IIRC appoints Richard Howitt as new chief executive

5 Sep 16

The International Integrated Reporting Council has appointed Richard Howitt, a member of the European Parliament for the UK’s Labour Party, as its new chief executive.

Howitt, who has been a rapporteur on corporate reporting issues such as social responsibility for many years, will succeed the outgoing CEO Paul Druckman on 1 November.

The IIRC credits Howitt as being an architect of one of the most significant global transformations in corporate disclosure: the European Union’s financial information directive. Barry Melancon, chairman of the IIRC’s board, described him as “one of life’s change-makers”.

“He is a policymaker with a proven ability to get results,” he continued. “Richard’s appointment cements Paul Druckman’s remarkable legacy, while ensuring the IIRC is well positioned to deliver the next phase of its strategy with an even greater level of impact and success.”

After serving as a councillor on Harlow District Council from the 80s to mid-90s, Howitt was elected to the European Parliament representing Essex South in 1994. From 1999, he served as MEP for the East of England.

Since his election, he has been the lead MEP on corporate responsibility, and represented EU interests on diverse international initiatives, such as the United Nations Business and Human Rights Forum, and the OECD Forum on Responsible Business Conduct.

For five years, Howitt has acted as a voluntary IIRC ambassador, promoting integrated reporting within the policy and business communities.

In his role as chief executive, Howitt will work to implement the IIRC board’s recently approved strategic plan to embed integrated reporting principles within corporate governance practices worldwide.

Howitt said it will be a “great privilege” to join “such a dynamic and effective team” and apply more than 20 years of experience influencing major international initiatives through the platform of Europe in a truly international role.

“It is with this experience behind me that I say with great confidence that integrated reporting is the single best antidote to the spread of short-term risks that has plagued our capital markets with uncertainty and volatility, causing harm to economies, businesses, society and, yes, the environment,” he said.

“I feel this role is a culmination of two decade’s worth of advocacy for higher levels of corporate transparency, governance and reporting to deliver a new bargain between business, capital markets and society. A lost generation of progress is not a price any of us should be willing to pay.”

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