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Cancer Research UK appoints chief operating officer and chief technology officer

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by Cancer Research UK | News

5 March 2021

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Angela Morrison and Richard Newsome

Cancer Research UK has appointed Angela Morrison as chief operating officer and Richard Newsome as chief technology officer, as part of its restructure following the impact of COVID-19. 

In the newly created chief operating officer role, Morrison will sit on Cancer Research UK’s executive board, and bring technology, HR, finance and a range of other functions together into one directorate.  

I am very excited to be joining Cancer Research UK at such an important time.

Morrison, who joins on 12 April 2021, has substantial leadership experience, having served on the Executive Board of several FTSE companies, including Debenhams, Direct Line and Sainsbury’s.  She brings a wealth of experience in leading diverse teams, and is a strong advocate for EDI, sustainability and governance.  In her previous roles, she’s overseen successful customer-led business transformations, which is a key priority for the charity’s future success.

Morrison commented that she’s very excited to be joining Cancer Research UK at such an important time. “As we come out of the pandemic it will be critical to provide the very best experience for our staff, researchers, people affected by cancer and supporters – while adapting, managing our limited funds, and maintaining clear governance. Cancer has taken my friends and family from their loved ones, too early and far too often – and so I take a real sense of purpose and pride in the role I can play in our mission of beating cancer.”

A critical role in digital transformation

Richard Newsome will join Cancer Research UK on 1 April 2021 as the charity’s chief technology officer.  

I feel very privileged to be joining Cancer Research UK, whose vision, purpose and ambition resonate with me enormously. It’s clear that there is a deep understanding and recognition of the role of technology and data in driving that vision.

Reporting into Morrison, Newsome will lead the technology department and play a critical role in the charity’s digital transformation.  He’s spent most of his career building, developing and leading technology teams in retail and consumer goods, including Boots, Cadbury’s, Kraft Foods and Rolls Royce. Newsome joins the charity from his most recent role as CTO, Corporate Platforms, at Sainsbury’s. 

Newsome added that he looked forward to joining the charity and putting his skills to use to help drive forward the organisation’s digital transformation. 

A wealth of experience

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive at Cancer Research UK said: “I’m incredibly pleased to welcome Angela and Richard to Cancer Research UK.  Their collective experience will be of huge value to us as we emerge from the pandemic and look to the future as a leaner, more digitally enabled and agile organisation.  They bring a wealth of experience, and I’m confident will help us accelerate progress in our mission to beat cancer.”

Morrison’s appointment completes the restructure of Cancer Research UK’s executive board, which is now smaller in size, and follows the departure of Rita Akushie, chief financial officer, and Tiffany Hall, chief information officer.  Mark Allen, the charity’s current executive director for HR, will be leaving in the coming months.  

“In this time of uncertainty, Cancer Research UK has needed to make changes to become more agile, more focused and more efficient than ever before,” said Mitchell. “The restructure of our executive board is part of a new phase in the life of Cancer Research UK, helping us respond to the changed world and make sure we are in the best position possible to continue our work to save lives.  I’d like to thank Tiff, Rita and Mark for their contributions to Cancer Research UK throughout the pandemic and beforehand and wish them well for the future.”