9 Jun 2022

Bidvest Noonan: A Sector-spanning Search For An Exceptional Chief Information Officer

Bidvest Noonan is a growing people solutions company with big ambitions. In 2021, the business approached Green Park with an exciting brief: to find a Group CIO to develop digital strategy to take the business forward. Bidvest Noonan were keen to meet candidates who would reflect their diverse workforce. Green Park’s shortlist fulfilled the brief – and led to a search for the CIO’s lieutenant, a Head of Digital Delivery.

  • Green Park demonstrated in-depth understanding of the brief to win pitch
  • Bidvest Noonan persuaded by Green Park’s track record of delivering diverse shortlists
  • Rigorous eight-week search project was wide-ranging and incorporated numerous sectors
  • Strong shortlist of six diverse candidates delivered
  • Excellent CIO chosen, with a further brief for a Head of Digital Delivery


The Challenge

Bidvest Noonan is part of the international Bidvest Group. The business employs over 27,000 people across the UK and Ireland, and offers a range of service solutions for the modern workplace. The organisation was keen to adopt more modern ways of working and had identified technology as a way to achieve a strong, competitive edge. However, this meant elevating IT from a basic support function to a key driver in business success. The answer? A proven CIO who could lead a step change.

The successful candidate would be helping Bidvest to transform the employee and client experience, for example, introducing digital check sheets for cleaners and security personnel. It was major challenge – the CIO would need to develop digital strategy, build high-performing teams and introduce change on both a technical and cultural level. In addition, the CIO would need to be someone who could represent Bidvest Noonan diverse team.

The Project

For a challenge on this level, an outstanding candidate was needed. Green Park’s search therefore went beyond the recruitment/outsourcing industry to explore talent in other sectors. Over eight weeks, our consultants sought out individuals from areas as varied as Aviation Engineering, FMCG and Supply Chain, to find those who had delivered successful transformational digital journeys. At the same time, our team consulted Green Park’s extensive diversity networks.  

The Results

The final shortlist featured six individuals, including two females and two candidates with ethnic minority backgrounds. Following a robust selection process, Sarah Cathcart formerly [IT Director at DS Smith] was chosen as CIO for Bidvest Noonan. The client was impressed with her commercial mindset, holistic view and pragmatic approach, which ensures technology is chosen to solve specific problems and not just for innovation’s sake. Sarah also brought a track record of instigating cultural change by inspiring and empowering technology teams to enable progress  

As a result of this successful project, Bidvest Noonan set an additional challenge: find a IT Solutions Director to support the CIO. As Sarah Cathcart’s second-in-command, the chosen candidate would be turning vision into reality and therefore had to be execution-focused. To identify suitable talent, our team scoured digitally mature industries for candidates with practical tech knowledge and the ability to productise.

Bidvest Noonan new IT Solutions Director is now in place. Shirly D’Silva brings a wealth of IT expertise acquired at global businesses such as DHL, and is an expert at implementing vision by breaking it down into manageable steps.


Take the next step: find out more about the work of Green Park’s Executive Search and Technology Practices.

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