In Skills

Respected business leader Bob Paton has been appointed as the interim chief executive of the North East LEP.

The highly experienced managing director of Accenture’s North East Delivery Centre will start work immediately in his new role, which will run for up to six months.

He will lead work to continue the delivery of the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, focusing on helping businesses create more and better jobs.

In addition to his new LEP role, Bob will continue in his leadership role at Accenture. The LEP is continuing to seek a full-time appointment for the chief executive post which they aim to announce in the next six months.

Bob, 58, is relishing his new role. Ashington born, he has built his entire career in the North East, spending 20 years working in the civil service before joining the global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company Accenture in 1992.

Additionally, Bob is vice chairman of Dynamo, the North East IT forum, which is leading work to grow the regional technology sector, is non-executive chairman of RTC North, the Sunderland-based business growth and technology transfer company, and is on the Board of the University of Sunderland.

“Born and bred in the North East, I’m passionate about making it a success and was absolutely delighted to be asked to be interim chief executive at the North East LEP,” said Bob, who lives near Hexham.

“One of the things that drives me in my career is giving young people of all capabilities the chance to have a better job.

“The North East LEP is leading economic growth, investing in skills and innovation and making sure that young people have the skills required by industry.

“I see a fantastic opportunity here. We are the only industrialised region where you can reach out to all the schools, colleges and universities, to every firm both large and small, every council, every MP, as well as the business support organisations.

“I have worked with many of the North East’s public and private sector leaders and know collaboration will help ensure our success. I’ve learned over the years that you have to work together as part of a team.”

Paul Woolston, North East LEP Chair, said: “The team at the North East LEP are thrilled that we are able to appoint Bob into the interim chief executive post.

“He is a vastly experienced and exceptional business leader, who is respected across the private and public sectors.

“Bob is very much a leader who brings people together to deliver success, as his track record proves over more than 40 years working in the North East.

“He will lead the delivery of our activity over the next six months, laying the foundations for a permanent chief executive to be appointed.”

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