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Embattled Capita finally finds a CEO

Embattled Capita finally finds a CEO

Capita's long search for a boss to transform its fortunes has finally ended. 

The troubled outsourcing firm has appointed Jonathan (Jon) Lewis as chief executive, replacing Andy Parker (pictured) who stepped down in March. 

Lewis brings a wide range of executive and leadership expertise to the firm mainly within technology-enabled services businesses. His most recent role was as chief executive of Amec Foster Wheeler, prior to its acquisition by John Wood Group.

Finance director Nick Greatorex will continue to lead the company until Lewis joins on 1 December. 

Parker's departure came after a string of profit warnings at Capita, following a disastrous 2016, which saw shares sink to a 10-year low. The group slashed jobs from its register in a major restructure as it fought to get the business back on track. 

Shares took another major hit last month following an underwhelming set of results, in which it said profits were only likely to 'rise modestly' in the second half of the year.

'Jon is a proven, successful business leader with the ideal blend of experience to lead the transformation of Capita,' chair Ian Powell told the market. 

'He brings strategic vision and a strong track record throughout his career of growing high value, technology-enabled services businesses through securing and developing major client relationships in both the private and public sectors.'

Capita's performance has hurt big backers Neil Woodford and Mark Barnett.

Woodford holds the stock in both his Woodford Equity Income and Income Focus funds, although he has recently trimmed his stake. 

Barnett, his successor at Invesco Perpetual meanwhile holds Capita in his Invesco Perpetual Income and High Income funds.

Lewis' opening statement may give the pair some comfort. 

'I have spent my career innovating and deploying services to enable customers to have smarter processes and create more efficient organisations, and that is Capita’s central proposition. I believe there is a real opportunity to build a truly world class technology-enabled services business from Capita’s embedded foundations.

'There is work to do to complete the transformation of Capita and I am determined to make the business and its value propositions stronger for our employees, customers and shareholders, and return this great company to growth.' 

Lewis joined Amec Foster Wheeler in 2016, following a 20-year career at oilfield services company Halliburton, which included 10 years working in, then running, the Landmark software business. 

 

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