Argos Managing Director Sara Weller is one of 31 business leaders to have been given an advisory role within Whitehall to help the government function more efficiently.
The retail boss will take on a non-executive role at the Communities and Local Government department, and will have the power to seek permanent secretaries’ dismissal if they fail to implement government programmes effectively.
Recruiting representatives from the private sector to roles within Whitehall is becoming a common theme for the new coalition, with Arcadia Group owner Sir Philip Green recently called in to advise on government inefficiencies.
Val Gooding, the former CEO of private health provider Bupa, has been named as non-exec at the Home Office, while the Cabinet Office board also now includes Oxfam boss Dame Barbara Stocking and CEO of Pearson’s Financial Times Group Rona Fairhead.
Other notable appointments include Andrew Witty and Sam Laidlaw, who are the men in charge at GlaxoSmithKline and Centrica respectively.
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “Today’s names include business heavyweights with huge experience of financial management and improving operational performance, and they will play a key role in helping departments rise to the challenge and deliver further savings.”