Fri 21 Sep 2018

WITT names interim chief

The deputy chair of the WITT council will become the Polytech’s acting Chief Executive when Barbara George leaves at the end of October.

Lyal French-Wright has been a council member since being named as a Government appointment in August 2016 but will step aside from council while in the chief executive’s seat.

He has been CEO of the Taranaki law firm, Govett Quilliam, since 2012 and was previously headmaster of New Plymouth Boys’ High from 1995 to 2008 before working overseas as Executive Principal of one of the biggest international schools in the Middle East, based in Qatar.

The appointment was announced by WITT chairman Robin Brockie who said the search for a new chief executive had started.

Lyal French-Wright said he was delighted to step into “this key position” at the Institute to ensure that it continued to perform well.

“Carrying on the leadership of the Institute is important, and I will be working with Council to ensure that we can attract a high calibre candidate for the role.”

Robin Brockie said his deputy chair’s depth of experience as a chief executive and educator, as well as being a key member of the Taranaki Community, presented an opportunity for Council to make an “exceptional” interim appointment. 

Lyal French-Wright will return as a council member when his interim role ends.

Barbara George, who has completed a five-year term as WITT chief executive, will start work as the chief executive of the Court Theatre in Christchurch on October 29.

She said the interim appointment was an excellent one.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Lyal since his appointment to the council – he has outstanding business and people skills.  WITT will be in great hands while the search for the next chief continues.”


Pictured: Lyal French-Wright, pictured with WITT chief Barbara George.