Congratulations to David Smith, CB, our new CIPS President

David Smith CB took over yesterday as President of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, and we would like to offer him our sincere congratulations.

We think he will be an excellent President but I consider him a personal friend so I am somewhat biased. I also know he has some interesting plans for his year and his theme, which we'll be covering here shortly I'm sure.

The Front Covers; Mr Smith is back left

As many readers will know, David is the Commercial Director for the Department of Work and Pensions, the largest UK civil Government Department, and as such his team of several hundred staff control or influence many £ billions of expenditure. It's also well known that his career almost took a very different turn, into rock music, but the lure of a civil service job proved too much for him at the time! Oh well, Kerrang's loss was our profession's gain.And of course he still leads the Front Covers, who have given so much pleasure at CIPS SM Awards dinners.

As well as being probably the first practising rock band leader to ascend to these heights, he is, we believe, the first career civil servant to become CIPS President, which seems astonishing.  And he faces an interesting year, with the big vote on CIPS governance coming up soon, economic uncertainty, and some pretty fundamental quetsions about the purpose of CIPS to be faced, whatever the outcome of the governance debate.

My perception is that Peter Rushton, the outgoing President, has had a strong profile within CIPS (with a lot of international work and travel I know) but has been perhaps less visible to the non-CIPS world, where the Chief Executive now usually takes the lead. I suspect Mr Smith may look to play a role in both of those domains, so I'm looking forward to talking to him about his plans there as well.

Anyway, congratulations to Peter for presiding over another successful year for CIPS, and "good luck" to David for the next 12 months.


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