Guildford and Waverley borough councils have confirmed the appointment of a new joint Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The two councils signed off on hiring of Westminster City Council’s executive director for innovation and change, Pedro Wrobel.

Mr Wrobel will take the reins at the two councils in spring 2024. 

The decision comes after current boss Tom Horwood announced in September that he was standing down from his £150,000 job because of health concerns.

Southampton FC fan Mr Wrobel described himself as a regular visitor to the two boroughs and was looking forward to getting “stuck in”.

He said: “As a regular visitor to Guildford and Waverley, the opportunity to lead and bring together two amazing organisations, and to make a positive difference to places I care deeply about, is a real privilege.

“I want to play my part in making Guildford and Waverley brilliant places to live, work and do business.”

Waiting in Mr Wrobel’s in-tray are the financial issues affecting  Guildford after the council warned of potential bankruptcy.

There are also governance problems with investigation into the housing maintenance department, with staff suspended, contracts terminated and possible fraud is being looked at.

Mr Wrobel was formally handed the task on Tuesday, December 19 after Guildford borough councillors supported the appointment at an ‘extraordinary’ full council meeting with their Waverley counterparts doing the same at their own meeting.

Mr Horwood  will leave his post in February 2024.

His replacement joins from Westminster City Council where he was responsible for strategy, policy, analysis, communications, transformation, governance, and community engagement.

He was a civil servant for 20 years, and served as director of planning at what became the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. He is also a policy fellow at the Cambridge University Centre for Science and Policy.

Leader of Guildford Borough Council, Councillor Julia McShane, said: “He brings a wealth of experience to our borough, and I look forward to working with him. I’d like to thank the Joint Appointments Committee for its very constructive work during the recruitment process and for recommending Pedro Wrobel for the position of joint chief executive.”

Leader of Waverley Borough Council, Councillor Paul Follows said: “We look forward to welcoming Pedro and congratulate him in this appointment.”

Mr Wrobel added: “I’m delighted to have been appointed as chief executive for Guildford and Waverley Borough Councils, and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in.”