CAF appoints chief executive 'with the sector in his blood'

The appointment of John Low as chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation has been hailed as a "hugely positive" move that could re-establish the organisation's reputation.

new CAF chief executive John Low
new CAF chief executive John Low

Low, who is currently chief executive of the RNID, will take up the £150,000-a-year post in August.

He succeeds Tony Rogers, who stepped in temporarily after a flurry of departures last year culminated in the resignation of former chief Stephen Ainger, who had been criticised for his business background. Rogers stays as finance director.

Malcolm Hayday, chief executive of CAF spin-off Charity Bank, described Low as "the sort of person who will re-establish CAF in the voluntary sector".

Graham Leigh, director of development at the Directory of Social Change, said: "They've found a person with the voluntary sector in his blood. This sends a hugely positive message that CAF won't be losing touch with its roots."

Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, said he was delighted Low would be continuing as chair of the chief executives body. "CAF has been a sleeping giant but is an important institution for the sector," he said.

One source, who did not want to be named, questioned Low's lack of a finance background. He also doubted Low could find a role for CAF, which promotes effective giving. "It's not a question of whether John Low can do the job, but whether anyone can," he said.

Low said he wasn't put off by CAF's recent troubles and was "after a challenge". He said the foundation could be doing "so much more" in terms of responding to charities' needs.

Stephen Ainger, his predecessor, predicted that Low would do "a fantastic job".

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