Steve Morgan to join Ministry of Defence procurement

19 December 2012

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19 December 2012 | Paul Snell

Steve Morgan, BAA’s former capital director, is to join the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in January in the commercial function of Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S).

The MoD confirmed Morgan would start his role, as director defence equpiment & support commercial operations, on 7 January at the department’s procurement and supply chain organisation. Morgan will report to commercial director Les Mosco.

Morgan, the winner of the CIPS procurement and supply chain professional of the year in 2008, left his role at BAA in October and told SM he wanted “to do something big and exciting over the next couple of years”. He cited MoD acquisition as an area he was prepared to consider.

“While Heathrow was an exciting and gratifying role and our capital programme was huge, my roots are in the defence sector so I am delighted to be returning to defence and having the opportunity to serve my adopted country,” Morgan told SM. “I am very excited about the move to MoD. It is definitely the biggest acquisition assignment in the UK.”

In the role Morgan will be responsible for the 10 heads of commercial, who each focus on a certain type of equipment, such as helicopters, submarines and land equipment.

Mosco said in a statement: “I am really pleased that Steve is joining us. He comes with an impressive track record of complex acquisition and capital projects. His role in MoD is to lead the DE&S day to day commercial activity of circa £14 billion annual spend on some of the most challenging acquisition tasks in the UK. His appointment follows an extensive recruitment campaign, which also appointed a number of internal candidates to senior posts, plus two externals, Neil Thompson (ex National Grid) and Colin Willoughby (ex General Dynamics). All will help strengthen the MoD commercial function.”

He joined BAA in 2009 responsible for capital projects and procurement. He had also previously worked at Sellafield as director of commercial and contract management. He has military experience too, having served for 30 years in the US Navy as a rear admiral.

Last July, the MoD announced it was looking for candidates with “heavyweight procurement experience and a proven track record of managing multi-billion complex spend and major suppliers” to fill a number of new senior positions.

At the time, Les Mosco, commercial director at the MoD, told SM: “The posts we are recruiting for are among the most challenging procurement and contracting roles in the UK. The director DE&S commercial operations job covers circa £20 billion [spend] and [responsibility for] 1,000 commercial procurement staff and is one of the top commercial posts in government.”

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