Simon Gillespie to leave the British Heart Foundation

The chief executive, who has led the charity since April 2013, will leave at the end of the year

Simon Gillespie
Simon Gillespie

Simon Gillespie is to retire as chief executive of the British Heart Foundation at the end of the year.

Gillespie, who will be 60 in November and has led the charity since April 2013, has overseen the BHF as it became one of the UK’s largest fundraising charities, with an income of £328m in the year to the end of March 2018.

He previously spent seven years as chief executive of the MS Society and has also worked for the Charity Commission and the Healthcare Commission, and spent 20 years in the Royal Navy.

Gillespie was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last month and was the only charity chief executive to feature in the top 50 UK leaders as per rankings on the recruitment website Glassdoor last month.

Doug Gurr, chair of the BHF, said Gillespie’s leadership had helped the charity make a positive difference to thousands of lives every year.

"He has put people at the heart of this organisation, which relies on the support of individuals, communities and companies to thrive and develop its life-saving work," he said.

"We will be truly sorry to see Simon moving on at the end of this year, but wish him the very best for his well-deserved retirement."

Gillespie said: "It has been a huge privilege and a real pleasure to lead such a tremendous charity for almost seven years.

"I have been continually inspired by the tireless support given by the BHF’s staff, volunteers and supporters, and thank them for their hard work, dedication and friendship."

He said he would continue to actively support the charity’s work.

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