Matt Denham leaves Xchanging to take up top Crown Commercial Service post

Big news as the UK’s Crown Commercial Service announce their new leadership team.

“ Government Chief Procurement Officer Bill Crothers will take up the role of Chairman of CCS, with Sally Collier becoming its Chief Executive and Accounting Officer with immediate effect. Sally has been working as Deputy Chief Procurement Officer since 2012 and has extensive senior leadership experience in the Civil Service and a depth of procurement and commercial knowledge enhanced in the last year during her tenure as Managing Director of the Government Procurement Service.

Sally is joined by the appointment of Matt Denham as Director of Commercial Delivery, and Chris Hall who will continue to act as Director of Complex Transactions. Matt joins the Government from Xchanging where he was General Manager UK & Head of Operational Sourcing and will be responsible for ensuring effective management of supplier relationships and creating leading edge procurement strategies to be used across Government”.

The Sally Collier thing is a bit odd, she seems to have been in and out of the CCS loop several times already, and I expected the new Commercial Delivery person to be really in charge and therefore accounting officer of CCS. But I’m pleased she has some certainty now, I have very happy memories of working with her in the past.

I believe I have met Matt Denham but can’t say I really know him. The pedigree looks good – before his three years at Xchanging, he was at Cable and Wireless for four years, who certainly had a good reputation for procurement. He is 43, and it looks like he may have joined Ford – a great nursery for procurement people – straight from school, and worked there for ten years. He has also done a Masters and is currently doing a Doctorate in ‘sustainable supply chains' according to LinkedIn – good on him.

I’m quite surprised CCS has attracted him away from Xchanging, who pay pretty well I believe, and have been doing well of late. Perhaps he wasn’t quite in the share options bracket, or perhaps he just likes the sound of the CCS challenge. What is also interesting is that the Xchanging environment as an outsourced service provider is very customer focused. Will Denham take CCS in that direction, as opposed to the ‘mandate’ that Crothers has been pushing for? It is the difference between “use us because we offer great service” and “use us because you have to”.  (You can have both of course in theory but monopoly rarely leads to great service).

Congratulations to him anyway, and I wonder if he will give us an interview?

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Voices (2)

  1. Dan:

    I’m confused. I thought it was an unwritten rule that in order to be appointed a top commercial person in government you needed to have worked for Accenture, and yet you haven’t mentioned them anywhere?

  2. Bill Atthetill:

    I’m baffled by much of this to be honest. Not that they found a credible individual (on paper) to drive forward their Commercial activities, though I’m hoping he accepted the position with his eyes wide open (having undertaken his own due diligence rather than simply listening to the sales spin…). No, what baffles me is the way in which a large number of the current Cabinet Office staff have simply been slotted into key posts without any competition or formal recruitment. How can they make someone a Chief Executive without testing the market for any potential candidates?.Ditto, a new Chairman? This is going to be an organisation of circa 1,000 staff influencing £20 billion per annum. How can they be so arrogant? There are many other key posts which will be occupied by CO staff without any formal recruitment process (many of whom are still on secondment from their core Departments, like the DWP…). This is wrong in so many ways.

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