Event attendees on the Procurement Powerlist 2019  ©Julian Dodd
Event attendees on the Procurement Powerlist 2019 ©Julian Dodd

Procurement Power List 2019: leading the profession

On 5 June, CIPS and SM revealed the Procurement Power List 2019, leaders who are having the most impact on our profession – as decided by an expert panel.

"These leaders act as a beacon of great procurement,” says Alison Beckett of executive search business Egon Zehnder, and one of the panel who selected the 40 procurement professionals on this year’s Procurement Power List from CIPS and Supply Management.

What distinguishes these leaders, she says, is their ability to grasp the strategic dimension of procurement, and build powerful relationships with business leaders. “This gives them the credibility to act on the enterprises’ behalf to deliver innovation, value creation, supplier partnering and efficiency.” 

Addressing the attendees at the Procurement Power List launch event in London, Malcolm Harrison, CIPS group CEO, and part of the selection panel, stressed that the key to success is delivery. “Our leaders on the list today are demonstrating the great impact that procurement can have within their own organisations,” he said. 

Whatever their task, be it enabling business growth, innovating through digital disruption, embracing sustainability, or improving the wider communities, it’s the delivery that counts. “First and foremost they must be creating a reputation for consistently delivering value, which is credible and validated,” he said. 

Impact of being on the list

Being on the list is recognition for the whole team, say many who feature this year. “You don’t build a business function, you build a team and they build the business function,” says Bobby Dhanoa of KPMG International, who focuses on technology and high performing teams to transform procurement functions. “It is an absolute privilege to be on the list, but it is a team effort that’s only made possible because of the extraordinary people I work with.”

Patrick Dunne of Sainsbury’s, who is on the list for the second year running, was delighted to see how his inclusion has motivated his team: “It is nice to be recognised. You perceive you don’t need the recognition, but actually it feels good.” It has also presented opportunities for him to give back to the profession, he says: “People are seeking me out for a bit of advice, organisations have asked me to mentor future leaders and judge awards.” 

Dunne was involved in the recent bid to integrate Asda, and has driven a procurement change agenda, which led to him also taking on responsibility for Sainsbury’s property organisation. 

Danone’s Katharina Stenholm, who has been broadening the scope of procurement to contribute to growth, sustainability and productivity, says that being named will energise her teams and give visibility to their achievements: “Our approach to strategic resourcing supports delivery of the Danone One Planet One Health vision. We are on an aspirational and ambitious journey - always happy to share and learn from others.”

Recognition should help with future staff too. Andrew Forzani of the Ministry of Defence says it will support his current focus of recruiting and investing in getting “the best of the talent” into the department. “We usually only get headlines when we are doing something wrong,” he says, “so it is great to have something positive to be able to reach out and say come and work in defence because you can be recognised in the profession.”

Herve Le Faou of Heineken credits his inclusion on the list to three years of strategic sourcing and business partnering, halving the number of suppliers to select only the best and futureproofing technologically and sustainably: “We have created an organisation that has a different profile, and to be recognised externally will act as a talent magnet.”

Le Faou’s previous role running a business in India as a general manager helped him become an effective leader: “When you step back into the role of CPO, you are seen by the general managers as one of their peers so you have fewer barriers, and they can see how procurement can act as a business accelerator.”

Alex Jennings at DC Smith widened his understanding during a six-year stint in sales, before returning to procurement as a CPO: “I think it was seeing it from the other side, working opposite fantastic procurement organisations, such as Carlsberg and Coke, and learning how to sell. To be effective you need to be able to sell your strategy to the business.”

Compiling the list

In its second year, the Procurement Power List has, of course, seen changes, with some of last year’s entrants having left roles, losing eligibility, or changing focus over the past 12 months. These leaders remain part of the wider community of influencers in procurement.

“The annual list is about the leaders at a point in time,” explains panellist Lucy Harding from headhunter Odgers Berndtson. “And it starts back at zero every year, making way for those who are pushing their way forward, pushing the boundaries.” Panellist James Day, from Korn Ferry executive search firm, agrees: “It’s about gamechangers, and it has to be relevant.” 

The number of candidates has inevitably grown for the second year, but there is a pool of names that you keep considering, says panel member Guy Strafford, a founder of procurement business Proxima; “Leaders are people who make the weather around them, like Annie Brown [of IHG] who changed the structure of procurement, who also runs cost efficiency, and who has recruited change. She has set a North Star and taken her team and the organisation with her. That’s what leaders do.”

Telling the procurement story

Connecting the procurement narrative with the business direction is another prominent leadership skill, say panellists, and recognition by the board is a good indicator. “It’s not what you say, it is what people hear,” says Strafford. 

“An effective leader will not have a myopic procurement perspective but a broader commercial understanding of the business, and be able to relate procurement’s role and how the people in the function can help the business deliver,” says Day. So finding procurement credited in the company’s annual report and accounts is a good sign, but the panellists, who are immersed in procurement, also use their extensive knowledge of the market to identify the top leaders.

 They show a global perspective, a cultural agenda, curiosity, and they keep learning, adds Harding.

Nor is it simply a case of looking at those on the conference circuit. Seeking an audience is not enough to qualify, the judges say. More specifically, points out Harrison, they need to have credibility within the procurement community, and to exhibit both confidence and humility and know how to balance the two.

 The panel sought many touchpoints and evidence of how they connected into the business strategy. They looked for candidates who have created a function from scratch or elevated it to another level, and who set up the profession for success in the future. Day points to CPOs such as ABB’s Daniel Helmig, who has hired and trained people who have ended up in CPO positions. “These leaders are leaving a legacy,” he says.

Understanding the business beyond procurement means CPOs spot opportunities, adds Korn Ferry’s Bernhard Raschke, another panellist: “They can frame these opportunities within the objectives a CEO might have, such as profit, innovation, risk – and drive the agenda, through supplier programmes, or leveraging the knowledge of the market to control risk management. That perspective brings with it the ability to be a disruptive leader.”

Bertrand Conqueret’s experience of working in HR gave him a unique HR competence-driven approach to building capability, says Raschke. “He leveraged internal talent, focusing on leadership potential rather than procurement expertise.”

Speaking at the launch, Colin Sharp, vice-president EMEA of C2FO, agreed that technology has removed the silos of functions, enabling better cross-functional alignment. “By collaborating across the organisation and through the supply chain, you can genuinely foster innovation,” he said.

Jamie Ogilvie-Smals, vice-president services Europe of GEP, added that globalisation has contributed to the changed function. “Working in a different cultures as a leader, you are a change agent. Take advantage of that,” he said. 

The number of female CPOs on the list has dropped from last year but this is not expected to be a continuing trend. Raschke points to Paula Davila Martinez who has newly moved from Adidas to Novartis – and is therefore ineligible to join the list this year – as one example of the growing number of senior female procurement leaders he sees earning high profile assignments. “The war for talent is playing out very clearly,” he says. 

Annie Brown, of IHS, on the list for second year, is keen to promote the success of women. “As a woman leader in my field, being on the list helps break through the perceived glass ceiling,” she says. “I am excited to showcase that not only can women be successful leaders in their own organisation, but also leaders within their profession.”

What is expected from future leaders?

Agility is a top skill for the future, says Raschke, who believes there is a new breed of leaders who are hugely agile, and who develop talent as a priority, leaving a legacy through the leaders they breed.

Digitalisation unsurprisingly will be increasingly relevant, as businesses dip their toe into machine learning and AI. “The Ninians of this world are starting to grapple with it already, and you will see the consequences of those starting to percolate out,” says Strafford, referring to Vodafone’s Ninian Wilson, who created and is developing a digital control room in Luxembourg.

“We are using the latest visualisation technology combined with the latest analytics,” confirms Wilson. “Now we have added cognitive/predictive capability. It is the wow factor in Vodafone Supply Chain management.”

Year on year, the list will continue to change, as the business world changes. And there are moments when a leader comes to light, when procurement is catapulted into the boardroom and where a leader has to react. “Events like the Tesco horsemeat scandal or Rana Plaza shine a light on procurement and their supply base,” says Harding. “Whether it is ethical sourcing or child labour, a leader is ready to react.”

Find out more about the Procurement Power List at www.procurementpowerlist.com

The Procurement Power List 2019

The most influential people in procurement (A-Z) 

James Allen
Asset management director, Arriva

Vivienne Bracken
Chief procurement officer, National Grid 

Annie Brown
Head of cost efficiency / chief procurement officer, IHG

Daniel Cameron
Chief procurement officer, Pearson Group 

Andrew Cannon-Brookes
Global head of supply chain management, Standard Chartered 

Bertrand Conqueret
President of global supply chain B.V & chief procurement officer, Henkel

Mark Dady
SVP, chief procurement officer and global supply chain strategy, Mondelez

Bobby Dhanoa
Global chief procurement officer, KPMG International

Patrick Dunne
Director of group property, procurement and cost transformation, Sainsbury’s

Laura Faulkner
Director, supply chain management, Nationwide Building Society

Jan Fokke van den Bosch
Chief procurement officer, HSBC Holdings

Andrew Forzani
Chief commercial officer, Ministry of Defence

Ian Harnett
Executive director, human resources and global purchasing, Jaguar Land Rover

Daniel Helmig
Group head quality & operations, ABB

Alex Jennings
Chief procurement officer, DS Smith

Melinda Johnson
Commercial director, Department of Health and Social Care

Hervé Le Faou
Chief procurement officer, Heineken

Ron Lewis
Chief supply chain officer, Coca-Cola European Partners

Régine Lucas
SVP GPO, L’Oreal

Lisa Martin
Chief procurement officer, GlaxoSmithKline

Tony Milikin
Chief sustainability and procurement officer, Anheuser-Busch InBev

Jennifer Moceri
Chief procurement officer, Diageo

Alex Muir
Chief procurement officer, BP Downstream

Alf Noto
Chief procurement officer, Deutsche Bank

Barry Parkin
Chief procurement and sustainability officer, Mars

Tom Rae
Group director – purchasing, JCB

Imran Rasul
Chief procurement officer & group procurement director, BAE Systems

Gareth Rhys Williams
Chief commercial officer, Cabinet Office

Bilal Shaykh
Group chief procurement officer, Centrica

Katharina Stenholm
SVP, CCPO, Danone

Jim Townsend
Chief procurement officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance

Thomas Udesen
Chief procurement officer, Bayer

Nick Welby
Global business services director, Imperial Tobacco

Michelle Wen
EVP global purchasing & supplier quality, Groupe PSA

Ninian Wilson
Global supply chain director & CEO, Vodafone Procurement


Ones to Watch 2019

Simon Arnott
Procurement & supply chain director, Morgan Sindall

Roque Carmona
SVP, group chief procurement officer, Thales

Andrew Haynes
Procurement director, Heathrow Airport

Rachael Legg
Chief procurement officer, Johnson Matthey

Rob Woodstock
Chief commercial officer, HMRC



 CIPS and Supply Management sought nominations from a panel of experts to create a long list of candidates, including CPOs of FTSE 100 organisations and significant public sector departments. The panel debated, then created a list of 40 names, including five ‘ones to watch’. The list changes annually.

The following criteria were used:

Candidates must be employed practitioners and not working as interims or consultants.

They must be of a senior level and have been in their current role long enough to have achieved significant outcomes.

They will have non-executive board positions in listed, private or public bodies.

They will have responsibility for areas of the business beyond procurement and supply.

 They must be based in Europe, or have responsibility for European procurement teams within a global organisation. 

They will sit in a prominent place in the organisation’s hierarchy and be actively involved in board and executive committee-level discussions.

They will share their knowledge with the profession via trade magazines, blogs, social media and speaking at events.

They will give back to junior procurement and supply professionals, for example mentoring or speaking in schools. 

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.

Alison Beckett
Leads the HR practice group, Egon Zehnder

James Day
Practice leader, Supply Chain, Operations & Procurement EMEA, Korn Ferry

Jorge Gouveia De Oliveira
Managing director, Russell Reynolds Associates 

Lucy Harding
Partner, head of procurement & supply chain practice, Odgers Berndtson

Malcolm Harrison

Bernhard Raschke
Senior client partner, Korn Ferry

Andreas Sjostrom
Principal, Heidrick & Struggles 

Guy Strafford
Executive vice-president, market engagement, Proxim

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