Gardening leave is almost over for former CSC UK bigwig Liz Benison, who is set to rock up at Serco to run its Brit and European local and regional government division from the start of next month.
As revealed by The Channel back in April, Benison was replaced at the CSC helm by ex-Cognizant veep Dr Sanjiv Gossain, at the same time the integrator told 750 local workers they were at risk of redundo.
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Benison has refused to reveal if she was pushed or walked, but confirmed on LinkedIn that she was on gardening leave.
Rupert Soames, group CEO at the firm, rolled out the verbal red carpet for his latest recruit, saying he was “delighted” by her arrival, and talked up her record of delivering “complex and long term contracts”.
The chief exec was hired in February, replacing interim boss Ed Casey who himself was squeezed into the role to replace Chris Hyman, who quit in October amid a police probe into an MoJ contract gone wrong.
The Serious Fraud Office is looking into an electronic monitoring deal over claims Serco was over-charging the MoJ, while City of London police are investigating individuals at the company over performance claims made in another MoJ contract pertaining to court escorting services for prisoners.
As a result, Serco restructured last year in a bid to convince government there’d be no further embarrassing episodes of misreporting. All this makes Benison’s role that bit more important.
Soames thanked Andrew White for his eight-month service as head of the local and regional unit that Benison will control, and for doubling up as UK boss “during a challenging a challenging and sensitive time”.
For her part, Benison said in a canned statement that she is “excited” to join Serco, and is chomping at the bit to “develop the business and deliver our operational promises to customers”.
A spokesman at Serco told us the the probes by SFO and CoL police are ongoing. ®