Michael Whitby takes over at Lloyds TSB

by Peter Smith on October 19, 2010

After Caroline Booth’s departure to be a Mountie, Lloyds TSB have selected a young, untried professional as their new CPO - Supply Management had the scoop here. Mike Whitby is just 33 and only shaves on a Sunday…

OK, let’s get real.  Lloyds have gone for a guy with vast experience, from my generation of procurement people (in fact he left NatWest just before I joined and we’ve bumped into each other over the years many times).  Mike has also worked at Barclays, as well as firms such as Reuters and Best Buy (Carphone Warehouse), and has tremendous knowledge and experience in procurement.  I think Mike must have worked with Mark Fisher, his new boss and main Board Director at Lloyds, back in Natwest days; Fisher was the number 2 in the NW Retail Bank when I was there.

FIsher was one of the few NatWesters who did well out of the RBS takeover, ending up on their Board, then joining Lloyds to oversee the integration of HBOS; he is perhaps the leading ‘banking back office integrator’ in Europe.  I know he has also been very supportive of procurement and Caroline.

I wonder whether he had Mike in mind for the role from the outset; I did pick up comment swirling around the procurement ether that the recruitment process wasn’t particularly ‘active’.  I certainly didn’t see the job advertised, (although I’m happy to be corrected on that).  If it wasn’t, that might be seen as disappointing from a transparency point of view, given we (the taxpayers) own about half of the bank   Saves us money though I suppose on adverts and fees…..

Mike has a pretty direct style, which may be somewhat different to Caroline’s modus operandi; but I’m sure he  understands exactly what needs to be done to drive further value from procurement, and I wish him all the best for his exciting new role!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

steve mullins October 22, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Hi Peter – and my first input to your blog – much enjoying it by the way. Thought I could usefully add some thoughts on the ‘Michael@LBG’ saga. I understand that the recruitment process was run by a specialist in house executive recruitment team who deployed a global search. A short list of 6-7 as worked up, including a number of highly credible and experienced candidates well known to us. My understanding is that the process itself had five clear steps including a pretty searching half day assessment centre to check out not just capability and competence but also whether people would work well within the LBG culture. Very sensibly, one of the interviewing team was an ex CPO who is now in a senior operations role at LBG. And LBG indicate that Mark Fisher did not have Michael in mind from the outset, or at least not in a way that was evident to interviewees.

Hope that’s helpful – keep up the good work, Peter!


admin October 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Thank you so much for this!
I must admit when I write somewhat ‘controversial’ stuff, I’m often hoping to provoke comment from someone who really knows what happened (even if it is to put me right!)
And this is a perfect example… thank you so much, very interesting, and do keep commenting.
And I look forward to Michael being a huge success (particularly as we all own a big chunk of LBG…)

steve mullins October 23, 2010 at 9:45 am

Thanks Peter
On topical stuff, just wondering if you had any insights/perspectives on yesterday’s west london ‘3 into 1′ LA services story – rationale, politics, financials , chances of ’success’ (!) etc etc
Enjoy the sunshine

admin October 24, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Doing something on this in next few days. Can’t promise to cover all those points…but I suspect it is a story that we’ll come back to over the next months or even years!

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