Mark Atkinson has announced that he will stand down as chief executive of Scope after less than three years to take the top job at Action on Hearing Loss.
Atkinson will replace Paul Breckell later this year. Breckell stood down as chief executive earlier this year for personal reasons and the charity has since been run on an interim basis in by Mike O’Connor.
Atkinson was director of external affairs at Scope before becoming chief executive in October 2015, after his predecessor, Richard Hawkes, left at short notice.
Atkinson oversaw a strategy that involved the sale of care homes and the downsizing of the whole organisation, with the loss of hundreds of jobs, with the intention of focusing Scope less on service delivery and more on representation of beneficiaries.
Atkinson said: “I’ve had a fantastic time at Scope and feel very proud of where the organisation finds itself as I move to a new role with Action on Hearing Loss. Scope is a confident and outward-looking organisation with a very clear determination to achieve a society where all disabled people enjoy equality and fairness. Scope’s strategy shows a clear sense of purpose, relevant to the lives of millions of disabled people.
“We have taken bold decisions and Scope is stronger and more influential as a result. I feel privileged to have lead the organisation through a period of such significant change, and now is the right time to take up a new challenge with Action on Hearing Loss.”
Andrew McDonald, chair of Scope, said: “Scope has a growing reputation for innovation in its service delivery, its strategy and its relationship with disabled people. Mark has led the executive through its transformation of recent years. He leaves behind a strong legacy: an organisation in great shape, a talented leadership team, valued staff and volunteers and committed partners and supporters.
“He also leaves behind a charity committed to making a success of its radical new strategy. I am confident we will do that. And I know that Mark leaves us with good wishes from across Scope.”
John Morgan, chair of Action on Hearing Loss, said: “We’re delighted that Mark will be coming on board as chief executive. His extensive knowledge and experience in the charity sector, and with disability specifically, will be hugely welcome as we drive forward with our ambitious strategy.”