Cabinet Office appoints non-exec quartet to drive digital transformation

Four senior executives from business sectors including human resources, technology, and professionals services have joined the boardroom set-up of government’s central department with a remit to support digitisation and efficiency

Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden has appointed four new non-executive directors with a remit to support the department’s digital transformation ambitions.

The deputy prime minister has named Janette Beinart, Marcus Boyle, Stephen Gordon-Dando and Jenni Myles as the Cabinet’s latest non-executive board members. The quartet bring with them experience from the technology, HR, and professional services industries.

Former Metropolitan Police head Bernard Hogan-Howe and Henry de Zoete – another tech executive, who was recently appointed as Downing Street’s official artificial intelligence adviser – have also been reappointed for second terms. All six appointees have all have signed three-year contracts.

“They will work with civil servants and ministers across the Cabinet Office, with a particular focus on digital transformation, strategic HR and government efficiency,” according to the department.

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Beinart has a background in information technology and was most recently interim group chief information officer at savings and investment firm M&G Prudential. She also has an NED role on the board of National Highways. Boyle, who has been chair of the Gambling Commission since 2021, is former senior leader at consultancy Deloitte.

Gordon-Dando and Myles are both HR specialists. The former is currently a senior adviser at private investment firm Bain Capital, while the latter is executive vice president and chief people officer at science, technology and engineering company KBR.

As well de Zoete and Hogan-Howe, the new appointments join the following existing Cabinet Office NEDs: Anand Aithal, lead non-executive director; Michael Ashley, chair of the department’s audit and risk committee; Michael Jary, government lead non-executive director.

NEDs are ministerial appointments who provide independent advice, support and scrutiny of departments’ work. The Cabinet Office said all members were appointed following open and fair competition.

Dowden said: “Our new board members bring a wealth of experience and expertise to add to the existing skill-set of our board. They will play a crucial role in ensuring the Cabinet Office is well placed to deliver the government’s agenda, and I look forward to working closely with them.”

MPs raised concerns in a report published last month about the role of NEDs in government and how they are recruited. The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee report called for the recruitment process to be brought in line with public appointment standards and for more clarity about what skills NEDs should have and what work they should be doing.

Tevye Markson

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