Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial & Contract Management
Linda is an Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial & Contract Management for Capgemini’s Global Cloud Infrastructure Strategic Business Unit.
In her role she leads Commercial and Contract Management functions across various countries. Her key mission is to ensure that Capgemini’s clients receive innovative and cost effective services that deliver real business benefits.
The management and use of cloud and other pay as you go services are increasingly important to all clients. Part of Linda’s work includes the development of commercial propositions around new Capgemini service offers that incorporate these options.
Linda’s earlier career with Capgemini included technical, delivery, sales and account management roles, giving her insights into client needs from varied perspectives. Before joining Capgemini in 1992 via an outsourcing contract, she worked for the Granada Group where she held a number of business analysis and technical IT roles.
What is your professional background and how did you become involved in the world of commerce and contracting?
I started delivering services and projects in an in-house IT function. After moving to similar roles in an IT Consultancy I transitioned into account management where my remit was to ensure that both parties benefitted from the deal they had contracted and to grow the account.
These experiences showed me the importance of understanding client business challenges and how the services being sold will address those challenges. I became increasingly interested in how to shape, sell and deliver good business for both client and service provider and, in particular, how to contract the deal so that both party’s business goals are met. In the late 1990’s I moved into a full-time commercial role negotiating new business contracts and advising accounts on contract changes and issue resolution. I have grown this function from being just me to a large established global CCM function supporting a range of IT and consulting services across clients in many market sectors.
I love the CCM role because it brings together all aspects of business (sales, delivery, finance, risk, legal) and requires both soft skills as well as academic knowledge.
What are two personal achievements and contributions through your career.
When I started out in CCM, the role had no clear identity and was not seen as the business enabler it is today. I was effectively pioneering the development of the CCM function by demonstrating the benefits that a well negotiated and clearly written contract brings to the business. By showing both quantitative financial returns and improved relationships with clients I was able to influence my organization to allow me to growth the CCM function and expand its remit.
While my initial activities focused mostly on the sales side of CCM I was able to use this as a foundation to expand further into contract management bringing in use of CLM tools. Following a successful pilot I was able to present a strong business case for the role out of a fully industrialized CCM capability across all our accounts globally. Under my leadership we have developed the end to end global function that is in place today and considered to be an essential capability to run our business successfully and is core to winning profitable business and meeting our clients’ needs.
Covid-19 has illustrated the critical importance of helping women to realize their professional aspirations - what role have you played or are you currently playing within your organization to support women in their roles?
Like all senior women I am actively involved in high profile initiatives that support women including, coaching and mentoring programs, sponsoring roles and delivering formal training. These are all important and have their place but I would say that the most important thing I do to support women is to continually do the small day to day things that make them feel valued and respected and that help build their confidence to aspire to and do more.
I always aim to create an environment where everyone is recognized for their contribution, encouraged and supported to express their ideas and where everyone has freedom to work in their own way. As an example, all parents feel under pressure to attend school events so I ensure that everyone (males or female) has the scope to do so. Changes in behavior lead to changes in culture and attitude. By setting an example and encouraging others to follow that example I believe that I am evolving support for women and embedding it into our culture.