Disability charity Scope has formally appointed interim leader Mark Atkinson as chief executive.
Atkinson (pictured) became acting chief executive in June following the sudden departure of Richard Hawkes.
The charity’s chair, Andrew McDonald, said Atkinson’s appointment follows an “impressive” performance – both throughout his time at Scope and over the past four months as interim chief executive.
“The Board has been greatly impressed by Mark’s contribution,” he said. “I announced earlier in the summer that we have started to develop Scope’s future strategy. Mark has led that work and is quite clearly the best person to lead us towards our vision of a society in which disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else.”
“Mark will bring ambition, determination and focus to the role. I very much look forward to working with him over the years to come.”
Atkinson joined the charity in October 2013 as director of external affairs. He previously worked for the Local Government Association, Citizens Advice and Ambitious about Autism.
In a statement yesterday, Atkinson said he was “looking forward to [his] new role and ensuring that Scope continues to influence the agendas that matter most to disabled people”.
Former chief executive Richard Hawkes left the charity in May, with just three weeks’ notice.
At the time McDonald said the board decided it was “the right time” for Hawkes to “pass on the leadership of the organization”.
Hawkes oversaw a programme of care home closures that attracted controversy and criticism by some of the charity’s beneficiaries. But an operational compliance case by the Charity Commission concluded last month that it found no “regulatory concerns”.
“While the closure of care homes is likely to be a difficult and controversial process, it is for the trustees to determine how a charity carries out its objects having followed a proper decision making process,” the regulator said.