Temporary chief put in charge at Marketing Leeds

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A marketing company charged with promoting Yorkshire’s largest city has appointed an interim head – more than six months after it began its search for a permanent £100,000-a-year chief executive.

Former council director Jean Dent will work with the management team at Marketing Leeds from next Friday while efforts continue to find a suitable candidate to run the organisation full-time.

Ms Dent, who took a pension on retiring from Leeds Council after 40 years’ service last year, will be paid to work for one day a week at the body, which is responsible for marketing, investment and tourism.

Leeds Council refused to disclose the value of her pension and how much she would be paid for her Marketing Leeds commitments.

Ms Dent, who was awarded the OBE in the last New Year Honours, has been a non-executive director on the Marketing Leeds board for five years.

She will have particular responsibility for “finance and governance” and is expected to play an important role as the company takes on the functions of other publicly funded bodies in the city, such as Financial Leeds, Locate in Leeds, Visit Leeds, Leeds Visitor Centre and Conference Leeds.

Current chief executive Deborah Green had been widely considered one of the main candidates to lead the enlarged company, but she announced in July that she would step aside because she wanted to “end speculation” surrounding the new job.

Mrs Green, who held talks with the council about the role, will leave Marketing Leeds next Friday.

A spokesman for Marketing Leeds said it expected to make an announcement on the chief executive position “shortly”.

“Jean has been a non-executive director of Marketing Leeds since 2006 and will work one day a week for Marketing Leeds alongside the existing senior team.

“Jean will also provide an executive representation at key events. Jean will be reimbursed for the cost of her time undertaking this interim role.”