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Revenue chief Dame Lesley steps down

14 November 2011
Issue: 4330 / Categories: News , Strathie , Admin
Ill health forces end to 40-year career

Lesley Strathie has stepped down as chief executive of HMRC for reasons of ill health.

Dame Lesley was diagnosed with cancer in July and took a sabbatical with the intention of returning to work in the autumn – but she has been forced to leave the Revenue because of a worsening condition.

She began her civil service career in 1971 as an administration assistant in the Department of Health and Social Security, before moving three years later to the Department of Employment. Having worked her way to the top of Jobcentre Plus, she took over at HMRC in November 2008.

The head of the civil service, Gus O’Donnell, paid tribute to Dame Leslie, who was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 2010 birthday honours. He said, ‘Over the past 40 years, Lesley has devoted her life to public service. She has been a wonderful role model for all civil servants… She has never shied away from the tough jobs.

‘I will miss Lesley enormously, and am hugely grateful to her for her dedicated support, wise advice and personal friendship,’ added Sir Gus.

Her successor is expected to be announced soon. In the meantime, the Revenue will be led by non-executive chairman Mike Clasper, who said the department was ‘delivering improved services and compliance revenues thanks to Lesley’s clear leadership and focus on the customer [sic] and results.’

In related news, royal assent has been given to the appointments of Stephen Banyard and Simon Bowles as commissioners for HMRC.

Mr Banyard is a trained tax inspector and was director operations for the former Inland Revenue, responsible for the national network of tax offices. He has worked for the taxman for 35 years, becoming director of corporation tax and VAT in 2005, and has been in his current position of acting director general for personal tax since November last year.

Mr Bowles joined the Revenue in March 2009 as chief finance officer. He previously held the same position at fabric producer Fiberweb; he has filled senior positions in finance in the UK, USA and Australia. Mr Bowles is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Association of Corporate Treasurers.

Issue: 4330 / Categories: News , Strathie , Admin
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