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Changes to the Group Executive Committee

Published: 16 Jun 2020

[pictured: Rupert Soames and Mark Irwin]

Serco Group plc, the international Government services business, makes the following announcement concerning senior management appointments.

Chief Executive Officer – UK & Europe

After six years with Serco, Kevin Craven Chief Executive Officer of UK & Europe (UK&E), has decided to step back from a full-time role and develop his non-executive interests.  As part of this new stage in his career Kevin will remain with Serco for the next few years working part-time, reporting to the Group Chief Executive, and will serve as a non-executive director of our major partnerships such as AWE and Merseyrail.  Kevin will step down from the Group Executive Committee before the end of 2020.

Kevin has been instrumental in the turnaround of our UK&E business, and his efforts and commitment have been unwavering.  Under his stewardship, our reputation and relationships with our key customers have greatly improved; our service delivery has been strengthened; our colleague engagement has increased; our financial position has been transformed; our win rates have increased and our position in the market has been improved beyond recognition.

To take the UK&E business on to the next stage, Mark Irwin, currently the CEO of Asia Pacific (ASPAC), will succeed Kevin as CEO of UK & Europe.  Mark, who joined Serco in 2013, has himself led an impressive turnaround of ASPAC, and will leave the business transformed, growing and profitable.  He and his family will relocate from Sydney to the UK over the summer, to have a seamless handover with Kevin during the autumn.  Before joining Serco seven years ago Mark worked in Asia for a private-equity backed business and in the USA for GE.  Mark will come to UK and Europe Division with a track record of having successfully managed businesses in Justice & Immigration, Defence, Citizens Services and Health as well as building strong relationships with Government clients.

Chief Executive Officer – Asia Pacific

With Mark relocating to the UK, Peter Welling, currently Managing Director of our Australian Citizen Services business, will succeed him as CEO of Asia Pacific, with effect from 01 August 2020.  He will also join the Group Executive Committee.  Peter joined Serco five years ago having had a distinguished career working for Government; he has transformed our Citizen Services business and made it one of the fastest-growing businesses in Serco, winning contracts to supply services to Services Australia, Victoria Police, the National Disability Insurance Agency and most recently one of the largest contracts ever signed by Serco – the National Garrison Health Services contract supporting the Australian Defence Force.

Group Chief Operating Officer

From 2014 until 2017 Serco had a Chief Operating Officer in the form of Ed Casey, who was a huge support to the management team and was instrumental in the early years of the turnaround of Serco.  When he had had his fill of commuting weekly across the Atlantic, Ed left Serco, and the role was left vacant.  However, we recruited Anthony Kirby from Compass Group in 2017 as Group HR Director, and since then his responsibilities have expanded to include transformation and our shared services operations. In recent months he has led our response to Covid-19 and has won the respect of everyone both for that role and for the way he has transformed many of our support functions and improved the services which our contracts and front-line staff depend upon.  It now makes sense to reinstate the Chief Operating Officer role, which will allow Anthony to drive continued improvement amongst our support services across the world, whilst continuing to be responsible for HR and shared services.

Rupert Soames, Serco Group Chief Executive, said: “These moves are entirely consistent with our ambition to be the best-managed business in our sector, and will give renewed impetus and urgency to Serco as we continue to transform and grow, focus on developing the capabilities and capacity of our people and businesses, increase our efficiency and productivity, and continue to deliver superb public services which are valued by our Government customers and make a positive difference to the lives of our service-users.”