Sir Harpal Kumar, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, has announced that, after more than 10 years leading the charity, he plans to conclude his role in the spring of 2018.
Aside from overseeing significant growth in income and research investment, Sir Harpal successfully led the Independent NHS Cancer Taskforce for England and Cancer Research UK’s major contribution to the development of the Francis Crick Institute. As well as the progress that has been made in UK cancer survival rates over the last 10 years, under his leadership Cancer Research UK has made significant strides forward in the fields of cancer prevention and early diagnosis.
Sir Harpal, who has worked for the charity for 15 years in total, was awarded a knighthood in the 2016 New Year’s Honours in recognition for all that he has done in the fight against cancer.
Sir Harpal said: “My passion and excitement for Cancer Research UK’s work is as high as it has ever been. But I have always believed that organisations benefit from refreshed leadership every so often and Cancer Research UK is no exception. Our progress is accelerating, and patients and the public are realising the benefit of our work in ever greater numbers.
“I am deeply grateful to every volunteer, scientist, member of staff and supporter for the outstanding contributions they have made since I’ve been Chief Executive. I look forward to using my remaining time with the organisation to continue to advance our critically important mission.”
Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Chairman of Cancer Research UK, said: “I would like to thank Harpal for his tremendous contribution to the charity over the last 15 years. Cancer Research UK is a truly remarkable organisation and even more so because of Harpal’s inspirational leadership. I am delighted that Harpal has agreed to stay on until the spring and we have commenced a search for his replacement. We anticipate being able to make an appointment to coincide with Harpal’s departure and plan for a smooth transfer.”