Stephen Kelly Appointed As The Government COO
The man who made Micro Focus a success joins the Cabinet Office
Stephen Kelly, former CEO of the software management company Micro Focus, has been appointed as the chief operating officer of the UK government. He will also lead the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform team.
The appointment was welcomed by the Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, a personal friend of Kelly, who has called it another step to achieve his vision of running the government “like a business”.
In 2009, Kelly shocked investors and the UK software industry by announcing he would step down as CEO of Micro Focus, the company he was instrumental in turning round. He cited personal reasons for this departure.
Kelly began working for the government in July last year, when he was appointed Crown Commercial Representative. In this position, he helped negotiate new contracts with IT suppliers such as SAP, Oracle and Microsoft. According to the Cabinet Office, these deals might have saved the government as much as £800 million.
He also led the delivery of MyCSP – a pension administration enterprise for 1.5 million civil servants.
Last year, the Telegraph described Kelly as having “a reputation for cheerfully taking on ‘toxic’ projects and making them work” and a manner “most likely to annoy civil servants”.
“I’ve always said Government needs to function more like the best run businesses and this new appointment, which will strengthen the corporate centre at the heart of Whitehall, is another step towards meeting that goal,” commented Maude.
“Stephen brings expertise and charisma to this crucial role and I look forward to working with him,” he added.
It is expected Kelly will keep his position as the chairman of the board at CloudApps, a UK-based carbon monitoring software-as-a-service vendor. CloudApps touted itself as Europe’s first vendor focused on climate change regulatory compliance and the management of carbon as a business asset.
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