Gerry Walsh was procurement director for the London Olympics
Gerry Walsh was procurement director for the London Olympics

Gerry Walsh takes over as CIPS interim CEO

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
28 March 2017

Gerry Walsh will step in as interim CIPS CEO following the death of David Noble.

Walsh, a past president of CIPS who served on both CIPS Council and the Board, is described as an “outstanding procurement supply chain professional who has operated at board level across a number of industries”.

He was CPO at Amey, a division of Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial, where he successfully led the integration of two £1bn-plus businesses. Prior to this he was procurement director for the London Olympics, for which he won Professional of the Year in the CIPS Supply Management Awards 2012.

Tim Richardson, CIPS chairman, said: “We are delighted that someone with Gerry’s experience and calibre is joining the CIPS team.

“Gerry has an outstanding career background and is not only very highly respected but is an excellent pair of hands to guide the CIPS team through the coming months.”

Walsh will take up the post on Monday 3 April, while the recruitment process for a permanent group CEO will begin in the coming weeks.

“My role is ensuring that the institute continues to perform and meet its business objectives and strategic plan for this year,” Walsh told SM. He will remain in the post until the permanent CEO is appointed and is in place, a process that he expects could take around six months.

Walsh has been a CIPS member for over 30 years and was president in 2006-7. “I think that helps understand the structure. But I am bringing myself up to date with what has been going on, and the latest strategic plan.”

Throughout his career Walsh has worked primarily in the fields of purchasing, planning, logistics and operations management. 

“I have genuine passion for the aims of the institute and I have a strong belief that professional procurement and supply chain management can drive tremendous value for organisations and businesses – both public and private – and that often is not fully understood,” he said.

He started his career in the supply function at Ford Motor Company in 1978 and has since worked in a number of industries including Electrolux, Procter & Gamble and American Express, before moving into the food sector by joining RHM in 2003. He worked for Associated British Foods as CPO in 2007-8. In 2009 he joined the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. He now runs a consultancy, which he will return to once the CEO has been appointed. He will not be applying for the permanent post.

Walsh intends to get out and about engaging with stakeholders and members, as David would have been doing, he said. “I admire the work that David had been doing, and there are mixed emotions in picking up the role because in many ways I think we would all prefer if David were there, but sadly that isn’t the case.” 

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