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Frank Godbersen: Headhunter Secrets:

When a Procurement Leader Resigns

The resignation of a procurement leader is an event that organizations hope to avoid, but it’s a reality that must be faced from time to time. By acknowledging the challenges and proactively taking steps to address the situation, organizations can navigate through this transitional period with minimal disruptions.

Ultimately, a resilient procurement team, transparent communication, and strategic planning are the keys to successfully weathering the storm and moving forward toward continued success in the procurement process.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the impact of such resignations and the steps organizations can take to navigate through the transitional period.


In the corporate world, change is inevitable. However, there are times when certain changes can feel more like upheavals.

One such instance is the resignation of a procurement leader, a critical position responsible for managing the organization’s supply chain, sourcing, and vendor relationships.

When a procurement leader step out, it can be a challenging and disruptive event, one that never seems to occur at a good time.

1. The Crucial Role of a Procurement Leader:

A procurement leader plays a pivotal role in shaping an organization’s purchasing strategies, cost optimization efforts, and overall supply chain efficiency.

Their departure can leave a void that is not easily filled.

They are responsible for ensuring timely procurement of goods and services, mitigating supply chain risks, and identifying cost-saving opportunities.

Losing their expertise can result in a cascading effect on the company’s operations.

2. Disruptions in the Procurement Process:

When a procurement leader resigns, their absence can cause significant disruptions in the procurement process.

Pending projects, contract negotiations, and vendor management may all experience delays as the company scrambles to find a suitable replacement.

This can lead to missed opportunities, strained supplier relationships, and potential financial losses.

3. Team Morale and Productivity Impact:

The departure of a respected leader can have a profound impact on the morale and productivity of the procurement team.

Uncertainty about the future, coupled with the added workload of transitioning responsibilities, can lead to stress and burnout among team members.

Maintaining team cohesion during this period is essential to ensure continued efficiency.

4. Impact on Stakeholders:

Procurement leaders often have strong relationships with various stakeholders, including suppliers, partners, and internal departments.

Their departure can create a sense of unease and instability among these stakeholders, potentially affecting future collaborations and business partnerships.

Transparent communication with stakeholders is crucial to allay their concerns and maintain business relationships.

5. The Challenge of Finding a Suitable Replacement:

Finding a competent and experienced procurement leader is not an easy task. It requires dedicated time, effort, and resources to search for and onboard a qualified candidate.

Rushing this process may result in the wrong hire, exacerbating the challenges faced during the transitional phase.

The right approach might often be to hire and external search specialist for identifying and attracting leadership candidates.  

6. Navigating Through the Transitional Period:

While the resignation of a procurement leader may never come at a good time, there are steps organizations can take to mitigate its impact:

  • Immediate Action Plan: Develop an action plan to ensure essential procurement activities continue without interruption. Consider appointing an interim procurement leader to bridge the gap until a permanent replacement is found.
  • Empower the Team: Delegate responsibilities to capable team members to ensure the smooth functioning of day-to-day operations.
  • Engage Stakeholders: Communicate openly with stakeholders about the leadership change and the measures being taken to address the situation.

“A resignation of an procurement leader never comes at a good time”

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Frank Godbersen

#procurement #executivesearch #leadership #cpo #ceo #interim #supplychain