The Football Association’s former director of corporate affairs has been appointed as the interim chief executive at the Jewish Leadership Council.

Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue chairman Simon Johnson, who was also COO of England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup, will occupy the hot seat while the organisation searches for a permanent CEO to succeed Jeremy Newmark.

Simon Johnson Head Shot November 2011Johnson said: “I am very pleased to be joining the JLC at this exciting time and with so many important projects and initiatives underway. I am greatly looking forward to joining the team.”

Expressing “delight” at the news, JLC Chairman Mick Davis said: “Simon has a wealth of experience in running organisations and with the range of issues that the JLC is currently engaged with it is important that we have someone with Simon’s experience leading the team.”

Johnson, whose other communal responsibilities include being a member of the United Synagogue Council, also worked as a lawyer for ITV and was interim chief executive of Business in sport and Leisure.

Newmark announced last month he was leaving the post on health grounds but would continue to serve as a consultant.