Q5 appoints Sheila Fitzsimons as Head of Public Sector practice

06 August 2019 Consultancy.uk

Consulting firm Q5 has appointed the former Executive Director – Transformation of Guardian News and Media to head up its Public Sector practice. Sheila Fitzsimons arrives having spent the last two years as Senior Transformation Consultant with the UK’s Government Digital Service.

As the firm celebrates its 10th year in business, Q5 Partners has been enjoying an exciting period of growth. The firm now has offices in London, Leeds, Hong Kong, Melbourne, New York and Sydney, and was recently named as the only member of the consulting industry to be honoured by this year’s Queen's Awards for Enterprise. Being lauded in the International Trade category, Q5 picked up the prize for Outstanding Short Term Growth in overseas sales over the last three years.

Now, as it plans for its next phase of expansion, Q5 has appointed a new Head of its Public Sector wing. Sheila Fitzsimons brings three decades of multi-industry experience to the role, having spent the best part of 25 years in high-end journalism, before moving to consulting following a successful stint as a transformation leader at a large UK broadsheet.

Q5 appoints Sheila Fitzsimons as Head of Public Sector practice

Fitzsimons first joined the Guardian as Education Editor in 1990, later taking on a number of journalistic roles which would include Business News Editor and Executive Editor – Guardian and Observer. During her time at the famous publications, however, she also developed a keen set of business skills of her own. Fitzsimons took on multiple Project Director roles with the organisation, before spending her final four years with Guardian News and Media as an Executive Director in Transformation.

This prompted a move to the consulting sector in January 2016, when she began advising diverse organisations – including a leading internet media business, digital-only sportswear company, global financial services company and also drama and ballet schools – on issues including strategy, OD, HR, finance and improving digital presence. A year later, Fitzsimons was appointed as a Senior Transformation Consultant by the Cabinet Office’s Government Digital Service, where she reviewed GOV.UK and the organisation’s internal change plan.

Commenting on her appointment at Q5, Managing Partner Oliver Purnell said via his private LinkedIn account, “I’m delighted to announce that Sheila Fitzsimons has joined Q5 to lead our Public Sector practice. Anyone who has worked with Sheila over the years, at places like the Government Digital Service (UK) or Guardian Media Group (Global publisher), will know that she’s formidable, fiercely bright, yet also reassuringly human. Sheila has impeccable executive credentials, an incalculably huge brain and the gravitas to help us build our influence in the Public Sector across the UK.”

The firm has been working consistently to be admitted to a number of Public Sector frameworks. It now appears on Consultancy 2: Lot 1: Business Consultancy Services; MCF: Lot 4: HR; Cabinet Office OD&D framework; HMRC framework; and NHS NEL framework. As such, Fitzsimons’ arrival comes at a time of heightened public sector engagement for the firm, while Q5 has also recently expanded its London and Leeds consulting teams.


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