Glasgow City Council appoints lawyer new chief executive

Glasgow City Council has appointed lawyer Annemarie O’Donnell its new chief executive to replace George Black, who retires next month.

Ms O’Donnell was chosen by the appointment of the senior officers committee recently.

Mr Black announced in August his decision to retire at the end of this year.


Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “I am delighted to announce that Annemarie O’Donnell has been appointed as the new chief executive of Glasgow City Council.

“The quality of candidates was exceptionally high but Annemarie brings a wealth of experience, passion and vision to the role and was the unanimous choice of the interview panel.

“There has never been a more exciting time to work in Glasgow, with the city in the spotlight like never before following the best ever Commonwealth Games and the signing of Scotland’s first City Deal.

“I am in no doubt that Annemarie is the best possible choice to lead our dedicated and talented staff through the next chapter in our city’s long and proud history.

“I also want to take this opportunity to thank George Black for his exceptional work on behalf of the city and wish him every happiness and success in the future.”

Ms O’Donnell said: “I am delighted and humbled to have been appointed. This is a really exciting time for Glasgow.

“There is no doubt the next few years will be challenging for everyone in local government. But I believe we have the energy, the ideas and, crucially, the best people to meet those challenges.”

Ms O’Donnell, 49, has been the council’s executive director of corporate services since 2011, with responsibility for legal services, elections, human resources, procurement, city resilience, customer and business support and corporate governance.

She is a qualified solicitor and a member of the Law Society of Scotland.

After joining Glasgow District Council from a legal practice in the east end of Glasgow in 1991, she worked as a solicitor and then senior solicitor in a team focusing on construction, housing and planning.

Following local government reorganisation in 1996, she was promoted to chief solicitor - leading the council’s work on commercial contracts, procurement, planning and environmental law.

In 2003, Ms O’Donnell was appointed assistant head of legal and administrative services, a new post that saw her take responsibility for the running of elections for the first time - along with committee services, registrars, litigation, licensing and corporate law.

A two-year secondment as depute director of social work services followed, playing a key role in steering the service through a significant programme of service reform.

She returned to corporate services in 2007, serving as assistant director and head of external governance as the council established its ALEOs.