Bielby to take lead role at FWD

The FWD has announced that its director general John Murphy will retire at the end of this month, and will be succeeded by his deputy James Bielby, with the new title of chief executive.

Addressing the Annual Conference, it was Murphy who revealed that the FWD Council at its AGM earlier that day, had agreed to change the title to chief executive, and he said that would make him the last ever director general.

He added: “I would like to thank Alan [Toft, his predessor as director general] and all the staff, council members, and the wider trade for your support during the last 18 years, and I am sure you will give the same level of support to my successor James.”

FWD president Francis Ball said: “John, it has been a genuine pleasure working with you and I wish you every success and a lot of happiness in your retirement.”

As Murphy does not leave his post until the end of May, Ball said the FWD Council would be taking Murphy to dinner in London later in the month where a presentation would take place.

Bielby joined the FWD in March as deputy director general. The FWD plans to recruit a replacement for his post when he takes up his new role.

One presentation that did take place, was to mark the retirement of Rodney Hunt, who was president of the FWD between 2002 and 2006.

At the end of March Hunt retired from his role as managing director of the Today’s Group, after 27 years with the group. Ball said that Hunt had been a good friend and advisor.

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