Former Pepsi director takes charge at health charity

Brain Tumour Research has appointed a former John Lewis and Pepsi director as its next chief executive.

Dan Knowles will join the Milton-Keynes based charity on 18 September and replaces its founder Sue Farrington Smith, who is retiring and is joining the charity’s board as a trustee.

Knowles joins from Oxfordshire Mind, where he has been CEO for the last seven years. He has also spent more than seven years as a director at John Lewis and five years at PepsiCo as the drinks firm’s supply chain management director.

Also, he spent eight years until 2022 as a trustee of Creative Dementia Arts Network to use creative arts to improve the health and wellbeing of those with dementia.

He has a personal reason for supporting the work of the Brain Tumour Research, having lost three family friends to brain tumours over the last two years.

“I am excited to bring everything I have learnt both in the corporate and third sector to this wonderful organisation,” said Knowles.

“Brain Tumour Research has achieved so much, and we have much more to do. There has never been a better or more important time to seek greater awareness, funding, and research.

"I look forward to playing my part in grasping the opportunity to make a step change in the coming years in terms of advancements in our understanding of brain tumours, bringing forward new treatments and, ultimately, finding a cure.”

The charity’s chair Wendy Fulcher added: “We are very pleased to be welcoming someone of Dan’s calibre and charisma, experience and ability to lead Brain Tumour Research into an exciting new chapter and are excited by all that can be done to take us ever closer to our vision of a cure for all types of brain tumour.

“We remain grateful to Sue Farrington Smith for all that she has achieved since co-founding the charity and give our thanks to Deputy Chief Executive Ashley Bailey who has so ably steered the charity through this period of change.”

Brain Tumour Research funds research at four dedicated centres and also holds the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours.

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