CPO News – January 9, 2012

Posted by Andrew Bartolini on January 9th, 2012
Stored in Articles, Chief Procurement Officers, General, People

While we work hard to make the articles on CPO Rising as interesting, informative, and entertaining as we possibly can (I hope we’re succeeding), we also hope that the articles are topical and presented in the context of the current market. And, while we cover market and industry events (often in our CPO Shop Talk series) we do not, by tradition or publishing cycle, seek to present the supply management “daily news” on these pages. There are many other outlets for those kinds of updates and, of course, RSS feeds which keep our team up late every night.

[Sidebar: We believe that one benefit of this focus/orientation is that it gives our articles a long shelf life so that as new readers visit the site and returning readers take more time to investigate, they can find a useful and relevant collection of articles across a wide range of topics when checking our archives (i.e. May 2010), clicking on a tag (i.e. “Chief Procurement Officer”) or category (i.e. “Strategic Sourcing“), or doing a basic search (i.e. a search for “network”). Those that click these four links can see if they agree.]

In 2012, we begin a new series, “CPO News,” that will report on relevant Chief Procurement Officer news, activities, moves, and hires. If you have a story of interest, please email us at info (at) cporising dot com.

Good day, our top stories today focus on CPO transitions:

Rio Tinto CPO Promoted, Relocating

Recently, “friend of the site,” Scott Singer, Rio Tinto’s Head of Procurement (“CPO”), was appointed as Head of Global Business Services (GBS), with responsibility for the Procurement, IS&T and Shared Services functions within the Business Support & Operations portfolio at Rio Tinto.

In the new position, “Scott will leverage his experience in driving transformational and cultural change to further integrate the three functions within Global Business Services to deliver consistent, effective and pragmatic support to the Rio Tinto Group, working collaboratively to address common issues and meet our customers’ requirements.”

As part of the new role, Scott will be relocating to Singapore from Australia and will also take on the role of head of the Singapore Office. We expect an announcement regarding the new global head of Procurement will be made in the near term.

For those of you unfamiliar with Scott and/or Rio Tinto, you may be interested in this CPO Rising article which profiles Scott and looks at Rio’s procurement transformation.

We congratulate Scott on this significant promotion and wish him all the best in his new role. We’re also glad to see that he will maintain oversight of the procurement function.

IBM CPO Moves (Again)

I met “friend of the site,” John Paterson, IBM’s Chief Procurement Officer in 2006 very shortly after he had moved from IBM HQ in Somers, NY to Shenzhen, China (third largest port city in China) which is also near Hong Kong. When discussing the move then, John said that “In a globally integrated enterprise, for the first time, a company’s worldwide capability can be located wherever in the world it makes the most sense, based on the imperatives of economics, expertise and open environments.”

John’s move to China, was done to both develop a new supply base in the region and develop new internal expertise and leaders to manage those suppliers going forward. At the time, John’s move was seen as an indication of the first major shift in global supply markets, but, the reality was that the markets had already shifted significantly by 2006. It was the decade earlier where John/IBM had established their first procurement center in Shenzhen that was a more important market indicator. Think about how well you (person or company) would have done, if you had invested in Chinese manufacturing capabilities in 1996.

Well, John has done it again. A few weeks ago, I learned from one of his staff that John has moved the office of the Chief Procurement Officer to Hungary [Update Jan 11: John will be in Hungary starting in early February]. Primary considerations in this move are to be closer to IBM’s Eastern European and African suppliers and (please take note) to be better able to support operations at IBM’s new procurement center in Ghana’s largest city of Accra (Click to read IBM’s Procurement Center Announcement from November, 2011). This Ghana Procurement Operations hub will serve Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Seychelles, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. If IBM’s history were to repeat itself, the investment opportunities in this region should be pretty attractive to the right companies/investors.

John was interviewed for the CPOs on the Rise series, but we have somehow unbelievably, not yet published that story. Here is a link to an interview he gave to Forbes regarding his last move.

We wish John and the growing IBM teams in Ghana and Hungary our best wishes in establishing a new procurement hub.

And, that’s CPO News, January 9, 2012 – I’m Andrew Bartolini, wishing all of you the best of good buys!

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