Mr Skinner will head up the board for the reformed Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) – the MOD’s bespoke trading entity – which was established on 1 April this year.
As a non-executive chair, he will provide strategic leadership to the organisation and be accountable to ministers at MOD for the work of DE&S. He will also work alongside Bernard Gray, who will continue in his role as Chief of Defence Materiel.
Mr Skinner said:
I am delighted to take on this new role and I am particularly looking forward to helping DE&S make the changes it has planned to assure the continuing delivery of cost-effective defence capability. I look forward to supporting Bernard Gray, Chief of Defence Materiel, and his senior team in building on its recent performance improvements and in developing strong and effective governance for DE&S in its new operating model.
With more than 12,500 civilian and military staff based in Abbey Wood, Bristol, DE&S is responsible for buying and supporting the equipment and services that the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force need to operate effectively.
Announcing the appointment, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:
Paul Skinner brings wide and hugely valuable experience across both the private and public sectors – including defence – to this new role as non-executive Chair of Defence Equipment & Support. He has extensive experience of delivering major capital projects and managing complex supply chains.
DE&S is being transformed as it operates in its first year with extensive freedoms from cross-government controls. As the Chair of the DE&S Board I will be looking to Paul to bring his wealth of experience to bear in establishing non-executive governance structures for the organisation, and working with the Chief of Defence Materiel, to ensure both effective delivery of the equipment programme and implementation of its substantial change agenda.