16 February 2009 | Andy Allen
Royal Mail Group has named Kath Harmeston as its new group procurement director.
Harmeston, formerly head of procurement transformation and partner with responsibility for defence at Atos Consulting, will spearhead Royal Mail's procurement transformation project.
The project, which was launched in late 2006, aims to turn the buying function into one of the top three in Europe within three years (News, 21 September 2006). It hopes to secure savings of £300 million over five years on a £2 billion annual spend.
Harmeston said: "The procurement team has made tangible progress over the past 18 months, both in achieving its own transformation goals and in its excellent support of the business during a period of intense change.
"This is a diverse and challenging role, given the profile and scale of the Royal Mail itself and the need to continue to drive the significant procurement transformation agenda."
Former group procurement director Richard Boyce left the group in October 2008. Peter Williams, a founding partner of NewDawn Partnership and former CIPS president, occupied the position in the interim.