Ian Russell appointed CPO at Telkom

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
6 December 2013

South African telecommunications firm Telkom has announced the appointment of Ian Russell as CPO.

Russell has been charged with driving down costs with the “development of more efficient supply chain options” as part of a leadership overhaul at the firm.

Sipho Maseko, group CEO at Telkom, said: “For Telkom, procurement is a transformative tool that can stimulate economic and social development in a broad context.

“I am confident that Ian’s vast experience in his field of expertise will help us drive cost transformation as we rebase our third-party spend through consolidation and disciplined vendor control and management.

“Ian will be tasked with the development of more efficient supply chain options that enable us to relentlessly drive down our costs. In addition, he will further drive Telkom’s property portfolio optimisation by freeing up some of the capital and reining in the maintenance costs of these assets.”

Maseko added: “This appointment takes us a step closer to completing the renewal of the top leadership team. Ian’s arrival will further bolster a capable and dedicated team that’s in place to drive Telkom’s transformation.”

Russell is currently head of procurement at South African Breweries and he will be joining Telkom in February next year.

Past roles include CPO at the Absa Group and he set up and ran a transformational outsourcing project at Barclays.

Russell said he would be “carefully listening to key stakeholders and suppliers” and then drawing up a two to three-year plan for agreement by the business.

“Once the business and procurement are aligned around that strategy, then I’ll be focused on doing what I do best – ruthlessly executing against that plan,” he said.

“Telkom’s supply base is hugely diverse, and there is a real need to understand how we can create improved innovation, more flexibility and greater scale and skill efficiencies within those supply chains, by applying a structured supplier segmentation approach and the application of world class supplier relationship management techniques.

“Furthermore, as a leader in the South African economy, Telkom’s approach to the sustainable development of black economic empowerment is critical, and I will be focusing on strengthening Telkom’s already excellent record in that regard, by developing a series of strategies tailored to specific commodity groups.”

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