Former crown commercial representative appointed to Ian Watmore’s old job heading efficiency and reform team
The government has appointed a new chief operating officer which it says will improve the way it functions, make greater efficiency savings and support UK growth.
Stephen Kelly takes over what was Ian Watmore’s old role and will leads the Cabinet Office’s efficiency and reform team.
Kelly was one of the crown representatives charged with generating savings through supplier negotiations. He also led the successful delivery of MyCSP – the first ‘John Lewis-style’ mutual to spin out from central government.
Kelly is the former CEO of legacy modernisation firm MicroFocus. He resigned suddenly from the firm in 2009 after three years in the role. His departure came just months after the company had announced its Make Britain Great Again Technology Manifesto, an ambitious plan to create 250,000 new technology jobs in the UK within the next 10 years.
Prior to his role at MicroFocus Kelly also led Chordiant, where he was in the unusual position of being a Brit in charge of a US company. Chordiant was subsequently bought by Pegasystems.
Cabinet Office permanent secretary, Richard Heaton, said: "I’m really pleased that Stephen has been appointed. Stephen is one of the most successful CEOs from the private sector and has already proven himself within government."
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, said: "I’ve always said government needs to function more like the best run businesses and this new appointment, which will strengthen the corporate centre at the heart of Whitehall, is another step towards meeting that goal."
"Last year, the Efficiency and Reform Group helped departments save a staggering £5.5bn – or £500 for every working household in Britain. But we want to go much further in cutting waste, saving money and streamlining Whitehall," Maude added. "Stephen brings expertise and charisma to this crucial role and I look forward to working with him. Together, we will save taxpayers even more money and improve the way government is run."
This article first appeared in our sister publication Government Computing.