Jon Hughes retires from Future Purchasing to spend more time with his horses…

There’s something in the air.. After reporting on Bernhard Raschke's supposed "retirement" from PWC the other day, Jon Hughes has announced he is stepping down as Chairman of Future Purchasing, the specialist procurement consulting firm. Jon is highly respected and well-known throughout procurement, and as a CIPS Swinbank Medal holder, recognised as a true thought leader in the profession. That’s an over-used term, but in Jon’s case, it is spot on.

Jon started with a degree in Organisational Psychology from Cambridge, and initially worked in Personnel with British Leyland - I didn’t know that till recently.  Once he escaped and moved into the procurement world, he quickly developed a strong reputation, and on a personal note, he’s been a bit of an informal mentor to me over the years, and I’ve always greatly appreciated his thoughts and ideas.

As the Swinbank suggests, he has also been – indeed still is  – one of the very best thinkers about procurement that I’ve known in my lifetime. When I say “thinkers”, one of his strengths has always been that his work was never over-academic, but rather struck that great balance between intellectual rigour, creativity and pragmatism. So you always felt you could actually implement his ideas, not just admire them intellectually.

He could be difficult at times. Not suffering fools gladly was a phrase that could have been invented for Jon, but he has a great sense of humour and an energy which always rubbed off on those around him. His impact on procurement has been considerable, in his time at Future Purchasing, QP Group (where he provided a lot of the intellectual fire-power that Robin Cammish used to build the firm), and before that with ADR consultants, who are still going strong.

Another strength is his ability to produce serious written or presentation material about procurement amazingly quickly and to a very high standard. The only person I have ever met in the same league is my colleague Jason Busch actually. An amazing ability to take ideas and express them with words, diagrams and charts in less time than it would take me to work out what exactly it all meant.

Apart for procurement, Jon’s other loves include Alsace wine (I’m with him on that) and horse-racing (nope). So his retirement venture is Owners  for Owners Racehorse Partnerships, an interesting concept if you fancy investing in thoroughbreds. He is also likely to keep some involvement with Future Purchasing as well.

He is a real loss to procurement, but Future Purchasing have built a strong core team over the years, and I know Mark Webb and the rest of the directors  will continue to thrive. So I’d like to wish Jon and his wife Jack a very happy “retirement”, and say thanks for providing me and the profession with energy, inspiration, great ideas, stimulating writing, hugely enjoyable speeches, and for being tremendous  fun to spend time with generally.

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Voices (2)

  1. Bernhard Raschke:

    Jon, enjoy the next stage of your life … having more time for your other passions.

  2. Guy Allen:

    Best of luck with the retirement Jon and thanks for all the help you have given me.

    And a little less competition in the world for the rest of us budding consultants 😉

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