Brian Hills has been announced as the new CEO of The Data Lab, Scotland’s innovation centre for data and AI.

Hills was most recently interim CEO following the departure of Gillian Docherty OBE in January this year, who left the organisation to take up the role of chief commercial officer at Strathclyde University.

Hills has worked at The Data Lab for the last seven years in a variety of roles including deputy CEO and head of service design. In his new role, he will be responsible for leading the innovation centre’s 50+ strong team, as well as driving the growth of AI and data science skills across the academic and business community in Scotland.

Les Bayne, Chair of The Data Lab, said: “Brian’s passion for supporting organisations to realise the power that data and AI can have is second to none. He has been an integral figure in the evolution of The Data Lab and its impact in Scotland, and is someone that brings not only technical insight but a considered approach to leadership. 

“His appointment to the CEO role is much deserved and I look forward to working closely with him as we build our plans to become one of the most impactful data communities in the world.”

Before joining The Data Lab, Hills held roles at Skyscanner and Sumerian. He was recently included in Data IQ’s 100 most influential people in data.

He added: “AI and data science are at a very interesting juncture; organisations understand that they could massively gain from their execution, however, at the same time we are at the precipice of a data skills cliff. 

“This provides The Data Lab with a unique opportunity to grow our community that brings together organisations, data talent, academia and suppliers. I relish the opportunity to scale our impact in Scotland and beyond. 

“Working closely with the team, I will continue to build on the success we have already created and continue to push for a data powered future.”

Hills takes up the role of CEO immediately.

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