Former government tech procurement expert Kelvin Lee has joined XMA as its director of procurement.
Kelvin Lee was the Crown Commercial Service's technology category director, and was in charge of the Technology Products framework. But he made the move from customer to seller this week, becoming XMA's director of procurement. Prior to working in government, Lee spent 15 years in procurement at property developer Kier Group.
He said his exit from the Cabinet Office into the private sector was "managed very carefully" but said he could not divulge any further information about the process.
In his new role, he will create a full procurement strategy for XMA from what he described as a "blank canvas", and will focus on both public sector and private sector deals.
"XMA has not had a centralised procurement department before, so this is new for XMA," he said. "For a growing business - on track for £400m turnover this year - it's time the organisation needs to look at procurement seriously."
He said he will offer an "end-to-end" procurement strategy, from deciding which bids to go for, to securing the contracts.
Before taking on the role at XMA, Lee said he had met with a number of other firms, but decided XMA was the best fit due to its wide-spanning business.
"I've always been on the other side of the fence as a customer, so from a career perspective, it's an interesting role to see it from the supplier side," he said. "XMA appealed for two reasons: one, because it's got the whole picture - distributor, reseller and manufacturer - and not many people have that. Two: the enthusiasm. Meeting the board of directors and [XMA's CEO] Lee Hemani [allowed me to see that] there's loads of enthusiasm and they have got a growing business, so there's positivity around the place. It's an exciting opportunity at a well thought-of organisation."
XMA's Hemani explained the company's strategy to CRN in December, claiming that the firm was not a "framework junkie", even though it does a lot of business through the government. Lee will be working on bids in both the public and private sector.
Speaking of Lee's appointment, Hemani said: "By securing Kelvin's impressive portfolio of experience and capability, XMA will continue to perform to the highest of our client's commercial expectations.
"Kelvin's private and public sector background provides the ideal foundation for XMA and will optimise commercial procurement initiatives, keeping the business growth trajectory on course across 2017 and beyond. Our strategy for future success is a blend of cultivating exceptional young talent and attracting industry heavyweights like Kelvin, something we will continue to develop. I am proud to have Kelvin in my team and the whole of the business is excited to be working with him."
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