London, England: Dr Gordon McKillop, the Sports Turf Research Institute’s [STRI] Chief Executive, has announced his intention to retire at Easter in 2016.
McKillop has held the position since July 2000 having joined the Institute from, what was then the Central Science Laboratory (CSL), a DEFRA Agency.
During the 1990s, whilst still at CSL, McKillop worked closely with STRI on a number of projects. When the vacancy for a new Chief Executive was announced, he decided to apply.
He is very keen on sport and to combine science with sport in a business context appeared to be the dream job, which he says it has turned out to be.
McKillop said he considers himself to have been ‘incredibly lucky’ to have been able to manage a business such as STRI, to have been behind the scenes of many sporting events at local, national and international levels and to have worked as part of a dedicated, knowledgeable and enthusiastic team.
“When I started, I told the interview panel that I had three aims for the business: to develop more scientifically and technically based services, to make the business more commercially orientated and to raise the STRI brand to an international level. I am pleased to look back and know I have taken the business some way down each of these three roads.”
McKillop will be succeeded by Mark Godfrey, who has been with STRI for 10 years and is currently Financial Director and Managing Director of STRI in Australia. He will return from Australia in December 2015.
This internal succession, along with similar succession plans for Australia, will ensure there will be smooth handovers throughout the next nine months.
A statement from the Institute said ‘Godfrey and the other STRI directors will continue developing and delivering the current business strategy to ensure STRI’s on-going success into the future’.