News & Media

CEO of the Biochemical Society announces retirement

News, Feb 27 2024

Kate Baillie, Chief Executive Officer of the Biochemical Society and Managing Director of Portland Press, has announced her plans to retire at the end of this year, December 2024. 

In more than 12 years at the helm, Kate has overseen a period of immense change and progress. She has implemented a complete restructuring of the organisation in order to capitalise on the synergies across the breadth of our scientific content in journals, events, training and public engagement activities. She has also been instrumental in introducing a systematic strategic planning process and the evolution of a responsive business model that is well-placed to meet the challenges ahead. Under Kate’s leadership, the organisation has led the way in working practice innovation, including the move from an office base at Charles Darwin House to a fully remote working model and trial of the Four Day Week, and she has been central to the Society embedding equity, diversity and inclusion across all our activities.

Of her time at the Society and Portland Press, Kate says:

“It has been a privilege to lead the Society and Portland Press as CEO and MD, providing services to our membership and the wider bioscience community. I feel so fortunate to be supported by such a skilled and committed staff team, Council of Trustees and Portland Press Board of Directors, and am immensely proud of all that we have been able to achieve together over the past 12 years. In the months ahead, I will continue to focus on the delivery of our strategy, ensuring the organisation remains at the forefront of change and innovation in the sector.”

President of the Biochemical Society, Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, says:

"While Kate's departure will be met with sadness by staff and trustees, she will be leaving the Society and Portland Press in a strong position to continue its mission. This is a testament to her legacy and leadership as CEO and MD. The immense progress made over the last decade has given us the foundations to embrace the changing environment. On behalf of everyone at the organisation, I would like to thank Kate for her service and stewardship as we enter an exciting new phase."   

News of the departure allows time for the recruitment of a successor, ensuring a smooth transition and sustained delivery of the Society's strategic objectives in support of the bioscience community. The recruitment process for a successor will be overseen by Professor Richard Reece, incoming Chair of the Society, and further developments will be shared with the community in due course.