UK government chief commercial officer Bill Crothers announces he is to step down

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
30 July 2015

UK government chief commercial officer Bill Crothers has announced he is leaving the post.

The government said Crothers had decided “it is the right time to move to the next stage of his career, and for someone new to take commercial reform in government forward”.

Crothers will continue in the role until his successor is recruited and he will remain an advisor to the government.

“Bill’s expertise will not be lost altogether; he will continue as a commercial advisor to help us improve our commercial capability and advise on our most complex deals,” said the Cabinet Office (CO). “Over time, Bill will also take on some similar advisory roles in the private sector.”

Crothers said: “I’ve hugely enjoyed leading the commercial function in its set-up stage, and I’m very proud of the improvements we’ve already seen in government’s commercial capability.

“Now is therefore the right time for me to change role and let someone new lead the implementation of the next phase.”

Crothers joined the civil service in 2007, from a 21-year career as a senior executive at Accenture, starting in the Identity and Passport Office and becoming group commercial director of the Home Office in 2010. He became government CPO in 2012 and in 2014 he was appointed chief commercial officer after leading the creation of the Crown Commercial Service.

John Manzoni, chief executive of the civil service, said: “Bill has contributed hugely to driving commercial common sense into everything we do. His unstinting energy in assisting officials across Whitehall to reach the right commercial deal, drive maximum value for money for the taxpayer, and to build commercial skills across government, will be missed.”

Jeremy Heywood, cabinet secretary and head of the civil service, said: “The civil service has significantly improved its commercial skills over the past five years. Bill has played a vital role in helping us recognise the scale of the capability challenge and taking important first steps to tackle it.”

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