The British Heart Foundation (BHF) announced yesterday that its chief executive, Simon Gillespie, will retire at the end of 2019 after seven years at the charity.
Before joining the BHF in 2013, Simon was chief executive of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. He has extensive national and international experience of charity and non-profit governance as a non-executive director, advisor and trustee. Simon has worked as president of the European Heart Network, director of operations at the Charity Commission and head of operations at the Healthcare Commission.
BHF a large non-profit funder of heart and circulatory disease research with a global profile. Under Simon’s leadership the BHF has grown to become one of the largest charities in the UK, with an income of £328m in the year to March 2018.
Doug Gurr, chair of the BHF, said: “I would like to thank Simon for his outstanding contribution to the charity over almost seven years. His leadership has seen the BHF make a positive difference to thousands of lives every year. He has put people at the heart of this organisation which relies on the support of individuals, communities and companies to thrive and develop its life-saving work. We will be truly sorry to see Simon moving on at the end of this year but wish him the very best for his well-deserved retirement.”
Gillespie received an OBE in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours List and has also recently been awarded Glassdoor’s Employee’s Choice Award, having been voted one of the top leaders in the country by employees and volunteers.
He has led the work on a new strategy that will take the BHF up to 2030. The strategy has been informed by researchers, people affected by heart and circulatory diseases, supporters and staff; it sets out the progress the charity wants to see, whether that is new treatments, improved care or better management of risk factors.
Gillespie said: “It has been a huge privilege and a real pleasure to lead such a tremendous charity for almost seven years. I have been continually inspired by the tireless support given by the BHF’s staff, volunteers and supporters, and thank them for their hard work, dedication and friendship. I remain as passionate and committed to the cause of beating heartbreak forever, and I will continue to actively support the life-saving work of the BHF.”
A recruitment agency, Perret Laver, has been appointed to find BHF's next chief executive.