JENNY Stewart is to be the next head of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, the Liverpool Post can reveal.
The former head of client services has been appointed as chief operating officer at the Old Hall Street organisation.
The chamber has been seeking a replacement for former chief executive Jack Stopforth, who took early retirement in April with immediate effect.
The former PR company owner and quango head had led the chamber for seven years.
His deputy, Carole Crosby, had been acting chief executive in the interim, but it is understood that Ms Crosby has now left the chamber.
The role of chief operating officer is new to the chamber, but it is believed the board preferred to implement a new structure, with the chief operating officer working to the organisation’s board of directors.
The chamber declined to comment.
Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, which was established in 1850, had suffered financially in the past from cuts to Government funding for training initiatives, which are a key source of its income.
Its latest accounts filed in November 2011 showed revenues for the year to March 31, of £7m and, a pre-tax profit of £282,545.
However, they offered no comparison to previous figures as these were the first filed in the chamber’s new entity as a community interest company.
The organisation, which specialises in providing a range of business services and training programmes, has also come under increasing pressure recently from lobby group Downtown Liverpool in Business (DLiB), led by Frank McKenna and David Wade-Smith, a former Liverpool Chamber chairman.
DLiB is expanding into other cities across the North West and has recently embarked on an aggressive membership drive.