Galactic move for SECC board

THE Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) will be looking for business to rocket following its latest director appointment.

Will Whitehorn, who takes up a non-executive post at the Glasgow venue, has 25 years experience with the development of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin brand.

He joined the firm as group public and investor relations manager before working his way up through Branson's burgeoning business empire. In 2004, Whitehorn became president of Virgin Galactic, the firm planning to offer space flights to the paying public.

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Three years ago, he took on that role in an executive capacity and also became a special adviser to Branson himself.

Adding to his considerable credentials, the SECC's new non-exec is a member of the GlobalScot business mentoring network and non-executive chairman of Next Fifteen Communications and Loewy Group. Oh, and when he does find some spare time he sits on the UK government advisory board, the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

"The SECC is entering an exciting stage in its business life," says Whitehorn.

"Its investment and growth plans, including the world class Scottish National Arena, have positioned it strategically to capitalise on a significant period for both Glasgow and Scotland's event market. We've a great opportunity now to position the business as a centre of event excellence and a world class and globally recognised leisure and business brand."

SECC boss John Sharkey adds: "Will brings the perfect combination of skills and experience that match our ambitions for the SECC."

Matthew Algie, the venerable Glasgow coffee merchant, has refreshed its board with the appointment of sales and marketing director Gordon Muir.

The firm said the new board position combined the two functions for the first time, "reflecting the company's recognition of the increasing importance of bringing the voice of the customer and consumer to the heart of Matthew Algie".

Muir joined the 146-year-old firm as head of marketing in early 2009.