The UK arm of Canadian engineering firm WSP has hired the COO of the Cabinet Office to be its UK CIO. Lesley Hume joins the Toronto headquartered business as CIO for both the UK and South Africa and will report jointly to the UK CEO Mark Naysmith and the WSP Global CIO Gino Poulin.
WSP has been on a major acquisition spree since 2014, when it acquired Parsons Brinckerhoff from UK construction giant Balfour Beatty in 2014. That $1.24 billion buy made WSP the largest engineering company globally. In 2016 WSP acquired Mouchel Consulting from Kier Group and last year WSP acquired Opus International Consulting. Today WSP has 43,600 engineering consultants worldwide.
In the UK WSP regularly works for local authorities and the Highways Agency and in August 2018 was appointed as the engineering consultants to new “smart” motorway projects on the M62 and the A1 to increase lanes.
Hume has been Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Cabinet Office in the government in 2008, working as the Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) for the department and she worked closely with the National Security Secretariat and the Joint Intelligence Committee. Hume, like her peer Patrick Eltridge who was announced as the new COO of the Nationwide Building Society, became a COO from the role as CIO, having been CIO for the Cabinet Office.
Hume’s period of leadership at the Cabinet Office will have straddled the most drastic cuts made to government departmental spending, firstly under the Conservative Party coalition and lately the minority Conservative government.
WSP is a return to the world of engineering for Hume, having previously worked with Atkins, itself a major engineering business that was recently acquired. Until last year Atkins technology leadership was under the helm of Richard Cross.
At WSP Hume will be part of a Global IT Leadership Team. In a statement Hume said the role interested her because it was “on consultancy soil at one of the fastest growing firms in the industry”.