Appointment of interim Chief Executive Officer

West Midlands Fire Service confirms appointment of interim Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Lee OBE

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Published on 12 March 2024

Following a rigorous appointment process concluding in a formal interview by the Appointments Committee yesterday (11 March), West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority (WMFRA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Oliver Lee OBE to the post of Chief Executive for a period of up to 12 months.

WMFRA Chair, Greg Brackenridge, said: “My fellow authority members and I are aware that this is a bittersweet occasion for us all, as we welcome a new Chief Executive Officer having so recently said goodbye to Chief Fire Officer Wayne Brown under such tragic circumstances.

“We were pleased to receive applications from a number of strong candidates, from both within the fire sector and further afield. The Appointments Committee were very impressed by Oliver’s extensive experience, strategic understanding, leadership and personal values, and people-focused approach.

“It isn’t possible to replace any individual, least of all someone like Wayne, but we are confident that Oliver will ensure the service continues to deliver outstanding services to the people of the West Midlands.”

Oliver Lee OBE (pictured) served 18 years in the Royal Marines, with his distinguished career culminating in his appointment as the Marines’ youngest full Colonel since the Second World War, serving as Commanding Officer (Chief Executive Officer), 45 Commando Group from 2009-2012.

Oliver Lee in a grey jacket and open neck shirt, pictured as he gives a presentation

His working life has been founded upon operational delivery for communities. Born and brought up in Birmingham, his background has real affinity for what we do and where we do it.

Oliver received the MBE and later OBE for his leadership in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Since leaving the armed forces in 2014, he has undertaken a number of strategic executive-level roles in the private and third sector, including most recently as CEO of Places Leisure.

Oliver will start in role as soon as all necessary background checks are completed, and will begin a handover process with our Deputy Chief Fire Officer Jo Bowcock to ensure the continued delivery of outstanding services to the people of the West Midlands.