Cancer Research UK appoints new COO and CTO

The creation of new COO and CTO roles at Cancer Research UK bring the completion of the charity’s restructure to drive future success, following the impact of Covid-19.

As part of the restructure and downsizing of the executive board, Rita Akushie, CFO, and Tiffany Hall, CIO, will depart the company, while Mark Allen, the charity’s current executive director for HR, will be leaving in the coming months.

“I’m incredibly pleased to welcome Angela and Richard to Cancer Research UK,” said Michelle Mitchell OBE, chief executive at Cancer Research UK.

“Their collective experience will be of huge value to us as we emerge from the pandemic and look to the future as a leaner, more digitally enabled and agile organisation. They bring a wealth of experience, and I’m confident will help us accelerate progress in our mission to beat cancer.”

Speaking on the restructure of the board, Mitchell added: “In this time of uncertainty, Cancer Research UK has needed to make changes to become more agile, more focused and more efficient than ever before.

“The restructure of our executive board is part of a new phase in the life of Cancer Research UK, helping us respond to the changed world and make sure we are in the best position possible to continue our work to save lives.

“I’d like to thank Tiff, Rita and Mark for their contributions to Cancer Research UK throughout the pandemic and beforehand and wish them well for the future.”

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Angela Morrison

New COO Morrison, who joins on the 12th April 2021, has substantial leadership experience, having served on the executive board of several FTSE companies, including Debenhams, Direct Line and Sainsbury’s.

In her previous roles, Morrison has overseen successful customer-led business transformations, which is a key priority for the charity’s future progress.

Morrison also brings a wealth of experience in leading diverse teams, and is a strong advocate for EDI, sustainability and governance.

“I am very excited to be joining Cancer Research UK at such an important time,” said incoming Cancer Research UK COO, Morrison.

“As we come out of the pandemic it will be critical to provide the very best experience for our staff, researchers, people affected by cancer and supporters – while adapting, managing our limited funds, and maintaining clear governance.

“Cancer has taken my friends and family from their loved ones, too early and far too often – and so I take a real sense of purpose and pride in the role I can play in our mission of beating cancer.”

The appointment of Morrison will see her sit on Cancer Research UK’s board, bringing technology, HR, finance and other functions together into one directorate.

Richard Newsome

Reporting to Morrison will be new CTO Newsome, who will join Cancer Research UK on the 1st April 2021, leading the technology department as well as playing a critical role in the charity’s digital transformation.

Newsome, who will arrive from Sainsbury’s, where he served as CTO for corporate platforms, has spent most of his career building, developing and leading technology teams in retail and consumer goods, including Boots, Cadbury’s, Kraft Foods and Rolls Royce.

“I feel very privileged to be joining Cancer Research UK, whose vision, purpose and ambition resonate with me enormously,” said incoming CTO, Newsome.

“It’s clear that there is a deep understanding and recognition of the role of technology and data in driving that vision.

“I look forward to joining the charity, where I can put my skills to use and help drive forwards the organisation’s digital transformation.”

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.

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