Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh to receive new CIPS award

8 September 2013

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9 September 2013 | Paul Snell

Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh will be the first recipient of a new award created by CIPS to recognise the contribution of a senior leader to the procurement and supply chain profession.

The CIPS Award for CEO Procurement Champion will be presented to the Australian, who took over at the world’s second biggest mining company in January this year, at the start of the CIPS Supply Management Awards which takes place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Wednesday 11 September.

The honour has been created by the institute to recognise both a contribution to the profession and to demonstrate how procurement and supply management can be fundamental to forging a path to a career as a CEO.

Walsh, who began his career as a trainee buyer at General Motors Holden and joined the mining company in 1991 as managing director of its foundry business, was selected for his strong role as an advocate for the profession as a strategic function in a business, his long-term view for the organisation and his strong leadership.

As CEO he has demonstrated a commitment to the core principles of good procurement; working as part of a team, a focus on overall value not just price, total acquisition cost, calculating risk, the importance of ethics, a responsibility to the community and entrepreneurship. He also drives innovation with suppliers in his role.

And even as CEO he continues to mentor procurement staff, providing career advice and a role model to which they can aspire.

David Noble, CIPS CEO, said: “Excellence should be recognised in all its forms and I’m delighted that we could make this a public statement among so many talented people at the awards.

“Sam has exceeded in his procurement career and has created a route to the very top joining the ranks of other supply chain specialists turned CEO such as Apple’s Tim Cook. I hope this inspires other professionals to see that such a leadership role is achieveable and that our profession offers good grounding for such fantastic opportunities.”

Walsh is no stranger to receiving awards. He is already the holder of a Gold Medal from the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Richard Pratt Business Arts Leadership Award in Australia and has been appointed as an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

The CIPS Supply Management Awards celebrates excellence in the procurement and supply profession. More than 1,200 people will gather on this gala evening to hear the winners in 10 team and three individual categories announced by impressionist and comedian Jon Culshaw, and to learn who will be crowned the overall winner for 2013.

Full details about the Awards can be found at

An interview with Sam Walsh will appear in the September edition of Supply Business

Tower Hill, London (Greater)
£43,000 PA
St Mungo’s
Yeovil, Somerset
Up to £45,000
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