Telkom has announced the appointment of Ian Russell as chief procurement officer. He will join the Telkom team on 1 February 2014.

Says Telkom Group CEO, Sipho Maseko: “This appointment takes us a step closer to completing the renewal of the top leadership team. Ian’s arrival will further bolster a capable and dedicated team that’s in place to drive Telkom’s transformation.”

This follows the company’s announcement of Len De Villiers as the new CIO and of Enso Scarcella as the chief marketing officer. The company is still recruiting a chief technology officer and an announcement in this regard will be made at an appropriate time.

“For Telkom, procurement is a transformative tool that can stimulate economic and social development in a broad context. I am confident that Ian’s vast experience in his field of expertise will help us drive cost transformation as we rebase our third-party spend through consolidation and disciplined vendor control and management.

“Ian will be tasked with the development of more efficient supply chain options that enable us to relentlessly drive down our costs. In addition, he will further drive Telkom’s property portfolio optimisation by freeing up some of the capital and reigning in the maintenance costs of these assets,” says Maseko.

Russell holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics and an MBA (Distinction) in Strategic Procurement, and has won a number of academic awards from both his Universities. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, and has been recognised internationally for leading and developing procurement best practice.

He is currently the outgoing head of Procurement for Johannesburg based South African Breweries (SAB) and previous career highlights include Group integration director, chief administration officer and chief procurement officer for the Absa Group.

Russell also worked for Barclays from 1997 to 2005, and has held a number of senior back office roles across the Barclays organisation, including setting up and running the Smartsourcing team which was entirely focused on transformational outsourcing.

Russell comments: “I am hugely excited by the opportunity to become part of Telkom’s turnaround journey, and am looking forward to driving procurement best practice across Telkom’s supply chain to drive lower operating costs and improved margins.”