The Procurement Power List celebrates impact and influence ©Julian Dodd
The Procurement Power List celebrates impact and influence ©Julian Dodd

Procurement Power List 2018

The Procurement Power List is the definitive list of the most influential people in procurement. Compiled with leading executive search agencies and industry experts, it celebrates impact and influence in procurement. Read on to find out who is on the 2018 Procurement Power List...

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” That timely quote from leadership guru Ken Blanchard provides the ideal opener to our celebration of the leaders making an impact in procurement, with the unveiling of CIPS and Supply Management’s first Procurement Power List.

This is the definitive list of the most influential people in procurement in Europe. It recognises leaders who are pushing procurement and supply strategy forward, making a positive contribution to the reputation of the profession, via the value to their own organisations and the work they do to raise the profile of the profession more widely.

Ultimately, the Procurement Power List is a celebration of the impact great procurement can have on organisations, the business ecosystem and wider society. CIPS interim group CEO Gerry Walsh says: “The Procurement Power List is a celebration of the very best in our profession, those who are leading the way and inspiring others.”

“If you are just coming into the profession, it’s something to aspire to; if you’re at the top, it’s a yardstick by which you can measure yourself,” adds Guy Strafford, executive vice president, market engagement at Proxima and a member of the panel that compiled the list.

Our panel of executive search agencies and industry experts “were looking for CPOs who were both credible and had a great external brand perception in the market,” says CIPS group director Cath Hill. “Someone whose peers look to them for inspiration and who contributes to the wider profession.”

Growing influence

Now – 2018 – is the perfect time to celebrate procurement’s growing impact. The function itself has become more influential in most organisations since the global financial crisis, points out Jorge Gouveia de Oliveira, managing director of Russell Reynolds Associates. “Being able to talk about procurement in an intelligent manner has become much more important, and the function has become more strategic.”

“Most organisations are going through transformation,” says James Day, leader of Korn Ferry’s procurement, operations and supply chain practice. “Procurement has not necessarily been at the top table and has been seen as more transactional, now a good leader sees the value that procurement can bring. It’s being seen as an equal in the business.”

Much of this is down to the work of stellar leaders, and the rising status of the procurement and supply functions means that we need even more exceptional people rising through the ranks. But what makes influential procurement? Why do the individuals on the list stand out?

Standing out

“Part of it is how technically competent you are; you have to be good at your job – that’s the base line,” says Lucy Harding, leader of the procurement and supply chain practice at executive search firm Odgers Berndtson. “But what makes people stand out is interpersonal qualities and their leadership skills. As the procurement function has matured, there are more people with the [technical] skills now, so that’s not what differentiates people now. It’s more about how you do things rather than what you do.”

Bernhard Raschke, senior client partner and head of EMEA Supply Chain Centre of Expertise at Korn Ferry, agrees. “It’s good interpersonal skills, driven by credibility, which comes from your track record.” He cites the importance of impact, which he defines as “how they lead, how they influence, how they think”. Like Harding, he caveats that “you have to be technically credible”, but, he adds: “If you remain an expert, you are not a leader. Above a certain level, technical skill accounts for less than 20% [of success]; 80% is leadership.”

These leadership and influencing skills allow CPOs to build strong relationships and networks, something Gouveia de Oliveira says is critical. In fact one of the most common mistakes he sees senior procurement executives making is being great at strategy, but losing out and having to leave a business “because they’ve failed at the networking”.

“Leadership qualities are essential: you need to bring the organisation with you,” he adds. Achieving great things through people is what marks a true leader. Harding says those that stand above the rest “are developing their people and a function that is not all about them – a function that will attract talent”.

Day says that organisations are increasingly looking for CPOs who can be seen as equal members of the executive team, as credible as a CFO. “That means strategic capability, commercial acumen and not using ‘procurement speak,” he adds. “Being good at dealing with suppliers isn’t what makes you a CPO, but being good at dealing with the board does,” agrees Proxima’s Strafford. “It’s not about saving money, but getting the supply base to deliver things that achieve the goals of your CEO.”

Enhancing reputations

What the leaders on our list also display is an energy and passion for representing and furthering the profession outside of their day jobs. “It’s the profile they create externally,” says Harding. “They are contributing to the profession.”

This doesn’t mean being a ‘rent-a-gob’ or turning up to the opening of an envelope, but engaging more thoughtfully. “It starts with emotional intelligence and listening as much as you speak,” Harding says. “Be open and accessible. Don’t just turn up, but contribute to the debate. The appetite to recognise there’s more to be done to develop the profession [makes people stand out].”

Another quality that connects these leaders, and one of our criteria for choosing them, was a breadth of experience. Many have roles that encompass responsibilities beyond procurement, and some have moved into other business-leading positions. A successful leader is “someone who ends up in general management or taking on additional responsibility,” believes Raschke.

“The biggest prize goes to flexibility, agility and the ability to adapt,” adds Gouveia de Oliveira. “Being able to morph and adapt and flex your style is what distinguishes the winners and losers.” Getting experience in a range of roles, functions and sectors can only help with that learning agility.

The list will evolve and change annually. “If you haven’t made it to this list this year then put yourselves out there, shout about your successes, engage with the wider community and I hope to be reading your name next year,” says Hill.

The Procurement Power List 2018 was revealed at an exclusive event for CPOs in June at Sea Containers House in London.

Top 30


  • Dapo Ajayi, Vice president manufacturing and technical operations, Janssen
  • Annie Brown, Senior vice president, global procurement and cost efficiency, IHG
  • Julia Brown, CPO, Carnival Corporation
  • Dhaval Buch, CPO, Unilever
  • Andrew Cannon-Brookes, Global head, supply chain management, Standard Chartered Bank
  • James Cay, CPO, BNY Mellon
  • Oliver Cock, Managing director, Foodbuy
  • Adrian Cook, Director of fresh foods, Sainsbury’s
  • Paula Davila Martinez, CPO, adidas
  • Rob Douglas, CPO, Direct Line Group
  • Patrick Dunne, Director of group procurement and cost transformation, Sainsbury’s
  • Laura Faulkner, CPO and director, supply chain management, Nationwide
  • Jan Fokke van den Bosch, CPO, HSBC
  • Andrew Forzani, Chief commercial officer, UK Ministry of Defence
  • Ian Harnett, Executive director, HR and global purchasing, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Klaus Hofmann, Senior vice president, global procurement, KraftHeinz
  • Alex Jennings, CPO, DS Smith
  • Melinda Johnson, Commercial director, Department for Health and Social Care
  • Nikolaus Kirner, Group CPO and group transformation director, Thomas Cook Group
  • Lisa Martin, CPO, GSK
  • Alf Noto, CPO, Deutsche Bank
  • Tom Rae, Group director of purchasing and supply chain, JCB
  • Gareth Rhys Williams, Chief commercial officer, Government Commercial Function
  • Kristian Saksida, CPO, Solvay
  • Bilal Shaykh, Group CPO and head of real estate, Centrica
  • Juliet Sotnick, CPO, Babcock International Group
  • Fredrick Spalcke, Executive vice president and CPO, Royal Philips
  • Katharina Stenholm, Senior vice president, chief cycles and procurement officer, Danone
  • Nick Welby, Global business services director, Imperial Brands
  • Ninian Wilson, Group supply chain director, Vodafone

Ones to Watch


  • Michelle Baker, CPO, KPN
  • George Booth, Group CPO, Lloyds Banking Group
  • Vivienne Bracken, CPO, National Grid
  • Sara Harding, Global head, procurement and sourcing, Aegon
  • Karen Mansell, CPO, Bayer CropScience
  • Jennifer Moceri, CPO, Diageo
  • Imran Rasul, CPO, BAE Systems
  • Jin Sahota, Commercial director, supply chain, Department of Health
  • Karin Hagen-Gierer, CPO, Sanofi
  • Jim Townsend, CPO, Walgreens Boots Alliance

Event gallery: winners who's who - event attendees


CIPS and Supply Management asked for nominations from a panel of experts and created a long list of candidates, including the CPOs of FTSE 100 organisations and significant public sector organisations.  These names were debated with the panel to create a list of 30 names, plus 10 “ones to watch”. The list will change annually.

The following criteria were used:


  • Employment status. Candidates must be employed practitioners and not working as interims or consultants. They must be of a significantly senior level (CPO and above) and have a successful track record from previous roles, as well as being in their current role long enough to have achieved significant outcomes.
  • Geography. They must be CPOs based in Europe, or those who work for global organisations but have responsibility for European procurement teams.
  • Internal influence. They will sit in a prominent place in the company hierarchy and be actively involved in board and executive committee-level discussions in their organisation.
  • External influence. They will have non-executive board positions in listed, private or public bodies.
  • Influencing the wider profession. They will share their knowledge with the profession via trade magazines, blogs, social media and speaking at events.
  • Developing others in the function. They will give back to more junior procurement and supply professionals, for example mentoring or speaking in schools.
  • Depth and breadth of experience. They will have responsibility for other areas of the business beyond procurement and supply.
  • Their relationship with CIPS makes no difference to their inclusion, or not, in the list and they do not have to be CIPS members.
  • However, no professional with an official connection to CIPS can be on the list, for example, board or committee members.

The Panel

The Procurement Power List panel consists of headhunters and industry experts selected for the strengths of their networks and insight into the procurement profession, and what senior leaders are looking for from their CPOs, as well as representatives from CIPS and Supply Management.


  • James Day, practice leader – supply chain, procurement & operations EMEA, Korn Ferry
  • Jorge Gouveia de Oliveira, managing director, Russell Reynolds Associates
  • Lucy Harding, partner and global head of practice, procurement and supply chain, Odgers Berndtson
  • Cath Hill, group director, CIPS
  • Katie Jacobs, editor, Supply Management
  • Bernhard Raschke, senior client partner and head of EMEA Supply Chain Centre of Expertise, Korn Ferry
  • Guy Strafford, EVP market engagement, Proxima
  • Richard Guest, principal consultant, procurement and supply chain practice, Berwick Partners
  • Gerry Walsh, interim group CEO, CIPS

The Procurement Power List 2018 website