New Midland Heart CEO to drive growth and excellence

Ruth Cooke

Leading housing and care organisation Midland Heart has announced Ruth Cooke as their new Chief Executive Officer.

At 36 Ruth is set to be one of the youngest CEO’s in the housing and care sectors. Talking of her priorities, Ruth said: “I am keen to drive Midland Heart’s ambition for growth in housing and care. My priority is to do this and deliver truly excellent services: to make Midland Heart the top choice for customers, commissioners and as an employer”.

Tom Murtha, the current CEO of Midland Heart, will stand down in the summer of 2012 and a handover date is now being agreed.

Ruth continued: “I am delighted and honoured to be appointed as the next Chief Executive Officer of Midland Heart. I have seen first hand what a great organisation Midland Heart is, and the special staff we have here.

“Under Tom Murtha’s leadership the organisation has grown in strength and national recognition which has given us a great foundation for our future agenda across all aspects of our business.

“I know there are challenging times ahead, but I feel confident that Midland Heart is well placed to face those challenges and will continue to support all our customers in the months and years ahead.”

Since joining Midland Heart three years ago as Finance Director, Ruth played a pivotal role in building the housing and care organisation's agility and strength, in 2011 achieving an AA2 rating, the highest for a housing organisation, by rating agency Moody’s.

Current Chief Executive Officer Tom Murtha announced his retirement in August 2011. After leading Midland Heart and its main legacy operations since 1996, he was instrumental in establishing Midland Heart in 2006 as one of the top ten organisations in the country, and he has an outstanding career history within the housing industry which spans over 36 years.

Before joining Midland Heart, Ruth was Group Director of Resources-Arcadia Housing Group in the South West. She has worked as Chief Financial Officer at Anchor Trust, the largest not-for-profit provider for housing and care for older people and held a management post at PricewaterhouseCoopers, specialising in housing consultancy.

Midland Heart Chairman Lord Bill Morris said: “I am looking forward to working with Ruth and to see her lead Midland Heart, and wish her every success in her new role. I know that Ruth shares our ambition for excellence and has a passion to help transform the lives of our customers.

“Ruth’s experience across the housing and care sectors will be an invaluable asset to us, and I am confident that Ruth will continue to drive Midland Heart’s values and ambitions for many years ahead”.