New Capita boss pledges fresh thinking and better tech
Jon Yeomans THE incoming boss of Capita has vowed to introduce a “multi-year strategy” and new technology to turn the troubled outsourcing group around.
Turnaround specialist Jon Lewis, previously boss of the oil services group Amec Foster Wheeler until its £2.2bn takeover by Wood Group, completed yesterday, said Capita was in a “unique position” to meet the needs of its customers in the public and private sectors.
“I see many of the individual Lego blocks of success but I’m not sure they are being combined as effectively as they could be,” Mr Lewis said, adding that he would look to shore up Capita’s proprietary technology to improve its offering to clients.
Capita, which provides IT management services to businesses and local authorities, has been rocked by a string of profit warnings in recent years. Previous boss Andy Parker in March announced his intention to step down and departed last month, when the company was also hit by the loss of a major contract to manage the Government’s military estate.
Nick Greatorex, the finance director, will continue to lead Capita as interim chief executive until Nov 30, when Mr Lewis will take over.
The new boss will embark on a review of each of the company’s divisions but promised “not to go in all guns blazing”. “Very often the solutions are there in the organisation but those people perhaps weren’t being heard,” he said, adding that Capita’s prior strategy of “big ticket contract wins and bolt-on acquisitions to drive growth” had become “unsustainable”.
Mr Lewis joined Amec in 2016, tasked with rescuing the company after it was battered by a downturn in the oil market. His turnaround programme appeared to be bearing fruit at Amec’s last results in August, but he insisted that the merger with Wood was none the less “the right thing to do”.
Prior to his stint at Amec, Mr Lewis was at US giant Halliburton for 20 years, where he undertook turnarounds of two separate divisions. He said he had been in talks with Capita’s board since April. Capita shares closed up 1.3pc at 569.5p.