Chief executive of Cambridge Assessment group to step down

Exam board operates in more than 170 countries and has more than 2,500 staff

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Simon Lebus, group chief executive of Cambridge Assessment, is to leave the organisation after 15 years at the helm, it has been announced today.

During his time, Cambridge Assessment - a not-for-profit department of the University of Cambridge - has more than trebled in size.

The group was once a mainly domestic exam board, but it is now an international organisation operating in more than 170 countries, with a turnover of more than £400 million, and more than 2,500 staff.

Mr Lebus will leave in March 2018. He plans to develop a portfolio of non-executive interests.

Cambridge Assessment consists of English language exam board Cambridge English Language Assessment, international exam board Cambridge International Examinations, and UK exam board OCR.

In September 2015, Mark Dawe, then chief executive of the OCR exam board, left his role and was replaced for one year by William Burton, a specialist in “turnarounds, buy-outs and complex situations”, who handed over to Leo Shapiro last August.

Mr Lebus has been closely involved with a variety of modernisation initiatives at Cambridge Assessment - such as the introduction of on-screen marking and computer-based testing.

He has also been responsible for overseeing the construction of the group’s new headquarters, called the Triangle, which is due to be completed next year.

“By the time of my planned departure in March, I will have served under four Vice-Chancellors,” Mr Lebus said. “That seems like a good time for me to start thinking about the next phase of my career and it also coincides with the move to the Triangle, which I believe represents a key point in the organisation’s development. 

“It has been a great privilege to work at Cambridge Assessment. I have hugely enjoyed my time here – the work itself has been fascinating and it has been rewarding to be part of an endeavour that has been able positively to impact the education of the many millions of people who take our exams each year.”

Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, said: “Under Simon’s leadership, Cambridge Assessment has expanded into the globally successful organisation we know today.”


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