Sir Gareth Rhys Williams Becomes New Government Chief Commercial Officer

So it all happened while I was in the US; we got a new UK government Chief Commercial Officer!

Gareth Rhys Williams takes over from Chris Hall this week – Hall was keeping the seat warm and has been pretty low profile since the departure of Bill Crothers last November. Rhys Williams was CEO of FM firm PHS from 2012 until the end of 2014 – he left after successfully leading a restructuring.

Before joining PHS, he was CEO of Charter International, the FTSE 250 engineering group, until its successful sale to Colfax Corporation in 2012. Prior to that, he was CEO of Capital Safety Group Ltd, since sold to KKR, and CEO of Vitec Group plc, the supplier of broadcast and photographic equipment and services.

He trained as an engineer at Durham University (tick in the box) and his early career was in operations management at STC and Lucas (another tick – he is not a procurement professional but should have some idea of what it’s all about). He got an MBA from INSEAD in 1989 (clearly a bright guy), following which he joined Bowater for his first managing director roles.

He is 55, grew up in South Wales, and is married with three children. What he doesn’t tend to mention in his business biography but our fearless research has discovered is that:

  1. His late father was a Conservative MP and Euro MP; his grandfather was a liberal MP.
  2. He is a Baronet! Grandfather got a hereditary peerage for political services so his full title is Sir (Arthur) Gareth Ludovic Emrys Rhys-Williams, 3rd Baronet of Miskin in the Parish of Llantrisant in the County of Glamorgan. I don’t understand the (Arthur) in brackets, that’s what Google says though. Perhaps just means he doesn't use it, preferring Gareth.
  3. He has a lovely house (see picture). Mind you, in South Wales you could probably buy something like that for the price of a shed in Chiswick.

So, an interesting appointment in a number of ways.  And the standing of procurement just goes up and up - we've got a Baronet leading us now!  We look forward to seeing what he will achieve and maybe even getting the chance to talk to him at some point - we wish him success and good luck.

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First Voice

  1. Effwhitt:

    A couple of questions then:

    Did I miss the advert?

    Is sector experience required?

    Is procurement experience required?

    Which Yacht club should one join?

    Enquiring minds want to know…..

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