Simpson has been Stockport's chief exec since 2022. Credit: via GMCA

Caroline Simpson to become GMCA CEO 

Stockport Council’s chief executive will replace Eamonn Boylan this summer following an “intensive recruitment process”.

Caroline Simpson has been selected as the preferred candidate to become chief executive of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Transport for Greater Manchester, roles Boylan has held since 2017 and 2019 respectively.

“I am passionate about Greater Manchester’s devolution journey and our commitment to make this a greener, fairer, more prosperous city region,” Simpson said.

“It would be a privilege to work alongside local leaders and our communities to deliver that vision, and I’m excited to get on with the job.”

At Stockport, Simpson has overseen a multi-billion-pound pipeline of regeneration projects. Many now view the borough as one of the best investment prospects in the North West.

Stockport, especially the town centre, has been one of the main beneficiaries of Greater Manchester’s devolution journey.

“Greater Manchester has cemented its position as the leading city region when it comes to English devolution,” Simpson said.

“That didn’t happen by accident, but is the result of the vision, the values, and the courage of civic leaders here to do things differently and put power back into the hands of our people and places.”

She added: “Our city region is now on the cusp of transformational change – and my priority is to catalyse the collaboration and the partnerships that are essential to driving that change, whether that be on the local, national, or international stage.”

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham headed up the recruitment panel charged with finding Boylan’s successor. He described Simpson as “highly capable” and “one of the most outstanding members of a new generation of local government leaders”.

“This is a role that comes with considerable expectations, and we were left in no doubt that Caroline is more than ready to meet them,” he said.

“We would be delighted to have her leading Greater Manchester into an exciting new era.”

Simpson became Stockport Council chief executive in 2022, replacing Pam Smith, who left to join Newcastle City Council.

By becoming GMCA chief executive she follows the same path as Boylan, who also left Stockport for the top Greater Manchester job.

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