Dr Jane Collins has announced that she will step down as chief executive of Marie Curie next spring because she is confident that the charity is now in a “great place”.
Collins has been chief executive since 2012 and has overseen a restructure as well a rebrand of the charity – with it dropping “Cancer Care” from its name in 2015 to indicate that it supports people with all kinds of terminal illness and wants to concentrate on other areas before she retires.
It also changed its logo and website and launched a new support line and other new services.
Under her leadership Marie Curie has had a particular focus on digital and she told the Charity Technology Conference last year that the charity embarked on a programme to improve its use of digital in 2014 because it realised it had a “digital debt” and would not be fit for purpose if it did not adapt.
There has also been restructure of its senior leadership teams with its marketing, fundraising, communications, and policy and public affairs departments becoming one directorate in 2014.
Last spring three members of its senior executive left after a review of its corporate services, which created two new roles. Its director of people planning and performance, director of finance and chief information officer all left the charity, while its company secretary became director of strategy and performance and Jackie Freeman joined as director of corporate services.
In a message to staff, Collins said: “During my time at Marie Curie I have been impressed and humbled by the incredible work that you do. I am also very proud of our progress.”
She added that: “Thanks to the incredible work of our fundraising teams, we have also managed to get out of deficit. I am confident that we are in a great place and now is the right time for me to step down.”
Spending at the charity has outstripped income for the past four financial years as part of a planned investment in its information and support services. In the financial year ending March 2014 and March 2015 it had a deficit of £10m. This was reduced to £9m in 2016 and £5m in 2017.
Total income for the year ending March 2017 was £159m, with almost £100m coming from donations and legacies.
The 2018 accounts need to be filed with the Charity Commission by the end of January 2019 and with Companies House by the end of December 2018.
The charity’s chair, Vindi Banga, said: “I would like to thank Dr Jane Collins for her total commitment and excellent contribution during her tenure as chief executive. She will leave Marie Curie significantly stronger both operationally and financially; and having broadened its support beyond cancer patients to those with other ailments as well.”
A spokesman added that: “Dr Collins had always intended to be at Marie Curie for five years. She has stayed longer to make sure the charity is in the best possible position. She has worked full-time since she qualified and before she retires, she wants to have time to concentrate on some specific areas of interest part-time. For example, she is a trustee of The King’s Fund and she remains focused on supporting improved end of life care.”