Job share CEOs take over at Friends of the Earth

Environmental charity Friends of the Earth has appointed co-CEOs for the first time in its 50-year history.

Miriam Turner and Hugh Knowles will share the role and take over from Craig Bennettwho stepped down as CEO in February.

This is also the first time a woman has taken the top role at the charity.

Knowles and Turner joined the charity three years ago as innovation directors. Both hold ecology degrees and have spent a combined total of 40 years working on environmental issues.

Knowles’s previous roles have included head of innovation at sustainability non-profit organisation Forum for the Future. Meanwhile, Turner led Interface Inc and is also a global fellow and trustee of the League of Intrapreneurs.

Both will take up their new roles on 11 January, 2021, the charity’s 50th anniversary.

Friends of the Earth is committed to a green and fair recovery from Covid and to climate and ecological solutions based on climate justice and community empowerment,” said Friends of the Earth chair Frances Butler.

“The complexity and urgency of these challenges require innovative leadership and Miriam and Hugh stood out among a strong field of compelling candidates. They have ably shown that CEO job-sharing works, and we are delighted at last to welcome a woman to the post.

“Our collective action in response to the climate, nature and inequality emergencies will be strengthened under their bold and visionary leadership.”

In a joint statement Turner and Knowles said: “We both passionately believe communities can, and should, be at the heart of the change that is required. It is a huge privilege to take on the leadership of this very special organisation as it comes in to its 50th year.”

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