Whitehall & Industry Group picks next chief exec

Neil Bentley-Gockmann will join the charity, which promotes closer ties between government and the private sector
Neil Bentley-Gockmann. Photo: WorldSkills UK

By Tevye Markson

03 Feb 2023

The Whitehall and Industry Group, which promotes closer ties between government and the private sector, has appointed a former Confederation of British Industry chief as its new boss.

Neil Bentley-Gockmann, who is currently chief executive at WorldSkills UK, will take charge of the cross-sector body in May.

A former chief operating officer at the CBI, Bentley-Gockmann has also worked in senior roles at several LGBT-focused organisations.

He was chief exec at OUTstanding, a business network for LGBT leaders and their allies, and is a former deputy chair of LGBT equality charity Stonewall, which until recently worked with the Cabinet Office and Department of Health. Bentley-Gockmann is also a former board member of WIG.

WIG chair Phil Thomson said: “We are delighted Neil will be the next CEO of WIG. He brings tremendous experience having been the leader of WorldSkills UK and having worked in both public and private sectors.

“As a former board member of WIG, he also brings deep understanding of the charity and its purpose. We look forward to his contribution as CEO.”

Bentley-Gockmann will take over from interim chief exec Vicky Browning on 30 May. Browning took on the role temporarily in October after former chief exec Simon Ancona’s departure.

“I am delighted and excited about becoming the new CEO,” Bentley-Gockmann said.

“I firmly believe that WIG’s convening power to improve the nature of cross-sectoral understanding is needed now, more than ever. No one sector has a monopoly on wisdom, expertise or values on how to tackle the significant and complex challenges we now face as a country. The future of our society, economy and environment will depend on all sectors working better together.

“I believe WIG is in a powerful position to foster the conditions needed to create better outcomes for the greater public good, helping create shared purpose by deepening understanding through dialogue and leadership development. I look forward to working with the board, the team, members and partners to advance WIG’s important mission.” 

WIG is an independent, non-lobbying charity, which promotes closer ties between government and the private sector.

Bentley-Gockmann will join WIG after seven years as CEO of WorldSkills UK, the independent charity which works with governments, education and employers to raise standards in apprenticeships and technical education so more young people and employers succeed.

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