A new chief executive has been recruited from the private sector to lead the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

Richard Horne will join the government agency from PwC – the consulting giant – where he currently chairs the Cyber Security Practice. 

Horne will take up the role with the national technical authority for cyber security in the autumn as it continues in its mission to make the UK the safest place to live and work online.

Ensuring the NCSC delivers its vital contribution to the UK’s National Cyber Strategy will be central to Richard’s role.

This will include increasing the UK’s cyber resilience, keeping cyber security at the heart of the UK’s approach to future technology challenges like AI and quantum computing, and making sure the NCSC continues to be able to manage the most critical cyber incidents affecting the UK.

Anne Keast-Butler, director, GCHQ, said: “I’m delighted that Richard Horne will become the next CEO of the NCSC.

“He brings with him a wealth of experience working with major companies and organisations to help them understand and manage their cyber security – and respond to incidents when they occur. 

“Richard’s experience will ensure the NCSC continues to drive cyber security up the boardroom agenda and develop its world-leading partnerships to address the cyber security threats that the UK faces.”

NCSC was led until recently by Lindy Cameron CB OBE, who has been appointed as British High Commissioner to the Republic of India.

Richard Horne, incoming CEO of the NCSC, said: “It is an honour to become CEO of the NCSC. 

“Over the seven years since its establishment, the NCSC has repeatedly shown its world-leading understanding of technology and its unparalleled knowledge of the cyber threat we face in the UK. 

“I’m incredibly honoured and excited about leading a globally recognised organisation, its world class experts and leaders into the future whilst helping ensure that our mission is realised.”

Prior to joining PwC, Richard was managing director of Cyber Security for Barclays PLC. Richard was seconded from Barclays to the Cabinet Office for 2011, to help shape and drive the Government’s first Cyber Security Strategy – both across government and the wider economy.

Richard holds a PhD in Mathematics from Royal Holloway, University of London. He has served on a number of advisory boards for academic institutions and cyber security startup companies.