Scottish Enterprise still searching for someone to fill £540-a-day top job after two years

The economic development body has been without a permanent chair since 2022

Scotland's main economic development body is still searching for a permanent chair almost two years after the last one stepped down.

Willie Mackie, a former banker, has been the interim chair of Scottish Enterprise since August 2022, and has now had his appointment extended again until the end of the year. The Scottish Government said he will receive £541 per day, with a time commitment of 30 days a year.

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The permanent role comes with a pay package of £49,224 for 91 days per year, and was re-advertised in October last year with no apparent success.

Mairi McAllan. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty ImagesMairi McAllan. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Mairi McAllan. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Lord Smith of Kelvin, the previous incumbent, was appointed in 2019 and stood down in July 2022. Previous chairs have included oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood and Sir Ian Robinson, who was the chief executive of ScottishPower.

The Government said the updated job description would reflect the “specialist skills required to oversee implementation of the agency’s new strategic approach launched by the First Minister in January”.

SNP wellbeing economy secretary Màiri McAllan said: “Scottish Enterprise plays a key role in driving our economic objectives and my priority is getting the right person for the job. I am pleased that Willie Mackie has agreed to extend his role as interim chair as we continue the process to appoint a permanent chair.

“It is essential that the successful candidate possesses the skills and experience to deliver on the aims set out in the agency’s new strategic approach. These clear priorities, which reflect the changing wider financial and public sector landscape, will enable Scottish Enterprise to build on its recent achievements.

“These include creating or safeguarding 75,000 jobs over the past five years, supporting projects expected to deliver £2.5 billion of capital investment and helping maintain Scotland’s position as the most popular UK location outside London for inward investment.”

A document setting out the new strategic approach, published in January, describes how Scottish Enterprise “will focus on transformative opportunities that will create high-value jobs, boost productivity and create wealth for Scotland’s businesses and people”. It says the next five to ten years “will be a defining time for our economy”.



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