Procurement Experts You Should Follow in 2023


Most aspiring procurement managers are often told to follow the exploits of procurement experts. This may sound old, but it is nevertheless effective. Nowadays, you can safely follow people either on Facebook or Twitter, so you can do just that! For this article, we are not going to teach you how to stalk people. We are going to discuss who these famous procurement experts are instead. You’ll read and discover who they are and what are the things they did that made them experts in procurement. By the end of this article, you’ll emulate their examples and soon become a procurement expert yourself too! 

  1. Sebastian Bals

Current Role: Vice President of Global Procurement and Chief Procurement Officer of UCB

Starting Role: Senior Director Global Purchasing – Professional Services and IT & Telecom, UCB

Why You Should Follow Him: CPO of UCB for 6 years, Sebastian Bals is indeed one of the best when it comes to procurement. Currently leading a team of passionate and dedicated procurement officials, this is also the same team that managed to give UCB an external spend of +2,5 bio EUR across both direct and indirect procurement.

During his journey savings contribution was boosted by 20%, working capital has improved by 8.8%, and the end-to-end procurement process NPS enhanced from -64 to +14.

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  1. Keith Wright

Current Role: Founder & Managing Director, Keith Wright Consultancy Limited

Starting Role: General Manager, Leamington Spa

Why You Should Follow Him: With over 30 years as a procurement professional in the building industry, Keith boasts an unrivalled track record of performance and innovation. In 2021, leveraging this vast experience, he founded K Wright Consultancy to collaborate with business owners, leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors in the building industry to unlock their hidden profit potential. Demonstrating adept negotiation skills, Keith has deployed procurement strategies driving an impressive set of results, delivering over 2000 contracts and almost £200m in savings to date with leading suppliers all around the globe. On a mission to drive a significant performance boost to 100+ businesses by the end of 2024, Keith has developed the ground-breaking Procurement Xcelerator™ scorecard. This innovative tool helps businesses to identify hidden profit opportunities and pave the way for substantial growth. Keith’s hands-on experience, combined with strategic foresight, is distilled into his soon to be published book, “The Power of Professional Procurement”, acting as a comprehensive step by step guide for business owners and leaders. As a thought leader, Keith has also had articles published in Forbes Morocco, FOX Daily Post, LA Progressive, LA Weekly, Digital Journal and Fox Interviewer. Keith’s expertise is a testament to an illustrious career spanning leading PLCs Wolseley and Travis Perkins, and collaborations with over 23 stellar organisations as founder and MD of his consulting firm, all dedicated to sharing knowledge, fostering sustainable growth, and shining a light on professional procurement. 

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  1. Martha Buffington

Current Role: Chief Procurement Officer, DSM

Starting Role: Manager, Global Procurement, Coca Cola

Why You Should Follow Her: The CPO of SC Johnson. Martha Buffington has come a long way from her starting position. Before SC Johnson, Even yet, being the Global Procurement Manager for one of the biggest soft drink companies in the world says something about her skills in negotiating and procurement!

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  1. Stephen Cobham

Current Role: Chief Procurement Officer, Sanofi

Starting Role: Senior Auditor, Price Waterhouse Coopers

Why You Should Follow Him: Stephen Cobham’s years of experience in the field of negotiations and procurement are enough to make him an authority figure among procurement managers. He also travelled all over the world, thanks to executive roles that he landed while working with Sanofi, another global science-based company. 

He believes that anyone can become a procurement expert too, provided that they undergo special training that will unlock the potential to become an expert procurement manager. One such course is the Negotiation Gamechanger course. 

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  1. Bertrand Conqueret

Current Role: Chief Procurement Officer, Henkel; President of Henkel Global Supply Chain B.V

Starting Role: Purchasing Manager, Henkel France

Why You Should Follow Him: His 20-year stint with Henkel has made him one of the best in the company. Bertrand Conqueret continues to lead Henkel’s procurement team with a passion for leadership and transformation. A firm believer of continuous learning, you’ll do well to follow his exploits and learn more about a successful career in procurement.

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  1. Sebastian Chua

Current Role: Head of Procurement, Health Promotion Board

Starting Role: Country Manager, Hewlett Packard/Agilent Technologies

Why You Should Follow Him: His procurement journey started in Hewlett Packard/Agilent Technologies as a country manager for Singapore, India, Thailand, and the Philippines. 

Many procurement professionals look up to him due to his highly driven and passionate professional aim for procurement transformation to achieve innovation, growth, and sustainability in procurement. 

Also, his credentials and experience are a testament to his mastery of procurement. Because of his expertise, many professionals recognize him as one of the best go-to pieces of advice when it comes to procurement. Thus, the reason why many people follow him. 

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  1. Paula Davila Martinez

Current Role: Chief Procurement Officer at Novartis

Starting Role: Implementation Manager, Excel-DHL Supply Chain

Why You Should Follow Her: With over 20 years of experience in procurement, sourcing, and negotiations, Paula Davila Martinez deserves to be recognized as one of the best procurement experts. Currently managing the procurement department of Novartis, she always makes it a point to always push her team to excellence. She is the former CPO of Adidas.

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  1. John Dickson

Current Role: Chief Procurement Officer, AstraZeneca

Starting Role: Vice President, Production Procurement, GSK

Why You Should Follow Him: An authority in procurement management and currently the CPO of AstraZeneca, one of the companies that are giving the world a fighting chance against the COVID-19 pandemic, it is only fitting that John Dickson should be followed by many upcoming procurement managers worldwide. 

His tireless work in guiding his procurement team is just one of the many achievements he garnered during his career in procurement management.

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James Thompson

James Thompson is a highly respected writer and author who contributes to Forbes Morocco, a leading business and finance publication based in Morocco. With over a decade of experience in the industry, James is known for his exceptional writing skills and his ability to deliver compelling stories that captivate readers.

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