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Saputo produces, markets, and distributes a wide array of dairy products of the utmost quality, including cheese, fluid milk, extended shelf-life milk and cream products, cultured products and dairy ingredients. Saputo is one of the top ten dairy processors in the world, the largest cheese manufacturer and the leading fluid milk and cream processors in Canada, the leading dairy processor in Australia and one of the top three in Australia. In the US, Saputo ranks among the top three cheese producers and is one of the largest producers of extended shelf-life and cultured dairy products. Saputo Inc. is headquartered in Montreal and operates on a global basis with a highly decentralized organizational structure and operating philosophy. The global business is currently structured as six autonomous divisions, each headed-up by a President and Chief Operating Officer, with full responsibility for all functional areas as well as topline and bottom-line performance. Saputo Inc. is a publicly traded company and its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “SAP”.
In the 2014 to 2015 timeframe, Saputo embarked on an ambitious project to convert a distributed IT organization to a centralized one, which ultimately resulted in the approval of a global SAP implementation. This complex project has now been underway since 2015 and the project team has had numerous successful “go live” implementations in various divisions internationally. There remains several divisions to be implemented for all functional areas within the divisions’ operations and the mandate of the PMO remains crucial to the project’s ongoing success. The entire project team is now comprised of approximately 320 people around the world. To date this project has been deemed to be highly successful by all standards of measurement, however it still requires outstanding leadership over the next few years of implementation within the remaining operating divisions.
As a result of recent changes in structure through various succession planning initiatives, the current incumbent VP IT and PMO will be assigned to a different portfolio.
THE ROLE OF VICE PRESIDENT INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND PMO
The Project Management Office (“PMO”) has now been established for approximately four years and is clearly a core function within the global SAP implementation. The PMO is staffed by approximately 25 people with three Directors reporting directly to the Vice President IT & PMO. The core team is located in Montreal while other members of the PMO are based in the US and Australia. Over the last five years, the PMO has not only grown in numbers but has established itself as a world-class PMO by virtually all operating standards. The team has been characterized by its stability, maturity and best in class technical expertise in the field of project management. Today, the company operates with well-established methodologies and processes as well as well-defined performance measurement tools and a reputation for working with the operating divisions and meeting time deadlines and budget targets.
The Vice President IT and PMO reports directly to the CIO. The individual in this role will be expected to lead the PMO staff in continuing to provide outstanding levels of service within a highly disciplined professional environment. That being said, areas such as staffing and upgrading the level of technical expertise will be an ongoing challenge as well as continually fine-tuning and modifying the business processes and methodologies currently in place to meet the needs of an ever-changing and growing corporation.
The Vice President IT and PMO will in fact act as a “ Second in Command “ to the CIO and will therefore participate considerably in more corporate wide functions with considerable interaction at the more global level with the Audit Committee, Sponsors, Governance as well as financial review for the entire global project. There are four key areas of responsibility ultimately reporting to this position:
Project Management Office
Change and Learning
Some of the key competencies that are required include: