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Past President - Richard Masser

Richard MasserCIPS president Richard Masser is urging the profession to put procurement and supply at the heart of their organisations.

Masser, who takes up his year-long tenure at the start of November, began his career as a stock controller with the Wolseley Group and is now CEO of Crestwood UK and Asia. He worked his way through the ranks of lower, middle and senior management, held main board directorships and was the youngest serving director of a public Danish manufacturing company at the age of 30. He has experience in a variety of sectors including retail, distribution, wholesale and manufacturing working for both private and public companies.

Asked how to action his theme and put procurement at the heart of business, he said: “For me, the equation is quite simple.” The key elements are:

  • training and development to gain skills and continuing professional development to keep current;
  • a thorough understanding of corporate objectives and participation in setting your own aligned objectives;
  • commitment to ambitious but deliverable targets that push you out of your comfort zone; confidence in your ability to deliver;
  • proactively making the highest level of management aware of what you intend to deliver before you deliver it in order to be seen as a strategic enabler;
  • delivering on your promise to generate results that can be relied upon; share success and recognition for the added value procurement brings;
  • creating tangible value to enable procurement to sit at the heart of your business.

Masser, himself an entrepreneur having set up his own company in 2000, also urges the profession to “harness their inner entrepreneur – or ‘intra-preneur’”. He said: “The same attributes that make a good entrepreneur are of tremendous value in-house. You might remain in procurement for your whole career - perhaps with a single company - but you can still think and act like an entrepreneur in that environment and add real value.”

Masser said entrepreneurs typically think independently but always listen to others at all levels of the business hierarchy; take individual responsibility, but work in teams; and take controlled risks, whilst at the same time doing everything they can to mitigate them. He describes them as “magpies” who take best practice from any industry if it will work in their organisation and he said they think strategically, laterally and constantly ask ‘how can we improve?'. “These are great attributes for anyone working in procurement. If you can acquire them [and you can] you will begin to think and act like an intra-preneur, and your organisation will benefit.”

Qualities of an Intra-preneur

  • Have respect for the people you work with in your business at all levels and for yourself.
  • Recognise that noise doesn’t always mean know how or knowledge.
  • Listen to the quiet ones.
  • Plan plan plan – I can’t stress this enough.
  • Embrace failure and learn from it Apply lean thinking where you can Be bold and harness your intra-preneural spirit.
  • Apply lean thinking where you can.
  • Be bold and harness your intra-preneural spirit. 


Dear fellow professionals,

The end of my Presidential year is now upon me and I couldn't possibly conclude my term without saying a few words publicly to reflect upon my year.

I say a 'few words' because I hope that via the activities and events I have been involved in throughout the year, my Presidential message has already either directly or indirectly reached you all and in turn had a positive impact, even if only in some small way.

And what a tremendous year it has been; I have travelled far and wide, meeting thousands of truly amazing people on what I can honestly say has been an incredible journey - one that I will remember for many years to come.

From my humble beginnings as a stock controller to my current position as a group CEO I'm just an ordinary down to earth chap, very proud of what I've achieved and passionate about our profession; and one of the most uplifting aspects of my journey this year has been meeting so many different people who I know for sure can and will experience a similar journey to me.

Listening, talking and interacting with so many new people I have witnessed that same passion, enthusiasm and determination that I have always considered to be amongst my greatest personal strengths, underpinned by a huge desire to drive real positive change for the greater good of our profession and indeed our wonderful institute - CIPS.

For those of you who attended one of my presentations you will recall that my objective as your 2016 president was to have a qualitative experience not merely a quantitative one, to inspire and to be inspired, to educate and to be educated and to provide a vision for the future of our profession. I hope that I achieved my objective and that the profession has been enhanced, even if only in part, through the collective presidential effort.

The respect and support for my theme 'Procurement at the Heart of Business' has been quite incredible and it is clear to me that the level of talent, engagement and enthusiasm we have within our profession is a real jewel in the crown with an immeasurable potential for our short, medium and long term future prosperity.

Irrespective of our individual views, I'm sure we would all agree that we are indeed in the midst of uncertain times, some may even say unprecedented - politically, economically and socially but as procurement professionals I strongly believe we are indeed in a unique position and if channelled effectively those aforementioned uncertainties can actually represent our greatest strength and opportunity.

We are indeed very fortunate to represent a profession that can and does influence every sphere of business life - irrespective of the nature or sector of the enterprises within which we work; never has the time been better to engage and strategically integrate within our respective organisations, to demonstrate the very real value we can add, to take a leading commercial position and to navigate our stakeholders through difficult waters leading to favourable business outcomes.

In short, it's down to each of us to grasp the opportunity with both hands, to lead and not merely follow, to be part of the corporate agenda and in turn to become true strategic enablers.

It has genuinely been an honour and a privilege to serve you as CIPS president; not only have I met some incredible people from all around the world but I also have a lasting memory of something really worthwhile that I will carry with me for many years to come.

My penultimate words are of thanks - to everyone who has supported me on my year long journey, our inspiring membership, branch members and leaders, wider stakeholders and of course all the team at Easton House, many of them unsung heroes, who have been quite superb.

And finally to our incoming president, a true captain of industry Mr Sam Walsh - Sam, I wish you every success with your forthcoming year - capture every moment, it's a bit like a supersonic flight, over before you know it.

Good luck to you all with your endeavours to put 'Procurement at the heart of business'

Thank you again – it’s been a pleasure!



Career History

  • Wolseley Group
  • Ladbrookes
  • Autogem
  • Eurospace
  • Quantum
  • Crestwood


CIPS Career History

  • CIPS Council 2009
  • FCIPS 2010
  • CIPS Board of Management 2011
  • CIPS Foundation and Awarding Body of Trustees 2012
  • GBT Chairman 2013
  • CIPS President 2015