Military Technology Research Unit donates £ 150,000 to search for new CEO

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Credit: Innov8Social / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Defense Science and Technology Laboratory launched its search for a new CEO, three months after Gary Aitkenhead left the Defense Department’s executive agency to return to the private sector.

Dstl, which previously led research into the use of technologies such as video games and artificial intelligence, is offering £ 146,000 per year as well as a performance bonus worth up to £ 17,500 to the successor to Aitkenhead. The agency’s job posting indicated that a higher value package of rewards could be agreed upon for an “outstanding candidate,” subject to approval from Her Majesty’s Treasury and ministerial approval.

Former managing director Aitkenhead is now senior vice president for Europe and the Middle East at global data center operator Equinix. He had a base salary of £ 140,000 to £ 145,000 and an unconsolidated performance bonus of between £ 30,000 and £ 35,000 according to Dstl’s annual report and 2019-2020 accounts, the most recent currently available.

Dstl is based in Porton Down in Wiltshire. It has more than 4,500 employees, mostly civil servants, scientists and engineers, and an annual turnover of around £ 700million. Last month, it announced plans to hire an additional 300 people, including physicists, scientists, engineers, technologists and executives in the coming weeks.

He said the organization’s chief executive was a “very visible role” that “would suit an exceptional senior executive who is both experienced and credible at the board level.”


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Dstl said the successful candidate does not necessarily need defense and security experience, but should have a background in managing a large, complex organization or business unit. of similar size, scale and ambition.

Defense Department COO Mike Baker said science and technology has never been more important to the defense industry and the nation. In the dossier of candidates for the post of director general, he highlighted the government’s vision for the UK to become a “science and technology superpower” in the recent Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Security. foreign politic.

“Dstl provided essential support and expertise during some of the most high-profile events the UK has seen in recent years, including the response to the Salisbury nerve agent attack and the response to the pandemic of Covid-19, “he said.

“As Managing Director you will play an invaluable role in contributing to the defense and security of the UK. “

In addition to possessing proven leadership skills and the ability to “define an inspiring vision and strategy for the future,” Dstl said its next CEO should demonstrate experience in building high quality organizational capacity and promotion of a culture of diversity, innovation and collaboration.

He said the successful candidate would also need “highly developed interpersonal and influencing skills” to use with a range of internal and external stakeholders, including those at the top of government, industry and academia.

Other desirable qualities include a “track record” of exploiting advances in emerging technological fields such as quantum technology, cyber intelligence, and artificial intelligence.

Applications for the post of Managing Director are open until August 30 at 11:55 p.m. The recruitment process is managed by Odgers Berndtson consultants.


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