Invest NI CEO Kevin Holland is stepping down

1 Dec 2021

Kevin Holland. Image: Invest NI

Holland has served as the economic development agency’s CEO since October 2019.

Kevin Holland has announced his intention to step down from his role as CEO of Invest NI.

The economic development agency for Northern Ireland said the process to recruit a new CEO would be initiated as soon as possible and interim arrangements will be announced in the coming days.

Holland has been the CEO of Invest NI for two years, after replacing Alastair Hamilton in October 2019. He previously worked as a senior diplomat and an international strategic adviser, and held various management roles at life sciences company Baxter over the course of 15 years.

“I have been truly impressed by the successful businesses and people I have met here, as well as the expertise and commitment of the Invest NI team. There are clear centres of excellence where Northern Ireland is truly world class,” Holland said.

“I am proud of the positive impact we made through both the pandemic and economic uncertainties arising from the UK’s exit from the EU. Now, as Invest NI enters its next planning cycle, I have decided to pass on the leadership role and to focus on a new area.

“I would like to thank you all for your support over the past couple of years and look forward to seeing the continued development of this great organisation.”

Under Holland’s leadership, Invest NI developed a £4m Economic Recovery Innovation Grant for SMEs and new businesses, which launched in November.

Invest NI’s chair, Rose Mary Stalker, said: “I would like to place on record our appreciation and thank Kevin for the dedication and direction he has provided to Invest NI during a particularly challenging time brought about by the impact of Brexit and the global pandemic.

“During this time, Kevin has led the organisation in the delivery of emergency aid schemes and set up recovery plans for the region whilst maintaining Invest NI’s wide range of business programmes.”

Invest NI is part of Northern Ireland’s Department of the Economy, and its goal is to help new and existing local businesses compete internationally and to attract more investment into Northern Ireland.

It has supported several local businesses with expansion plans recently, including Belfast-based data management start-up Datactics and The Electric Storage Company. It has also helped international companies setting up in Northern Ireland, such as US cybersecurity company Nisos and US technology company Safety NetAccess, and supported online fashion retailer ASOS with its plans for a new tech hub in Belfast.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic