Case analysis was used to investigate executive and purchasing leadership in purchasing change initiatives. The strongest demonstration of CEO support was hiring a new Chief Purchasing Officer (CPO) and/or publicly supporting an organizational restructuring. The primary findings regarding the new CPOs were they: (1) were not promoted from within purchasing in the same organization, (2) had a zest for change, (3) possessed a clear, articulated vision for change, (4) had a passion for the importance of purchasing, and (5) were well educated but had limited formal education in purchasing. The interaction of the CPO and CEO was also analyzed. The most important conclusion was that the CPO must be ready with a clear vision for purchasing to take advantage of the CEO's support. Finally, the analysis showed that it was not necessary for the CEO to have previous purchasing experience to support purchasing change efforts.
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