Design Council chief executive David Kester to stand down after nine years - move comes a year after merger with Cabe

David Kester is to leave the Design Council Cabe in a matter of weeks and is surrendering day-day running of the organisation with immediate effect.

The charity said Kester would be leaving it at the end of June, and would be focusing on “major policy projects and special events” between now and then, handing effective control to chief operating officer Madeleine Denmead until a successor is found.

Kester said his nine years as chief executive of the Design Council, which merged with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (Cabe) last year, had been an “amazing time” but said recent months had been tough.

“Over the years it has been very fulfilling to see the programmes we have developed - such as our business coaching services and innovation challenges going from strength to strength and making a difference in industry and within the public sector,” he said.

“The last 18 months have been some of the most demanding and also rewarding as we have re-launched ourselves as an independent charity, merged with Cabe, and most importantly, delivered so many great projects up and down the UK.”

Design Council Cabe chair Martin Temple said Kester had been an ”inspiring advocate” for design.

“Thanks to his leadership and determination the Design Council has survived and thrived and so has its ground-breaking work with industry, public services and the planning system,” he said.

“I have asked David to work with me on the appointment of his successor. I am delighted he has agreed.”