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Gov in crisis as CEO Suzanne Wylie resigns

Gov in crisis as CEO Suzanne Wylie resigns

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Gov in crisis as CEO Suzanne Wylie resigns

Wednesday 22 March 2023

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.

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."

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.

Follow Express for updates...


UNPLUGGED: Wylie, in her own words...

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Posted by Dave Mathews on
Nobody will want the job.
Posted by IanSmith97 on
Are we really surprised? She has probably seen that we are the real Trumpton and thought “stuff this for a game of soldiers, I’m off”. She may have read the files on the absolute disastrous and joke new hospital affair/farce where we have spent £100 million and not a sod of earth turned or a brick laid.
Posted by Scott Mills on
everyone leaving the sinking ship I see. Still lovely beaches out there
Posted by Richard Lock on
Another UK recruitment consultancy will be rubbing its hands together in glee.
Posted by John Henwood on
A great shame to learn of Ms Wylie's departure. We get the usual meaningless words so often repeated on the departure of a senior figure, but this time it won't wash. This time it's different. Ms Wylie's background and qualifications made her the ideal candidate for the job and those who got to know her have been universal in her praise and support. So why is she going? There has been rumour and speculation for some time that she has been frustrated by our system of government and a lack of support in some quarters for what she has tried to achieve. There is deep resistance to change and the forces that brought down her predecessor are still at work. Only this time Ms Wylie has apparently decided enough is enough and is going back to a jurisdiction where she will be valued and where she can get things done. I wish her well. Meanwhile, this does not reflect well on the government. Who is big enough and strong enough to sort out the issues that have brought about Ms Wylie's departure? And who of the calibre so essential to the role is going to want to take it on?
Posted by Michael Blampied on
Am I alone in thinking that tweets like that of Deputy Farnham typify so much that is wrong with local government. Nothing more than petty points scoring. Grow up for goodness sake.
Posted by Kirsty McD on
Wish her all the best in the new role!
Posted by Aston Francis on
Sadly, her unacceptable comment regarding the dramatic letter from the Chair of Les Amies and her secrecy regarding the investigation of the anonymous letter allegations have both proven her fit to the old Jersey way regime. The Chief Minister must make decisive personal calls or risk the toxic atmosphere at Health and the broader to continue.
Posted by Esporta Johnson on
Why don’t we stop this hypocritical ritual of thanking the individuals paid top bucks when they resign among a barrage of negative publicity surrounding their performance and/ or integrity. The broom job at Health is far from over. More ‘shocking resignations’ should come and soon to demonstrate where the Health Minister and the Chief Minister stand regarding to the bullying culture over there.
Posted by john garner on
To lose one Government CEO is unfortunate to lose two is careless
Posted by Martin on
I am about to do an FOI regarding the three exiting ladies & fully expect it to be denied - further compounding the circs BUT proving cover up?
Posted by Jon Jon on
What a fiasco ,well she didn't last long, roll on the next!
Going be interesting what Moore says about this ,probably blame it on her predecessor !
Posted by Jim Les Q on
A birdie tells me that the three musketeers in the Council of Ministers are behind this, and for the other two female departures last week - particularly the puppet master who sits quietly on the Chief Minister’s shoulders pulling the strings as he stares over the top of his glasses. If you’re not from round ‘ere or if you have a previous link to Charlie P or the previous Gov, then you’re on my list!
Unpicking everything that the previous government achieved, in some kind of petty point-scoring exercise - backed up by allegations of bullying from politicians, has led this poor woman to walk.
Jersey has had that many Chief Executives in the past 6 years that it’s making Chelsea Football Club look like a safe place for managers to work.
What an embarrassing shambles we have become, and what prospect will we seriously have of ever attracting an able and experienced workforce to our island when the risk of being controlled, undermined or isolated from our politicians hangs on the horizon like a dark cloud?
You well and truly blew it this time folks.
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