”

Scottish Enterprise chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin, said: “Adrian has extensive knowledge in economic development which, coupled with his leadership abilities and recent experience at the University of Strathclyde, will bring a strong mix of skills and fresh perspective at a critical point in Scotland’s economic recovery.”

Daily Business comment: The appointment of a new CEO from academia, which was alluded to by Daily Business last month, will be seen as a safe option for the Scottish Government, given Mr Gillespie’s history with the agency.

It may seem harsh to judge him before he has even started, but those looking for radical new ideas may be disappointed.

It is questionable how much say he will have over the direction it will take, given that it has just published its new government-approved business plan – prioritising the green agenda – which effectively makes the new CEO a manager, more than a strategist.

See also:

Green targets risk becoming green barriers

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