Temporary boss to oversee two councils during busy budget period giving Waverley and Guildford Borough Councils three CEOs in three months

Waverley and Guildford Borough Councils will share an interim chief executive for two months.
Annie Righton (Image - GBC/WBC)Annie Righton (Image - GBC/WBC)
Annie Righton (Image - GBC/WBC)

The stop-gap measure is needed because councils, by law, must have a named person in charge at all times and their current joint CEO is due to quit on February 9 – with his replacement not set to start until the new financial year in April 8 2024.

As such the councils have announced that Annie Righton will come in as interim chief executive and head of paid service for Guildford Borough Council and Waverley Borough Council to cover the gap.

She was appointed as joint strategic director for community wellbeing when the team was created for Guildford and Waverley was created in 2022. Before that she had been a strategic director at Waverley since 2018.

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Mrs Righton will replace current CEO Tom Horword, who announced his decision to step down in September after “a recent health scare” less than less than two years after taking up the post.

His permanent successor, Pedro Wrobel, will become the third joint boss in as many months when he moves across from Westminster City Council in April.

The Leader of Waverley Borough Council, Councillor Paul Follows, said: “Annie is an experienced director who has the respect of colleagues in Guildford and Waverley councils.

“She will be a safe pair of hands during this period of transition.

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“It has been my great pleasure to work with Tom Horwood over the last five years.

“His incredible experience and his passion for delivering excellent public services have been instrumental in driving both councils forward. I’m sure I speak for the leadership of both councils when I say that he will be greatly missed.”