Andy Start appointed as DE&S Chief Executive

Published 21 April 2022

The Prime Minister has approved the appointment of Andy Start as the new Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) CEO.

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Andy will replace Sir Simon Bollom who has served as the DE&S CEO since 2018.

DE&S is an arm’s length body of the MOD responsible for providing equipment and support to the UK’s Armed Forces.

Andy will take on this significant role within the Defence community having been CEO of Capita Public Service, one of the largest strategic suppliers to UK government, where he currently leads a team of over 12,000 staff.

He spent the first decade of his career working in the space sector as a designer and programme manager of military satellite systems, followed by leading a wide range of aerospace and defence businesses, with a specialism in helping improve performance and drive strategic change.

Incoming DE&S CEO, Andy Start said:

I am delighted and honoured to be taking on this key role in Government. DE&S plays a major part in keeping the UK secure and maintaining some of the nation’s key industrial and technological skills. There can be few more interesting, more meaningful, or more challenging leadership opportunities.

I’d like to thank Sir Simon Bollom for his extensive work in leading DE&S and setting a clear and deliverable strategy for the future. I look forward to working with DE&S staff, and the wider Defence sector, to drive this forward.

Andy has already previously taken responsibility for leading the UK Aerospace Innovation & Growth Team and supported the development of Defence Industrial Policy.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin said:

“I’m pleased to welcome Andy Start to the role of CEO at Defence Equipment and Support. At an extremely important time in UK Defence, I am pleased that DE&S will be led by a CEO with extensive commercial experience who can take forward the work of Sir Simon Bollom.

Sir Simon, who has led the organisation over the last four years, has consistently been a tireless exemplar of public service leadership and driven DE&S forward. I wish him the very best for the future.”

MOD Permanent Secretary, David Williams said:

“Andy’s appointment is great news for both DE&S and MOD as we look to navigate a critical time in UK Defence. He brings a wealth of expertise from 25 years in senior leadership roles in Defence industry, and I know he has the vision and ambition to lead DE&S into the future.

I would also like to thank Sir Simon Bollom for his leadership of DE&S and commitment to Defence over the last four years and across his career. I wish him all the very best for the future.”

The competition for Sir Simon’s position was launched in late 2021, attracting strong interest. Over 50 individuals applied and, as with all senior civil service appointments, fair and open competition was ensured, with recruitment of the role being overseen by the Civil Service Commissioner.

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