Interim CEO veteran to lead Cats Protection for next 12 months

Cats Protection has drafted in interim management veteran Charles Darley to lead the animal welfare charity for the next 12 months.

Darley joins as temporary chief executive having held interim leadership roles across a range of sectors over the last decade.

This has included interim stints as CEO at the Church of England for the Diocese of Suffolk, commercial director at the National Centre for Social Research and a similar senior commercial role at Freedom from Torture.

He is committed to leading the charity for the next 12 months and will help develop its delivery plan as part of the first stage of a 10-year strategy, according to Cats Protection chair Linda Upson.

“It’s a pleasure to announce the appointment of Charles who has a track record of leading growth and transformation across more than a dozen charities, after a career leading business transformation as a marketing and strategy director in a number of FTSE-listed companies,” Upson added.

Darley’s other roles have included interim commercial strategy director at the Open University.

In addition, he has held executive roles at the Jubilee Sailing Trust and Age UK Norfolk.
“During the Covid lockdowns, cats have become increasingly important to the nation’s mental health,” said Darley.

“However, 4.5m cats still show some signs of stress themselves so I’m delighted to play a part in helping owners understand how to improve their cats’ wellbeing and welfare.”

Meanwhile, the charity has also appointed three new trustees, former BBC executive Amanda Farnsworth, Warwick Students’ Union chief executive Rob Parkinson and Sarah Hunt, head of audit UK and Ireland for British Airways’ owner IAG.

“We’re excited to have this new group of experts join the charity and bring their unique talents and perspectives,” Upson added.

Darley replaces James Yeates, who stepped down as CEO at the charity in September to lead the World Federation of Animals.

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