Scotland’s innovation centre for data and artificial intelligence (AI) has appointed a high-profile businessman to the role of chairperson.

Les Bayne, former managing director of global professional services company Accenture’s Scottish operations hopes to help The Data Lab “achieve its full potential”.

Bayne replaces Mark Hunter, director of analytics at financial technology company Wise and former chief transformation officer at Sainsbury’s Bank, whose three-year tenure in the role recently came to an end.

Bayne joins The Data Lab as it continues to focus on supporting organisations as they seek to better utilise data and AI to drive growth.

Last year the businessman founded Alba Arete, an organisation focused on helping Scottish companies scale up and the nation reach its full potential.

Gillian Docherty, chief executive of The Data Lab, said: “Scotland is on the precipice of a data and AI-led future which will support organisations of all sizes and across all sectors to make more informed decisions.

“Les is a champion of business and the wider tech sector and, given his depth of experience, I am confident that he will steer The Data Lab’s bold growth ambitions, expanding the excellence of data and AI-driven organisations in Scotland.”

Bayne added: “Having supported The Data Lab during my time with Accenture, I have always been an admirer of the centre’s work. 

“This is an important moment in time for The Data Lab and I look forward to working closely with Gillian, the board and the wider team to evolve our strategy and ensure that The Data Lab continues to disrupt the status quo, champion those that believe in a data and AI-driven future and help it achieve its full potential.”