Brexit voting director general of Institute of Directors (IoD) Stephen Martin makes early exit

The director general of the Institute of Directors (IoD) is to step down after less than two years in the role and just weeks ahead of Brexit.

Director general of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Stephen Martin has left the role early. Pic: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images

Stephen Martin, who joined the IoD in February 2017, said that it is “the right time” for him to move on. The business lobby group said he is stepping down to allow new leadership to oversee the next phase of the IoD’s transformation programme.

Mr Martin, who was previously CEO of Scunthorpe-based construction company Clugston, said: “After a period of consideration, I feel that this is the right time for me to move on. Given the timescales involved, it makes sense to allow my successor an opportunity to take responsibility for implementing the IoD’s vision for the future of the organisation.”

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While the search for a new director general is being carried out, Anna Daroy will act as director general for operations.

The IoD hit the headlines last year when its then chair Lady Barbara Judge resigned amid claims she bullied staff and made derogatory and racist remarks. Mr Martin is thought to have played a part in her downfall. Despite voting for Brexit, he has since urged the Government to reject protectionism and ensure that British businesses are not forced to operate under World Trade Organisation rules once the country leaves the EU.

The Northern Irishman has said that he voted to leave because of the amount of EU regulations and because he felt the country was “crying out for change” following the banking crisis.

Charlotte Valeur, chairwoman of the IoD said: “Stephen leaves with our best wishes and thanks for the work he has done in his time as director general, throughout which he has displayed great commitment to the IoD and a passion for speaking up for our members. He has been at the helm during a pivotal period for the organisation and indeed the country, but we accept his decision to allow new leadership to drive forward the changes the institute wants to make.”