Agency post

Ex-Boots boss Fagan linked to vacant SE chair

Elizabeth Fagan: mentioned as a potential chair of SE

A former executive at high street retailer Boots has been mentioned as a potential chair of Scottish Enterprise.

Scottish businesswoman Elizabeth Fagan joined Boots in 1983 and between 2016 and 2018 she was the first female managing director of Boots UK, later becoming UK chair.

She was later appointed chair of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, an organisation tasked with stimulating economic growth across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Ms Fagan has a degree in biochemistry from Glasgow and taught in Scottish secondary schools for three years in the early 1980s. She was appointed a CBE in the 2020 New Year Honours for services to gender equality in business.

Scottish Enterprise has been seeking a replacement chair since Lord Smith stepped down at the end of July. It is understood that at least one person was approached about the role earlier in the summer but turned down the offer. There has not been a female chair of the agency since it was set up 30 years ago.

The remuneration package has been hiked by 10.2% from £44,520 to £49,049 for a job that requires a commitment of 1.75 days per month.

Lord Smith took over in August 2019 and his tenure was dominated by helping businesses through the pandemic. The following October, CEO Steve Dunlop resigned after just two and a half years in the job, having earlier admitted to suffering imposter syndrome.

Mr Dunlop was replaced by Adrian Gillespie, a commercial officer from academia who last week hailed a record year for agency’s early-stage investment activities.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The process to appoint a new chair of Scottish Enterprise is at an early stage and is being conducted in line with the Ethical Standards Commissioners Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies in Scotland and will be a fair, open and transparent process.”

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