New Capita boss pledges fresh think­ing and bet­ter tech

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By

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.

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