The government is to begin the hunt for a new boss of its flagship trade and cultural promotion campaign after the incumbent decided to step down after two years in charge.

Sky News understands that Andy Pike OBE resigned as director of GREAT earlier this month, and will leave the post in September.

Mr Pike informed the members of the GREAT campaign’s private sector council – chaired by the former Fortnum & Mason boss Ewan Venters – in a memo in which he outlined proposals for the role to be open to private sector applicants.

He also referred to “unprecedented support, including…from the prime minister personally” for the initiative.

Last month, GREAT took the promotion of Britain’s technology sector to the heart of Silicon Valley with a marketing effort called ‘Unicorn Kingdom’ – a reference to the number of UK-based start-ups which have attained a valuation of $1bn or more.

Mr Pike has had previous stints in charge of GREAT, and also worked in senior communications at the Northern Ireland Office and within the intelligence services.

In 2021, he replaced Dan Ramsay, who resigned to join the broadband infrastructure group CityFibre Holdings, at the helm of the GREAT campaign.

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His departure will come amid ongoing debate about the effectiveness of Britain’s trade promotion efforts, with international trade now having recently been merged with the Department for Business.

Sky News revealed last week that the government’s Global Investment Summit would be delayed by several weeks from its original October scheduling.

Mr Pike could not be reached for comment.

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