The top levels of government are in crisis after the shock departure of Government CEO Suzanne Wylie little more than a year in the £250,000 role.
The former Belfast Chief Executive, who was appointed to the top role in Jersey's civil service in February 2022, will be taking up a new opportunity as Chief Executive of the Northern Irish Chamber of Commerce.
It comes a week after it was confirmed that two of the most senior figures in Health - Director General Caroline Landon and Chief Nurse Rose Naylor - would be leaving their posts at the end of the month.
Express understands that Mrs Wylie handed her resignation to the Chief Minister late last week, but the States Employment Board - of which the Chief Minister is Chair - were informed today.
It's also understood that Mrs Wylie's contract - which does not contain any clauses relating to additional payments - has a six-month notice period. However, this can be waived by mutual agreement. The NI Chamber of Commerce said that Mrs Wylie is expected to take up the leading role this summer.
Chief Minister Kristina Moore commented: “I would like to thank Suzanne for her professionalism and hard work during her time as Chief Executive.
“Suzanne has had a positive impact since starting with the Government of Jersey and we respect her wishes to return to Belfast.
“Suzanne is successfully working through transformations across the Government, from the turnaround team in Health and Community Services to the formation of Jersey’s Cabinet Office.
“These priorities have been dealt with alongside navigating officers through the recovery stages of the series of major incidents that have affected our Island. Suzanne will continue in these endeavors for the next few months while we look to appoint a successor. We wish her all the success in her future.”
The government confirmed the news following media requests this afternoon, and after Deputy Lyndon Farnham tweeted: "I understand that our CEO @GovJersey Suzanne Wylie has tendered her resignation. A great shame, the @ChiefMinJSY @Moore4Jersey will need to provide a very good explanation."
The government said it would be making no further comments.
Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NI Chamber) has announced that Mrs Wylie will be taking on the role of Chief Executive.
I am deeply saddened and disappointed to learn of Suzanne's resignation-I was immensely proud to appoint an excellent person with vast experience, and also our 1st female CEO-I wish her all the very best in a new role and hope she will leave with good memories of her time in Jsy https://t.co/hLDxdxNKMp— John Le Fondre (@John_Le_Fondre) March 22, 2023
Pictured: Former Chief Minister John Le Fondré tweets his reaction to the news.
A statement on the NI Chamber website announced that Mrs Wylie will be replacing Ann McGregor, who stepped down earlier this year after 15 years at the helm.
Mrs Wylie is expected to take up her new role at NI Chamber in summer of this year.
President of NI Chamber, Gillian McAuley said: “Replacing Ann was always going to be a challenge after her long and successful track record at NI Chamber. However, we are delighted that Suzanne, with all her extensive experience and expertise, will be our new Chief Executive. Businesses in Northern Ireland face a multitude of challenges at the moment but there is also immense opportunity as the region emerges as the ideal location for business expansion."
Suzanne Wylie, the former Chief Executive of Belfast City Council and more recently Chief Executive of the Government of Jersey has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of @NIChamber.— NIChamberofCommerce #heretohelp (@NIChamber) March 22, 2023
Suzanne will succeed @annmcgregor this summer. pic.twitter.com/JnZucUjeLJ
Ms McAuley added: "Under Suzanne’s leadership, NI Chamber will continue to work with businesses across all sectors to give voice to their issues and to promote sustained economic growth in Northern Ireland.
"Exciting times lie ahead for Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and I look forward to working closely with Suzanne as we continue to maximise our impact and potential.”
Assistant Chief Minister Lucy Stephenson said this afternoon that she had "thoroughly enjoyed working with Suzanne", adding that she wished the "extremely capable" outgoing CEO "all the very best" in future.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Suzanne &seen some really positive working relationships develop in that time. She is extremely capable &committed &we will continue to celebrate her as Jersey’s first female chief executive. I wish her all the very best with what comes next https://t.co/QvI0jWjROO— Lucy Stephenson (@LucyStevoJSY) March 22, 2023
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