Capita plots return to growth as it poaches top IBM executive

13 September 2018 3 min. read
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The professional services firm responsible for collecting the TV licence fee and handling aspects of the British Army's recruitment programme, has appointed a new Chief Growth Officer, as it bids to return to positive growth. Former IBM executive Ismail Amla will take up the role with immediate effect.

The embattled outsourcing group Capita seems to have survived a succession of grim financial outlooks over the past year, despite those profit warnings triggering a number of share-price plunges. At time of writing, Capita – which plummeted out of the FTSE 100 last year – is now worth 149.7p per share, or a total value of £2.45 billion, after its stock fell by nearly two-thirds during the last 12 months.

Now, as the firm looks to underline its ambition to return to revenue growth within two years, Capita has announced the appointment on of a senior IBM executive to its leadership team. The previous Managing Partner of IBM's Global Services unit in North America, Ismail Amla, has previous experience with the consulting industry, having spent five years with Capco, prior to his two year tenure at IBM. During his spell with Capco, Amla spent a year as the firm’s UK CEO and North American CEO, having arrived from Accenture, where he had been a Partner.

Capita plots return to growth as it poaches top IBM executive

Amla's appointment is the most recent in a string of senior hirings made by Jon Lewis, Capita's new Chief Executive, on the heels of a successful fund raising effort. Capita yielded £700 million from the sale of new shares to investors in a bid to secure its future, and following the fund raising phase’s completion, last month, Capita appointed Patrick Butcher, an executive at the transport operator Go-Ahead Group, as its new Chief Financial Officer. This accompanied the arrival of a new Chief Legal Counsel, Human Resources Leader and Chief Transformation Officer as it seeks to focus on high-value technology-led solutions for clients.

As Capita continues on its long road to recovery, Lewis said that Capita was on track to realise £175 million in cost savings by 2020 and reiterated its new strategy of focusing on "technology-led complex activities" in order to help boost margins. The CEO also pledged to appoint at least two Capita employees to the company's board, in line with an important corporate governance reform in line with new government policy.

Commenting on Amla’s arrival, Lewis added, “I’m delighted to welcome Ismail to Capita and look forward to working with him across a number of important areas to support our transformation and goal of returning the business to revenue growth by 2020. We’ve set ambitious targets and are delivering on our commitments; achieving growth across all our platforms is critical to this effort and Ismail’s contribution in this area will be pivotal.”

Amla himself meanwhile said, “I am excited to be joining Capita, which is well positioned to play a leading role in the transformational journeys being undertaken by the public and private sectors. Knowing where business and government are heading and what role technology will play in these transformations presents a huge opportunity to define and shape the way in which the world works. I look forward to working with the team to secure Capita’s position as the digital transformation partner of choice.”