Bill Crothers is to step down as the government’s chief commercial officer but will continue in an advisory role, the Cabinet Office has announced.
Crothers – previously the government’s chief procurement officer before being handed the newly-created CCO post last year – oversaw the 2014 launch of the Crown Commercial Service, the executive agency set up to try and sharpen Whitehall’s commercial skills and get better deals from suppliers through the central purchasing of common goods.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Cabinet Office said Crothers – who had decided it was “the right time to move to the next stage of his career” – would be leaving the CCO role, with the search for his replacement starting immediately.
But the department said Crothers would continue to work as an advisor on the government’s “most complex deals”, and would also take on “some similar advisory roles in the private sector” in the future. Before joining the civil service in 2007, Crothers spent two decades at management consultancy firm Accenture.
In a post on GOV.UK following the announcement of his departure, Crothers said he had “hugely enjoyed leading the Commercial Function in its set-up stage”.
He added: “It is with mixed emotions that I’ve decided that now is the right time to move to the next stage in my career – and let someone new with a fresh perspective lead implementation. I will miss the challenge, stimulation and satisfaction of seeing continued improvement; however, now is the right time.
“Whilst people may remember the big savings numbers and the deals, what I feel most grateful for is the opportunity this role has given me to lead the development of the commercial community. I’ve always considered that the true test of leadership is to “leave the place” better than when you arrived, and I hope that’s what I’ve been able to achieve in this role.”