Press release

Appointment of Chairman-designate

The Wellcome Trust is delighted to announce that Sir William ('Bill') Castell has been appointed as a Governor and Chairman-designate of the Board of Governors of the Trust. He will join the Board in January 2006 and will succeed Sir Dominic Cadbury as Chairman in May 2006. This will follow Bill’s retirement as President and CEO of GE Healthcare, the medical diagnostics and biosciences business of the General Electric Company of the USA, of which he is also a Vice-Chairman.

Bill joined GE in April 2004 following GE's acquisition of Amersham plc, of which he had been Chief Executive since 1989.During his tenure with Amersham, he successfully led a major expansion of the business through organic growth and acquisitions, creating a world leader in in vivo medical diagnostics and life sciences research technologies.

Prior to joining Amersham, Bill held various positions with Wellcome plc, the pharmaceutical company then owned by the Wellcome Trust. His 20-year career with the company spanned roles in finance, marketing, research and development, technical management and he joined the Board in 1987 as Commercial Director.

Alongside his business career Bill has been involved for many years in not-for-profit activities, including roles as a council member of the Medical Research Council (2001-2004) and as Chairman of the Prince's Trust (1998-2003). He is currently a trustee of the Natural History Museum, a board member of the University of Michigan's Institute of Life Sciences, a Visiting Fellow at Green College, University of Oxford, and an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Sir Dominic commented, "I am delighted to be handing over the reins at the Wellcome Trust to such a distinguished and enthusiastic person as Bill Castell. He will have a strong natural empathy with our mission, with our colleagues in the research community, and with our staff."

Bill Castell commented, "The Wellcome Trust has played a fundamental role in facilitating, amongst other things, genomic discovery. I look forward to continuing the fine traditions of the Trust as the opportunities for medical innovation accelerate through the inclusion of advances in biomedical science".