18 May 2000 | Geraint John
Peter Smith, group purchasing director at NatWest, is to leave the company after new owner Royal Bank of Scotland's decision to move the job north of the border, writes Geraint John.
As predicted in SM last month, RBS has backed down on its plan not to have director-level purchaser and will appoint a new purchasing director based in Edinburgh. Lloyd Ketley, RBS's head of purchasing and contracts, will assume the role while the bank considers candidates.
Smith, who joined NatWest in 1997 after spells at the Department of Social Security and Dun & Bradstreet, said he was asked to apply for the job, but did not want to relocate. He stressed that his departure was completely amicable and that he wished the bank well in its restructuring programme.
"It's been a very enjoyable and challenging few years," Smith told SM. "Every major organisation is going through massive change at the moment and so no one's career is predictable anymore."
He will leave NatWest at the end of June and is currently weighing up his options. "With all the activity around dot.coms and trading exchanges, it's a very exciting time for purchasing people. I would quite like to be part of that," he added.
Smith, who is also deputy chairman of CIPS's board of management, said his main achievement at NatWest was centralising much of its purchasing without losing close relationships at business-unit level.