New head of Scottish Enterprise announced

Lena Wilson has been appointed Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, it was announced today. 

Ms Wilson, who is currently Chief Operating Officer of Scottish Enterprise and Chief Executive of Scottish Development International, will take up the post on 4th November.

Scottish Enterprise Chairman, Crawford Gillies, said: “This is an excellent appointment – both for the organisation and for the Scottish economy.

“When we embarked on our search for the new Chief Executive, we wanted to cast the net as wide as possible to ensure we found the right person for the job.  Lena shone through in the interview process and has been appointed against an exceptionally strong field of internal and external candidates.”

He added: “Lena’s experience of the organisation and her proven track record in delivering fantastic results will ensure Scottish Enterprise continues to make a real difference to the companies we work with and help grow Scotland’s economy as we prepare to move out of the current recession.

“As Chief Operating Officer, Lena played a key role in helping to transform the organisation in recent years and has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and a motivation to get the job done.  I am looking forward to continuing to work with her as we move forward into the next stage of our development.”

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “Lena has vast experience of what it takes to help support and grow Scottish businesses and of selling Scotland around the world. She has an excellent track record in delivering results. I know she will make an outstanding Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise as the organisation continues to play a key role in carrying through our economic strategy and ensuring we emerge from recession stronger than ever.”

In her new role, Ms Wilson will be responsible for the organisation’s 1,100 staff and £250 million budget, which is focused on supporting Scotland’s most ambitious companies and helping to create a positive business environment for those companies to thrive.

Talking about her appointment, Lena Wilson said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be appointed Chief Executive and be able to continue to work in an area which I am so hugely passionate about.

“Scotland has such an abundance of strengths in areas as diverse as financial services, life sciences, food and drink and energy.  One of my priorities will be to identify new ways to unlock that potential so we can deliver more for Scotland’s economy and contribute to the delivery of the Scottish Government’s economic strategy.

“I also know that trading conditions are likely to be tough for many months to come and Scottish Enterprise has a vital role to play in supporting companies to respond to the challenges they are facing.  I am looking forward to continuing to work with colleagues across the organisation, and with our partners to ensure companies can access the right type of support to strengthen and grow their business.”

Notes to editors

  • Ms Wilson has 20 years of economic development experience gained through numerous roles within the public sector, including five years working in the Asia and North America teams with Locate in Scotland.  She also completed a two year secondment with the World Bank, working in more than 20 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia advising governments on private sector development and foreign direct investment strategies
  • Ms Wilson was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2005, taking on responsibility for all regional and national operational activity.  She was appointed CEO of SDI in May 2008, when she took over responsibility for all international activity as well. Since then, SDI has continued to deliver exceptional results.  In 2008/09, SDI attracted almost 2,000 high value jobs through inward investment in what was very difficult international environment.   
  • Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s main enterprise, innovation and investment agency and is focused on supporting business growth and developing a competitive business environment.  Working in partnership with industry, academia and the public sector, SE aims to play its part in delivering the Scottish Government’s new economic strategy to increase productivity in Scotland by helping businesses grow, encouraging greater innovation and creating the right conditions for companies to access property, markets and finance. Further information can be found at

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