2021 Infrastructure and Public Procurement Week


Gareth Rhys Williams

UK Cabinet Office

Government Chief Commercial Officer


Gareth Rhys Williams has been the Government Chief Commercial Officer since March 2016 where he has led the transformation of the UK government’s commercial activities. From building the capability of the Government Commercial Function through a programme of accreditation and senior recruitment to delivering improved contract delivery and savings averaging well over £2Bn a year. Before joining the Civil Service, Gareth was Chief Executive Officer of PHS Group, a leading provider of outsourced workplace services in the UK. Gareth is an experienced CEO and NED, with a consistent record of reinvigorating and reinventing listed and private equity backed companies through creative growth strategies. He has a strong record of driving transformational change in large, complex and federated organisations. Prior to his role at PHS, Gareth was CEO of Charter International, the FTSE 250 engineering group, until its successful sale to Colfax Corporation in 2021. Prior to that, he was CEO of Capital Safety Group Ltd, since sold to FFR, and CEO of Vitec Group plc, the supplier of broadcast and photographic equipment and services. After graduating as an engineer, his early career was in operations management at STC and Lucas. Gareth gained his MBA from INSEAD in 1989, following which he joined Bowater (now Rexam) for his first managing director roles. After a spell in the US, he joined BPB as director of Central Europe in 1996. Gareth is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. He has recently been made vice president of the FFI, the world’s oldest international conservation organisation, having been on the Council for 8 years.

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