Chris Humphries CBE, the Chief Executive of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills will retire at the end of the year, it was announced. He will be succeeded by Michael Davis, currently the UK Commission’s director of strategy & performance, who will take over the helm as the new interim chief executive from 1 January 2011, for a period of six months pending the appointment of a permanent chief executive.

Making the announcement, Charlie Mayfield, the newly-appointed chairman of the UK Commission paid tribute to Chris’s leadership, saying, “Chris has brought experience, energy, and above all a deep commitment to the skills agenda. The fact the Commission has become an authoritative source of advice and influence in this critical area is a testament to his leadership. I am delighted that Michael is to be our new interim chief executive. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the job and I look forward to working with him over this next phase in the Commission’s life.”

Chris Humphries added: “The Commission has a challenging period to negotiate over the next few months as it develops its new strategy for the future. I wish Michael all the best and am happy that I will be leaving the Commission in safe hands.”

Michael Davis said: “Chris will be a hard act to follow, but it is vital that over the coming months, the UK Commission develops its strategies to raise employer ambition and boost the significant work programme now underway to develop a transformational Business Plan for 2011-12 that will help to deliver the ambitious skills strategies of the UK Government as well as those of the Devolved Administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. I am looking forward to working with colleagues both within the organisation and further afield to do just that.”