SCOTTISH Enterprise’s chief executive Lena Wilson is to step down from her role after nearly eight years in charge of the economic development agency.

Wilson has been credited with the greater international focus of Scottish Enterprise — she had previously been head of Scottish Development International — and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute to her for that work in particular.

She said: I would like to thank Lena for her leadership and dedicated service over many years, and for the significant difference she has made to Scottish Enterprise’s operations both in Scotland and on the international stage.

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“She has been a committed leader for Scottish Enterprise, a champion for Scottish business and I wish her the best in her future endeavours.”

Economy Secretary Keith Brown also paid tribute, saying: “Lena Wilson has provided many valued years of service to Scottish Enterprise, to its predecessor organisations and to businesses across Scotland.

“Lena has worked tirelessly with partners both domestic and international to improve Scotland’s productivity and help build a globally competitive economy.”

Wilson took over the agency in 2009 after previous boss Jack Perry quit.

She had previously spent two years on secondment from Scottish Enteprise to the World Bank.

She said yesterday: “It has been a real honour and privilege to work with so many talented people who want to make a positive difference for Scotland, but it is now time for me to embark on a fresh set of challenges.”

Scottish Enterperise chairman Bob Keiller said: “Lena has done an outstanding job as CEO, driving a much more international mindset across the whole organisation and overseeing record levels of innovation and growth among the companies SE works with as a result.

“A plan to appoint a successor is being developed and details of this will be released in due course.”