Moray Council appoints John Mundell as interim chief executive

Moray Council appoints John Mundell as interim chief executive

John Mundell

Moray Council has appointed John Mundell as its interim chief executive, who will take up his duties in early May.

John Mundell will take on the post alongside outgoing chief executive, Roddy Burns, for a three-week handover period before taking up the reins for up to a period of between 6 and 18 months.

A panel made up of the council leader and group leaders advised by an external technical adviser and head of HR, ICT and OD interviewed for the position this week.

The recruitment process to appoint a permanent chief executive will begin later this year.

John Mundell worked as the interim chief executive for Orkney Islands Council for over three and half years, from 2019 to 2023 throughout the pandemic. Prior to that, he was providing assistance to several councils across the UK since retiring from Inverclyde Council as chief executive in September 2016, after over ten successful years in the role.

When he joined Inverclyde Council in 2006 as chief executive, it was widely reported as the ‘worst council in Scotland’. During John’s tenure, Inverclyde Council’s culture, operations and performance were totally transformed with many major developments and successes delivered via a strong ‘partnership at work’ philosophy with trade unions partners, stakeholders and the community.

Mr Mundell originally started his career as a trainee civil engineer in the City Engineers Department of Edinburgh Corporation in 1974 and from 1979 advanced through various Civil Engineering roles including Divisional Roads Surveyor up to Commercial Manager for roads within Lothian Regional Council during the Compulsory Competitive Tendering era.

In 1993, he joined Central Regional Council as Head of Central Contracts with a wider remit, and from 1995 for over 10 years, he was a Strategic Director for East Dunbartonshire Council’s frontline and technical services until his departure to join Inverclyde in 2006. During this period, he developed a reputation for being entrepreneurial and successfully developing more efficient and effective commercial approaches for local government services.

He was awarded the OBE for his services to Local Government in 2016.

John Mundell said of his appointment: “I’m very much looking forward to getting to know the staff at Moray Council and taking up the post of their interim Chief Executive from May onwards. Moray is an area of great beauty and potential and I’m keen to get stuck in to working with colleagues to help achieve the clear ambitions for the region.

“In the meantime, I’ll be arranging to meet with Members, my new colleagues, partners and representatives of Moray’s communities to listen first-hand, to what is going well and where further improvements are need.

“As with all large organisations, there is room for improvement but the foundations of a great local authority are evident and I look forward to building on that over the coming months.”

Council leader, Councillor Kathleen Robertson, added: “I, and colleagues across the chamber, very much look forward to welcoming John to Moray Council and working with him to press on with the transformation aspirations we have for the area.”

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