David, who has been the Council’s most senior officer since December 2011, has made the decision as a result of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on his health, following being seriously ill with the virus in January 2021.
Announcing his retirement in a message to KCC colleagues he said: “I have had to accept, after much careful thought, that my health is not likely to improve sufficiently for me to continue to carry out this role in the way I would wish to, and have up to now. Regretfully I am taking the difficult and personal decision to retire from my role as Chief Executive Officer this summer.
“Having been KCC’s most senior officer for nearly 12 years I am incredibly proud of the committed people at every level in every part of this organisation, and of all that has been, and will continue to be, achieved for the people of this county.”
In his roles of Head of Paid Service and CEO David Cockburn has guided KCC staff through some of the most difficult periods in its history, including the pandemic and recovery, the EU transition and the continuing financial challenges facing local authorities across the UK.
Roger Gough, Leader of KCC, said: “I am saddened by David’s decision to retire. He has done an exemplary job leading the organisation and will be missed by Members, Officers and partner organisations alike.”
David Cockburn will leave the authority in July. The final appointment of his successor will be considered at a future meeting of the full Council, following a recommendation from the Personnel Committee Member Appointment Panel.