• Deb Doan

Business for Development names Karen James Chief Executive Officer

Karen James appointed Chief Executive Officer; Mark Ingram steps down as Chief Executive


Business for Development (B4D) is pleased to announce that its board of directors has appointed Karen James as Chief Executive Officer. This leadership appointment is effective 14 January 2019 and follows the recent resignation of the current Chief Executive Officer, Mark Ingram, to pursue a new opportunity.

The search for a new CEO started mid-2018, and involved the establishment of a CEO Succession Committee. To assist with this search, we engaged Executive Search agent, Rupert Saint, Carrington King. Through a mix of targeted selection and public advertising, we received over 180 applications globally. A robust and comprehensive assessment process ensued, culminating in the successful appointment of James.

In response to the announcement by the current CEO, Mark Ingram, was seeking to further his career via a new role externally, the Board took the opportunity to review the longer term requirements of the organisation.   

“We are fortunate to have someone of Karen James’ caliber and experience to lead B4D into its next stage of growth” said Peter Botten, Chairman. “We are at a critical juncture and we welcome new leadership to help formulate and successfully implement a growth strategy and take advantage of the market opportunities ahead. James is a business visionary with a proven track record of execution. She is a strong communicator who is customer focused with deep leadership capabilities. Furthermore, she brings a breadth of experience across several key industries.”

James said, “I am honored and excited to be joining the B4D team. I believe the application of sustainable and inclusive business models is becoming more widely used and provide a robust value proposition for all stakeholders.”

Speaking on behalf of the board, Doug Rathbone, Director and member of the CEO Successions Committee said, “We very much appreciate Mark’s efforts and his service to Business for Development since its inception in 2008. The board believes that the job of the CEO now requires additional attributes to lead and execute the organisation’s strategy. Karen James has the right operational and leadership abilities to add scale to the organisation.”

The Board also wishes to take this opportunity to recognise the tremendous efforts, leadership and service by Mark Ingram, as CEO to B4D since its inception in 2008. Mark stepped down from his role on 30 November 2018 and in the interim, executive overview will be provided by the Chairman of the Board and the Board Directors, until Karen commences in the role formally on 14 January 2019.

The Board is excited about the future of B4D and appreciates the support of the management team, customers, partners and key stakeholders.