News story

New Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Defence

Stephen Lovegrove to be appointed MOD Permanent Secretary.

The Prime Minister has appointed Stephen Lovegrove as the new Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence. He will succeed Jon Thompson, who is taking up the post of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Chief Executive and First Permanent Secretary.

Mr Lovegrove is currently the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), a post he has held since February 2013.

The starting date for Stephen Lovegrove’s new appointment will be confirmed shortly.

Commenting on his new appointment, Stephen Lovegrove said:

“I am thrilled to be joining the Ministry of Defence: keeping Britain safe and employing over 250,000 people all over the world in a hugely diverse variety of roles. I look forward to the getting to grips with its many different challenges, not least implementing last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review.

“It has been a great personal and professional privilege to lead DECC over the last three years, and it is a wrench to be leaving such a tremendous department and such expert and dedicated colleagues and friends. During my time here we have made lasting changes to transition to a low carbon energy system, and played a hugely influential role in the achievement of a global deal to combat climate change, and I am very proud to have been a part of that. Nevertheless, I am delighted to be given the opportunity to tackle new challenges at the Ministry of Defence with the excellent team there.”

Commenting on Mr Lovegrove’s appointment, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

“I am delighted that Stephen Lovegrove is to be our new Permanent Secretary and bring his wealth of experience from DECC, the Shareholder Executive and the private sector. I look forward to working with him to implement the SDSR, to make Defence more innovative, and to protect this country.”

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said:

“I’d like to thank Stephen for the leadership he has shown in taking DECC forward in a new direction. He has played a crucial part in changing the department into one which is focused on putting consumers first, and making sure the country has secure, affordable and clean energy that our families and businesses can rely on now and in the future. I have really valued his advice during my time as Secretary of State, and I know the Ministry of Defence is getting an excellent leader.”

Sir Jeremy Heywood, Head of the Home Civil Service, added:

“I would like to congratulate Stephen on this appointment. He has done a superb job leading DECC over the last three years and has made a big contribution to the Government’s energy and climate change agenda. His skills and experience leave him strongly placed to lead MOD’s vital and complex operations.”

Prior to joining DECC, Stephen Lovegrove was Chief Executive of the Shareholder Executive and a Director General at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. Whilst there, he oversaw the development of strategies for the Royal Mail, Ordnance Survey, the Met Office and Land Registry, disposed of Government’s holdings in British Energy, Qinetiq, UKAEA and the Tote, and established the Green Investment Bank.

Before joining the Civil Service he was a managing director in the corporate finance department of Deutsche Bank where he worked for eleven years, and before that he was a strategy consultant. Mr Lovegrove also sat on the Board of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

He attends the National Security Council Officials meetings, is a member of the Civil Service Learning Board and a member of the Civil Service Management Board. He is also a trustee of the Charities Aid Foundation and a Non-Executive Director of Grosvenor Estates. Mr Lovegrove was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 2013 New Year Honours. He is married and has two daughters.

The process to recruit Mr Lovegrove’s replacement at DECC will start soon, with an acting Permanent Secretary likely to be appointed to cover the role in the short term.