Invest NI chief executive Kevin Holland to step down

Invest NI CEO Kevin Holland steered Northern Ireland’s inward investment ambitions through triumphs as well as the pandemic challenge.

The chief executive of Invest Northern Ireland Kevin Holland has notified the board of the inward investment agency of his intention to step down from the role.

As the pandemic raged, under Holland’s watch businesses in Northern Ireland demonstrated considerable resilience and grew their way through the crisis.

“There are clear centres of excellence where Northern Ireland is truly world class”

At the end of a four-year plan, some 36,828 additional jobs were generated between 2016 and 2020 by Northern Ireland businesses.

During this period the businesses saw a £4.1bn increase in total sales and a £1.1bn increase in export sales, Invest Northern Ireland said in its end-of-year report for last year.

Expertise and commitment

“I joined Invest NI in 2019 after many years building international businesses around the world,” Holland said in a statement.

“Since then, I have been truly impressed by the successful businesses and people I have met here, as well as the expertise and commitment of the Invest NI team. There are clear centres of excellence where Northern Ireland is truly world class.

“I am proud of the positive impact we made through both the pandemic and economic uncertainties arising from the UK’s exit from the EU.

“Now, as Invest NI enters its next planning cycle, I have decided to pass on the leadership role and to focus on a new area.

“I would like to thank you all for your support over the past couple of years and look forward to seeing the continued development of this great organisation.”

Rose Mary Stalker, chair of Invest NI also commented on the news of Holland’s decision.

“Both personally, and on behalf of the Board, I would like to place on record our appreciation and thank Kevin for the dedication and direction he has provided to Invest NI during a particularly challenging time brought about by the impact of Brexit and the global pandemic. During this time, Kevin has led the organisation in the delivery of emergency aid schemes and set up recovery plans for the region whilst maintaining Invest NI’s wide range of business programmes.

“We wish Kevin every success in the next chapter of his career.

“The process to recruit a new CEO will be initiated as soon as possible and interim arrangements will be announced over the coming days,” Stalker said.

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.