Five months after job ad, Leeds Council still looking for new Marketing head.

Five months after the job was first advertised, there’s still no sign of a new Chief Executive being appointed to run Leeds Council’s revamped and expanded marketing operation.

With the withdrawal this week of a candidate seen as one of the front-runners to get the job, a new recruitment process is now underway. So the project to bring marketing, inward investment and tourism under one roof and under one head – the Council sees it as a key ambassadorial role – is going to slip further.

How come it’s taken so long?

The idea to merge the functions of a whole number of marketing-type organisations (Marketing Leeds, Financial Leeds, Locate in Leeds, Visit Leeds, Leeds Visitor Centre and Conference Leeds) into a bigger, better and more efficient Marketing Leeds operation was accepted by the Council’s Executive Board as long ago as December 2010.

An advert for the new organisation’s Chief Executive’s job (“attractive” salary package) went into the press towards the end of February, with a closing date of 25th March. Interviews were scheduled for early April.

“This is a critical post in terms of the new structure and operation of the company and, therefore, the project board have taken the view that full implementation of the new arrangements should follow this appointment,” a Council report said in March.

And then, nothing.

Until Thursday (28th July), when the current head of Leeds Marketing, Deborah Green, said she’d had talks with the Council about the job, but wouldn’t be taking it and would be leaving her post in October.

The Council says a new appointment process will begin “shortly”. With Green going in October, that doesn’t leave much time for a handover to the new “ambassador for Leeds” who’s going to be responsible for making the revamped organisation work.

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