Key personnel changes at G4S following review of Olympic’s performance

G4S Olympic security
G4S Olympic security

Key personnel changes at G4S following review of Olympic’s performance

G4S has announced the resignation of two key personnel following an internal review of the failed Olympics contract 

David Taylor-Smith, Chief Operating Officer and Regional CEO – UK and Africa and of Ian Horseman Sewell, Managing Director, G4S Global Events have resigned.

The company said in a statement: “Richard Morris, currently the Group Managing Director of G4S Care & Justice Services in the UK, has been appointed as the CEO, UK Region. Kim Challis, who currently runs a portfolio of UK commercial and Government businesses, will take on direct line management responsibility for all Government businesses in the UK as CEO, G4S Government and Outsourcing Solutions – a new role created to enhance our focus on this critically important area of our business. ”

Chairman John Connolly said: “G4S has accepted responsibility for its failure to deliver fully on the Olympic contract. We apologise for this and we thank the military and the police for the vital roles they played in ensuring the delivery of a safe and secure Games.

“Our Review of the company’s performance on this contract has been extremely thorough and, whilst the failures are largely specific to the very special nature of this contract, we will learn from mistakes made. We are taking actions in relation to both the management and governance of G4S to ensure we continue to deliver the highest standards of customer service and contract delivery across the Group.”

The company has issued a ten-page report into its failings. More to follow when we have had time to digest it.

1 Comment

  1. securitynewsdesk on September 28, 2012 at 11:30 am

    As I predicted last week, it’s a case of “deputy heads will roll” at G4S. The CEO, Nick Buckles, is considered too valuable to the company to be dismissed.

    The report into the failure of the Olympic contract underscores something I have suspected for years, that the success of specific contracts within G4S (and other large security companies) is largely due to the quality of local management.

    It may be the site manager or the regional manager, but in either case, it has less to do with the posturing and bellowing of the headquarters team than the man on site who ensures that all of the elements of the contract are correct, the staff turn up on time and the client is happy.

    It’s the job of head office to trade off the success of the good contracts – “look how great we are!” – in order to sell more contracts, supply a financing and bookkeeping function and puff up the brand at every opportunity.

    And in the case of the G4S juggernaut, it has also convinced enough financiers in the City to give it the capital to buy a huge number of security companies around the world, which is an efficient way of acquiring new contracts.

    Who will benefit from the addition of a chief operating officer (COO) to the group executive, the top tier of management within G4S?

    It’s clearly intended to reassure clients but in an organisation with 657,000 staff and thousands of contracts in 125 countries, it’s difficult to see how the COO will have any influence on the operation of any but the very largest contracts unless he is reinforced by a small army of managers.

    Currently the company employs a very small number of staff at group level which enables it to be very lean, despite its size. If they add layers of management, it will change the cost structure and undermine profitability.

    According to the report, the Olympic contract ultimately failed due to a collective lack of imagination, a failure to appreciate how this contract was different from all the rest. Lumping it in with the management of other events contracts, a dogmatic adherence to procedures and over-reliance on inadequate metrics were the root causes of this high-profile disaster.

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