Mary Harpley is the new chief executive of the London Borough of Hounslow.
Mary, who is currently chief executive of Cherwell District Council, replaces interim chief executive Michael Frater. Cllr Jagdish Sharma, leader of the council, said: “We are confident that in Mary we have found the right person to lead the council during the most challenging time in its history.”
“Throughout the recruitment process she continually demonstrated the knowledge, leadership skills and vision we believe are paramount to transforming Hounslow into one of the best councils in the country. We are all looking forward to welcoming her to Hounslow, and working with her to deliver the changes we need to best serve our residents.”
Mary said: “I am delighted to be joining Hounslow as chief executive in the new year. Like all other local authorities, Hounslow is facing a challenging time in terms of its funding from central government and all the change which is going on in many of the organisations with which the council works very closely.”
Hounslow Council says Mary has a strong track record in getting the best out of the organisations she works for. When she joined Cherwell, the Audit Commission was threatening to downgrade their CPA rating from “good”. Under her leadership, the rating has risen to excellent within three years, and the CPA judged it the seventh best performing district council in the country.
Prior to joining Cherwell, Mary was a director of Advantage West Midlands (a Regional Development Agency) and before that, a senior consultant with McKinsey working with chief executives and company boards across the food and drink, media, retail, financial services and energy sectors.
Mary will start work on Monday 17 January, and Michael will remain to support her during a handover period.