Alex Chisholm given sole responsibility for BEIS

Alex Chisholm has been given sole responsibility for heading up the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), after Martin Donnelly stepped down from his position as joint permanent secretary.

Chisolm led the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) before it was folded into the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which was led by Donnelly. The pair were given shared responsibility for BEIS following the merger.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve as permanent secretary for BEIS, working with the ministerial team and departmental colleagues to establish the new department and deliver on the promise of a new industrial strategy,” said Chisholm.

Business and energy secretary Greg Clarke said: “I look forward to working with Alex Chisholm as he leads the vital work of the new department in forging our industrial strategy, leading the government’s relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable clean energy and tackling climate change.”

Head of the civil service Jeremy Heywood said: “I’m delighted with the way in which the former BIS and DECC departments are already coming together to create a new power-house department to drive the government’s new industrial strategy and the country’s long-term economic performance.

“Alex’s background in leading large organisations will be vital in continuing this process of bringing together the two sides of BEIS.”

Prior to being appointed as the permanent secretary for Decc in May, Chisholm served as the chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority and held a number of senior executive position in media, technology and e-commerce companies. 

Donnelly spent six years as the permanent secretary for BIS before its merger with Decc. He will now help with the formation of the new Department for International Trade over the coming months.