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Former consultant Ian Watmore to run UK Cabinet Office

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A former Accenture consultant is to take on a key role at the heart of UK government.

Ian Watmore, who in 2000 was the youngest ever UK managing partner of what was then Andersen Consulting, is to be Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet Office in 10 Downing Street.

His move is prompted by the retirement of the UK's senior civil servant, Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell, announced yesterday, which has triggered a re-organisation of the government's inner-most circle of advisers.

As Permanent Secretary, Ian Watmore will lead a Cabinet Office that has expanded and taken on new responsibilities since the last UK election, including cutting costs and driving efficiency across government.

Watmore is currently head of the Cabinet Office's Efficiency and Reform Group which was set up with a remit to make government more efficient: reducing operational overheads to give taxpayers better value and allow resources to be focused on key priorities; and to reform the way public services are provided.

Ian Watmore began his career in Andersen Consulting (later Accenture) in 1980.

He worked on some of the largest business transformation engagements around the world, and ultimately chaired the firm's global Diamond Client Forum.

In 2000 Watmore was elected as the youngest ever Managing Director of Andersen Consulting UK by the UK leadership team and managed the transition to public company status as Accenture.

In 2004 he joined the Civil Service. His first role was as Director General and Government Chief Information Officer in the Cabinet Office before moving in 2006 to lead the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit at No 10. In 2007, he became Permanent Secretary for the newly created Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills where he helped design and build a new government department whilst delivering major policies for the nation.

Ironically, Watmore's most high-profile role was as Group Chief Executive of the Football Association, The FA, from which he resigned, amidst public controversy, in March 2010.

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