March 12, 2018 / 12:22 PM / 6 months ago

Troubled UK outsourcer Capita brings in new broom for staff changes

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - IT-led outsourcer Capita (CPI.L) has named a new chief people officer who will report directly to CEO Jonathan Lewis and spearhead the staff changes needed for the troubled British services company to get back on track.

An illuminated sign is seen in Capita offices in London, Britain, January 31, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Capita said on Monday Will Serle would take up the newly-created role, moving from Amec Foster Wheeler where CEO Lewis also worked before joining the outsourcer in December last year. Serle will sit on Capita’s executive committee.

Capita provides IT-based cost-cutting and efficiency services to the public and private sector and employs 70,000 people, primarily in Britain.

Its clients are widely spread over business sectors and range from running the system that pays National Health Service dentists to helping retailers manage online shopping sites.

Lewis aims to slim the group down and hone its focus after years of acquisition-led growth in which activities became too scattered. Serle would help him to do that thanks to “extensive experience of overseeing companies going through significant reorganisations,” Lewis said.

Capita has pushed back its 2017 results to finalise a 700 million pound ($970 million) rights issue, announced in January, to finance a massive overhaul after a series of profit warnings. No date for the announcement has been set.

“As part of the transformation programme, we intend to strengthen Capita by focusing on markets with greatest potential for leadership and growth. We are taking a very measured approach to identifying which businesses to sell,” a spokeswoman for the group said.

The company’s market valuation of around 1 billion pounds is around two thirds less than it was six months ago after a crunch moment for several outsourcers during a slowdown in the British economy following the 2016 Brexit vote.

British rival Carillion went bust in January.

(This version of the story was corrected to show Serle will report to CEO Lewis, not sit on board, in paragraph 1)

Reporting by Elisabeth O'Leary; Editing by Adrian Croft

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