After five years as CEO at Colbea, Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford has stepped down from her role in order to spend more time with her family. 
During her time at the helm, Ashleigh has overseen many achievements including reshaping operations across both of Colbea’s business incubation centres in Colchester and expanding the geographical reach of Colbea’s services to support businesses across Essex. 
Colbea has also made an essential contribution to Essex businesses during the challenges of Covid and has come through the pandemic as a stronger and more versatile organisation with an exciting new brand identity. 
Ashleigh will hand over the reins to Simon Mead, who joins Colbea from Cambridge Wireless, a leading technology community of more than 400 companies, where he was CEO. 
Having worked in pivotal senior roles within the East of England since 1994, Simon brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of working with businesses of all sectors and sizes, with a particularly strong background in sales and marketing. 
Reflecting on her time at Colbea, Ashleigh commented: “It has been a real privilege to lead Colbea at such a crucial time for businesses across Essex and play a part in Colbea’s 40-year history. I have enjoyed the support of a great team at Colbea and made many friends in the business community whom I look forward to staying in touch with. 
“The last five years have been a time of modernising Colbea, strengthening partnerships and supporting business within the #ColbeaCommunity through the pandemic. I wish Simon great success as he takes on the Chief Executive role and I am excited to see the way Colbea will expand and grow under his stewardship.” 
Simon’s career has given him extensive experience of working with local government, health services, other public services and in various areas of the not for profit sector, as well as working in partnership with key business leaders in the region. 
Looking ahead to the new role, Simon commented: “I have worked alongside and in association with Colbea on a number of occasions and have always been impressed with the professionalism and drive that the team are able to bring to business support in the region. 
“Colbea’s facilities and training programmes are tailored to help early stage businesses and SMEs, playing a key part in Colchester’s economic infrastructure and throughout Essex. I am looking forward to helping Colbea achieve its goals and to continue the great work done by Ashleigh and her team.” 
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