Capita hires Telegraph's former City editor as head of external comms

Capita has appointed Fleet Street veteran Tim Woodward as its head of external communications, PRWeek can reveal.

Capita's new head of external comms Tim Woodward
Capita's new head of external comms Tim Woodward

His newly created position involves responsibility for corporate and financial comms and also spans issues management.

A part of his role will be communicating Capita’s transformation programme to stakeholders.

Woodward brings more than 20 years of experience as a journalist and held several senior roles at the Telegraph including City editor, website editor and executive editor. He has also held senior roles at the Daily Mail and Sunday Telegraph and is highly regarded in business and news journalism.

Most recently, he has worked as a consultant to HSBC and the Institute for Public Policy Research.

"We are really pleased and excited to have Tim on board. We’ve known him for a while and his work is outstanding," Capita’s director of corporate affairs Katja Hall told PRWeek. "Tim has been at the top of British journalism for years – his vast knowledge and experience will prove invaluable to Capita."

Woodward added: "I am delighted to be taking up this new role at Capita at such an exciting time for the company.

"I look forward to working with a talented team of colleagues, ensuring effective and proactive communications – about the ongoing transformation of the business – to the media and other external audiences."

Communicating Capita’s turnaround

A key part of Woodward’s role is helping Capita communicate the progress of its turnaround plan.

In March, Capita reported its pre-tax profits had fallen 26 per cent to £282.1m in FY18, and revenues dropped by five per cent to £3.87bn.

Outsourcing giants have struggled for profitability in recent years as government cuts and a sluggish economy have led clients to place pressure on fees and payment terms.

The company said it had been hit by cost overruns on a contract to provide NHS England’s primary care support services; penalties and extra costs related to the Transport for London congestion charge contract; and contractual disputes in relation to its mortgage-servicing deal with the Co-operative Bank.

There have also been viability challenges about providing too many bespoke outsourcing services and solutions.

Last year, Capita CEO Jonathan Lewis admitted its business model relied too much on acquisitions to grow and was far too complex.

As a result, the company unveiled a transformation plan that would heavily cuts costs and narrow its focus from 40 sectors to five – software, HR, customer management, government and IT services.

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