FWB Park Brown appoints CBI Scotland Director…

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See link to The Herald View 

With its previous incumbent departing after a bruising independence referendum campaign in September, the CBI was in no rush to find a replacement for Scotland director Iain McMillan. But the organisation has been wise to take its time. 

Hugh Aitken, who made his name with Sun Microsystems before working for Microsoft and Hewlett Packard in the US, fulfils its key recruitment criteria. 

He brings gravitas, profile, corporate experience and knowledge of teh Scottish scene to the table – qualities that were no doubt desired by the CBI membership. 

He is also no stranger to advocacy work. As chairman of Electronics Scotland between 2000 and 2006, he rubbed shoulders with ministers, civil servants and the media to drive the technology agenda north of the Border.

Such experience will stand him in good stead as he argues the case for Scottish business in such fevered economic and political times.

But the challanges are many. Mr Aitken said the CBI enjoys a good reputation but there is no doubt it was battered during last year’s referendum campaign. 

The members which walked away have still to rejoin. They will have to be coaxed back. 

He also arrives at a critical juncture for the Scottish economy, where his members are facing a recovery that is unbalanced and losing momentum. 

Shocks are also piling up thanks to the falling price of oil, though as noted by the CBI this does benefit consumers and firms not directly involved in the energy sector. 

Unveiling Mr Aitken yesterday, director general John Cridland said the new man in Scotland has the “wow” factor. The next few months will determine whether he adds an X to that wow.

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