CHILDREN’S services director Ian Thomas is to leave his £145,000 role in Rotherham to take over a London council.
Mr Thomas was appointed in January 2015 to replace Joyce Thacker in the wake of the borough’s child sex abuse scandal.
More than £22 million has been invested in the department over the past four years, dragging its Ofsted rating from inadequate to good.
RMBC chief executive Sharon Kemp said: “He leaves the service and the council in a very good place.
“We are confident this will enable us to seek a replacement of equal calibre as quickly as we can.
“I would like to offer Ian my congratulations and I wish Ian all the best as he takes up his new post.”
Mr Thomas will take over as chief executive at Lewisham Council on more than £196,000.
Council leader Cllr Chris Read said: “Ian has been a great asset for this council. Rotherham’s loss is definitely Lewisham’s gain.
“I would like to thank Ian for the hard work, tenacity and commitment he has shown over the last three years in post, driving forward children's services to make the changes that were needed.”
Mr Thomas, who will leave in the next three months, said: “It is with heavy heart that I say goodbye to Rotherham council as I have enjoyed being here and being part of an amazing team.
“There is continued commitment to improvement and I know the staff are the right people to help lead the necessary further changes to help protect Rotherham's most vulnerable children.
“I also want to thank the leadership here and elected members for helping drive forward the many changes we have seen over the last few years.
“This has been a team effort and Rotherham council is definitely a much better local authority today than the one I joined three years ago and the people of Rotherham should be proud of what has been achieved in such a short space of time."
Deputy children’s director Mel Meggs will step into the post in an acting capacity until the council recruits to the post.