John Neilson

Chief Executive Officer, Sopra Steria UK

John Neilson is Chief Executive for Sopra Steria UK, accountable for all strategic and business operations in that geography.  Part of Group Sopra Steria the company provides Insight, Transformation and Technology to clients across the Public and Private sectors. John is also a member of the Group Sopra Steria Executive Management Committee and co-sponsor for Group Security. He has been with Sopra Steria for over 20 years.

John was appointed to the role of Chief Executive in 2020, prior to which he held the position of Deputy CEO and Head of Public Sector.

In 2013 Sopra Steria established Shared Services Connected Limited (SSCL) as a joint venture with the Cabinet Office and John was appointed Chief Executive of that organisation, a position he held until June 2020. The SSCL story is one of considerable success, using digital transformation to deliver over £750m of savings to Government, available for reinvestment in front line services. It has also established a strong reputation for high quality service delivery and positive end user feedback. The current net promoter score for SSCL is 60+ which is at a world class level. Since its formation SSCL has expanded its client base from a small group of Central Government customers to also include the Ministry of Justice, Home Office, Metropolitan Police and MOD, amongst others. To coincide with the 10th anniversary of establishing SSCL the Cabinet Office has now sold its shares in SSCL to Sopra Steria providing a significant contribution to the public purse.

John has also been Chief Executive of NHS Shared Business Services, Sopra Steria’s joint venture with the Department of Health and Social Care. He was appointed to this role at the end of 2008 and fulfilled this position until June 2020. NHS SBS is widely recognised as the market leader in business support services across the NHS, providing a unique capability to support the transformation of back-office services. NHS SBS has grown from its initial activity in Finance and Accounting to also include Employment Services and Procurement with the organisation providing services to over 40% of NHS organisations. It has been an exemplar of strategic partnership working with Government since its formation in 2005.

Prior to these roles John led Sopra Steria’s IT Infrastructure Business and was their HR Director until 2005. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has almost 20 years’ experience working in and leading within the Human Resources area. Before joining Sopra Steria John ran his own successful business providing HR and change management consultancy services to a diverse range of clients both in the UK and Europe as well as undertaking HR Director roles for ICL and Bull Information Systems.


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