Exclusive! Guy Allen, ex Fujitsu CPO, joins 4C

After  yesterday’s announcements about the BBC senior procurement role, we’ve got another today  featuring a senior executive.

Guy Allen - 4C Managing Partner

Guy Allen, ex Fujitsu CPO, has taken up a  role as Managing Partner at 4C Associates. Led by Ed Ainsworth, they’re a firm I know but not well - they operate as a procurement consulting and (principally) outsourced service provider. They went through a period of being owned by DHL, but became independent again in 2010 and have come through that change pretty well from what we hear.  Allen is going in at Board level, with both direct delivery and account management responsibility.

I suspect it is a good time to be moving into the outsourcing space; we’ve written before about how we see the opportunities for providers to offer tailored services at a category or business process level rather than a simple “all or nothing” outsource. The mid-sized providers like 4C have to show why they are a better choice than the giants (IBM, Cap Gemini, Accenture), and / or find their own niche, but the market generally is pretty healthy.

Allen is a career procurement pro, with a history of major roles behind him. His early career included Ford, and SmithKlineBeecham, which became part of GlaxoSmithKline.  Then he was CPO for Abbey National and on through their acquisition by Santander, prior to joining Fujitsu in 2006.  Unusually perhaps for a CPO, he is strong on both sourcing technology and technology for sourcing (if you see what I mean); he was one of the earliest proponents of e-auctions I came across for instance.

Having experienced two major mergers / acquisitions, and come through to the other side successfully, he’s also expert in that field, which I guess might come in handy in his new role.  He’s gained credibility in the Boardroom in his various roles, and is a strong procurement team manager - we believe he’s also got the right sort of personality to succeed in a role that is going to be at least partially about selling.

Allen told us that he was pleased to be joining 4C after "their outstanding year in 2011" and that he's excited by their ambitious growth plans for the future. He's joining some experienced procurement people too - as he says;

"I'm delighted to be joining a strong team, including Rob Lees (ex Vodafone) and Howard Price (ex KPMG), at a time where I can be part of turning those ambitions into reality. '

I understand he’s negotiated special arrangements to meet clients wherever Brentford Football Club are playing their away games; and he will keep busy I’m sure with the new job and his three sons, football coaching, cycling, and attending the odd rock concert / festival. Good luck to him!

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