13 November 2003 | David Arminas
A new supply chain director at Network Rail will have to be something of a masochist", according to Les Mosco, the former postholder.
Mosco, who has set up his own consultancy, Purchasing Strategies Limited, told SM: "The job is fascinating, challenging and rewarding, but it helps if you are a masochist."
The job offers "an extremely frenetic and stressful lifestyle, so it is for people who find this a positive challenge", he said.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: "Network Rail is going through a major structural reorganisation and until we know exactly what the job will entail we are not looking."
However, SM has learnt that head-hunter Egon Zehnder International has already begun the search, although the agency would not confirm or deny this.
According to one senior procurement director who has been approached by Egon Zehnder, but turned down the job, the £160,000 salary is not enough.
"There are major internal and external challenges with suppliers, and you are exposed to being on the wrong side of legal actions," he said.
"But if you get it all right, you are set for life."
David Atkinson, a consultant who has worked in the highly safety-conscious aerospace industry, said leadership skills will be paramount.
"Highly developed technical skills will be required, but most important will be the ability to lead an organisation through a rough period," he said.
"When you get to a job like the one at Network Rail, you are likely used to that sort of environment and high stress levels where your customers are crawling all over the organisation."