By Claire West

Business Secretary Vince Cable has today announced the appointment of Andrew Witty as the Lead Non-Executive Board Member at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, will take up his position on the new Departmental Board from 1 January 2011. The Board will form the collective strategic and operational leadership of the Department and will focus on performance and delivery.

Non-Executive Board Members are experts from outside Government who assist in the delivery of policy using relevant experience from business. The new Board will be a forum where political and official leadership is brought together to drive up performance.

Vince Cable said:

“I’ve always said that I want Britain to be open for business and for BIS to be the Department for growth. Andrew’s wealth of experience in business will be invaluable to making sure that that’s exactly what happens.

“Andrew’s perspective on what works for businesses and the implications that policies will have on them will be a useful litmus test for our policy makers to see what will happen on the ground before we take a specific course of action.“

Andrew Witty said:

“I am delighted to have been asked to take on this role. I look forward to working with BIS and the Secretary of State to build on the UK economy’s many strengths to deliver long term sustainable economic growth.”