Changes at Guide Dogs for the Blind

10 Nov 2016

The Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind announces that:

Richard Leaman CB, OBE, CEO, will leave at the end of November. Richard joined Guide Dogs in 2010 and has led the charity through a period of remarkable expansion and growth, increasing income from £50m to over £100m in 2015, developing two completely new mobility services, and tripling the number of service users.  He has also led 5 high profile campaigns which have changed national legislation for the benefit of blind and partially sighted people.

The Chairman, Jamie Hambro, says “During Richard’s time as Chief Executive, Guide Dogs has dramatically expanded the mobility services it offers to people of all ages who are blind and partially sighted. There are now nearly 5000 guide dog owners, 1500 children and young people, 1,800 My Guide Clients, and nearly 2,000 more adults being enabled by the services we deliver. Richard has led and inspired this work, and overseen year on year double digit fundraising growth, as well as a leap in our Charity Brand Index positioning. He has also personally influenced government to make the UK a better place for blind people to live in. The Board is immensely grateful for his outstanding work, and wishes him every success in the future.”

Richard Leaman says “In every CEO’s tenure there comes a time when it is better for the organisation, and the individual, for the two parties to move on. That time has arrived. After six remarkable years leading Guide Dogs, I am exceptionally proud of our achievements and the difference we have been able to make to the lives of so many people who are blind and partially sighted. Guide Dogs has gone from strength to strength in my time, and is now extremely well positioned to grow and evolve, under new leadership. There are huge challenges, and also great opportunities ahead, both for Guide Dogs and for me, but I know we will both be equal to the task. I will be very sad to leave, and will always have a place in my heart for this wonderful charity and the amazing people who work, and volunteer, for it”.

The board of Trustees has announced that Steve Vaid, the Deputy Chief Executive, will take on the role of Interim CEO until the CEO vacancy is filled. Steve has over six years’ experience in the sector including three years as Director of Mobility Services at Guide Dogs.