HVM Catapult CEO confirms retirement plans

Dick Elsey, High Value Manufacturing Catapult

Having postponed his retirement to lead the successful Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium, Dick Elsy CBE, Chief Executive Officer of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVM Catapult) has confirmed that he will now retire from the business in 2021.

As the HVM Catapult’s first CEO, Dick steered the organisation to become the largest advanced manufacturing research institution in Europe. Backed by broad industrial talent from across the HVM Catapult’s seven centres of innovation, he has presided over an extraordinary success story which has delivered more than £2 billion of new manufacturing R&D activity in the UK and continues to be a magnet for high value investment into the UK by global companies creating jobs and growth.

Most recently, his leadership of the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium also helped to deliver the ventilators the NHS needed to treat COVID patients.

Dick said: “When I announced my retirement in January this year I said that it was time to close a door on my executive career after 40 years and open new ones in an advisory capacity. It was right to delay my departure to play my part in responding to the national need, but the time has come to step away.

My experiences as CEO of the HVM Catapult and, in recent months, as Chair of the Ventilator Challenge Consortium, have given me the opportunity both to help lift manufacturing in the UK to new heights and to close my executive career with an extraordinary project protecting the health of the nation. To have served in these roles has been a rare and rewarding privilege.”

Responding to Mr Elsy’s announcement, Allan Cook CBE, Chair of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult said: “Dick’s achievements as the first CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult are highly respected across the manufacturing community. His extensive experience in engineering and manufacturing combined with his untiring passion and enthusiasm for encouraging and supporting innovation has taken the organisation from an embryonic concept to a highly efficient and effective operation that today supports thousands of manufacturing businesses. He has effectively brought together the talents within industry, academia and government to create a true national treasure.

|Dick generously decided to defer his departure from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult earlier this year to lead the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium. His leadership meant that from a standing start the Consortium was able to reach production volumes well beyond what any had thought possible.  He worked tirelessly to support the UK Government and NHS in the fight against COVID and has sealed a better understanding in the public and political consciousness of why engineering matters to the UK.

“It has been an immense pleasure and privilege to work alongside Dick for the past two years and I wish him every success in his future endeavours.”

Mr Elsy expects to leave the HVM Catapult in Spring 2021 to allow time to identify his successor.  The recruitment process is being supported by the recruitment firm Penna.