Invest NI appoints Mel Chittock as interim chief executive

22 Dec 2021

Mel Chittock. Image: Invest NI

Chittock takes the role with immediate effect while Invest NI begins the process to find a permanent CEO.

Mel Chittock has been appointed as the interim chief executive of Invest NI with immediate effect, following Kevin Holland’s decision to step down as CEO last month.

Chittock has served as executive director for finance and operations and has been with the organisation for more than 10 years. Before this he was a corporate finance executive for Northern Ireland’s industrial development board.

Invest NI chair Rose Mary Stalker said she looks forward to working with Chittock in the coming months while the company begins the process to recruit a permanent CEO.

“Mel is an experienced and strong leader with over 20 years’ experience in economic development who will lead the organisation through the current challenging economic environment.”

Stalker added that Chittock will help shape the organisation in his new role and maximise its efficiency, while working to help Northern Ireland achieve its “future economic realities”.

Chittock said he is confident Invest NI can do even more to help grow the economy of Northern Ireland and help businesses explore new opportunities.

“It has been a challenging time, for businesses and the economy, particularly over the past two years. I hope to continue the good work that Kevin has done and look forward to working with my colleagues in [the executive leadership team], the board and the department to ensure Invest NI’s capacity and capability is fit for future purpose.”

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 medtech start-up Neurovalens.

It has also helped international companies setting up in Northern Ireland, such as US cybersecurity company Nisos and tech 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