Simon Ancona CBE is appointed as Chief Executive of The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG)

Simon Ancona CBE is appointed as Chief Executive of The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG)

The independent charity The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG), established to create understanding and dialogue between the sectors, is pleased to announce the appointment of Simon Ancona CBE as its next Chief Executive. He will take over in February 2019 when Peter Unwin CB, who has led WIG since April 2015, retires. Simon is currently Chief Operations Officer of Network Rail, Anglia, with a former full career in the Royal Navy.

Simon commented: “Having spent my working life appreciating the value of collaboration, understanding, learning and effective leadership I am overjoyed at being asked to join the WIG team and continue their outstanding and important work, bringing the sectors – business, government, not-for-profit and academia – closer to learn from each other and address problems together.”

Commenting on the appointment, Phil Thomson, Chair of WIG and President Global Affairs, GSK, said: “The need for the sectors to work together on the big issues has never been greater, with solutions to many of today’s toughest challenges only possible by crossing the divide. I am delighted that we have attracted someone of Simon’s calibre and commitment to using constructive collaboration for maximum impact. Huge thanks are due to Peter, under whose leadership WIG has gone from strength to strength”.

Simon’s career in the Royal Navy included service in the Fleet Air Arm and appointments abroad in both Hong Kong and Bahrain. He commanded four warships and the UK’s Carrier Strike Group and also spent about ten years in the Ministry of Defence including time in Ministerial private office. His final appointment, the rank of Rear Admiral, was as the Assistant Chief of Defence Staff in charge of world-wide defence diplomacy and engagement.

WIG promotes learning and mutual understanding between the public, private and not-for-profit sectors for the benefit of individuals, organisations and ultimately the nation. It addresses the need for better cross-sector understanding and knowledge through a wide range of briefings and workshops, cross-sector placements and leadership development programmes. In 2019 it will celebrate its 35th anniversary.


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