Met Office chief executive Rob Varley resigns with immediate effect

Written by Tamsin Rutter on 5 March 2018 in News

Weather service’s deputy Nick Jobling to take over until a permanent chief executive is appointed

Credit: Louise Haywood-Schiefer 

After 30-year career in the Met Office, Rob Varley has stepped down from his role as chief executive with immediate effect.

In a joint announcement, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Met Office insist that operations and services at the UK’s national weather service will be “wholly unaffected” by the move.

Nick Jobling, the current deputy chief executive and chief finance officer, is to become interim chief executive immediately, while a permanent chief exec will be appointed in due course.


“This will ensure continued leadership of our world-class national meteorological service,” said the Met Office.

The announcement gave no indication of Varley’s reasons for leaving, but according to the BBC he is thought to have resigned following “an intervention by the most senior civil servant” at BEIS, relating to concerns about issues of "governance and management controls" at the Met Office. The permanent secretary at the business department is Alex Chisholm.

Varley, a chartered meteorologist, had already worked for the Met Office for over 30 years when he was appointed chief executive in 2014. He began his career as a weather forecaster, and then went to the About the Met Office College overseeing the training and development of forecasters.

Jobling joined the Met Office in 2004, before which he worked across a range of financial disciplines in high-tech manufacturing and telecoms sectors after qualifying as a chartered accountant.

About the author

Tamsin Rutter is senior reporter for Civil Service World and tweets as @TamsinRutter

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