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Breaking News – November 2010

26/11/10 – Walker Media has poached MediaCom’s head of strategic solutions Sean Healy to become its managing director in a restructure that also sees Simon Davis promoted to chief executive.

Phil Georgiadis remains as chairman of the agency but will focus on staff training and development along with developing Walker Media’s strategic product. Davis, who was appointed managing director three years ago, assumes responsibility for managing the business and takes the chief executive title with immediate effect.

Healy will join Walker Media in the New Year having spent ten years at MediaCom, most recently running a team of around 150 planners, strategists and econometricians.

Georgiadis said that he had been planning the restructure for some time and described Healy as the most significant hiring Walker Media has ever made. He credited Healy as being one of the architects of MediaCom’s impressive growth and said that he had Davis had hired him for his strategic leadership abilities.

He added: “I believe that we have a fantastic opportunity to further consolidate our distinctive positioning in the UK media market and have decided that now is the perfect time to invest in the future of the company by expanding the senior management team.”

26/11/10 – Brewers JW Lees have promoted Simon Cross to the board as finance director.

Cross joined JW Lees as director of finance and company secretary in 2007 from GE Commercial Finance Fleet Services where he was UK Financial Controller.

He qualified as a chartered accountant with BKR Joseph Crossley in 1999 and then qualified as a chartered tax advisor with Ernst & Young in 2001.

“Simon has made a massive contribution to JW Lees since he joined us three years ago and his promotion to the main board is seen as a further strengthening of the board and also a reflection of the positive impact that he has made on the company,” said managing director William Lees-Jones.

“He is the first non-family director of the company for nearly 30 years and we hope that JW Lees will continue to go from strength to strength.”

25/11/10 – Former Tribal DDB U.K. technology director Matt Oxley has been promoted to head of creative technology at DDB U.K. In his new post, Oxley will be responsible for providing technology insight and direction throughout the development of creative projects for all DDB U.K. clients.

Oxley has been a key player in a number of high profile digital efforts out of the agency, including the Monopoly City Streets campaign for Hasbro, which earned a Gold Cyber Lion at Cannes. The campaign turned real world streets in into potential Monopoly properties using Google Maps.

Oxley’s other work highlights include an RFID campaign for Guinness, which involved planting sensors on the rugby pitch and RFID chips into rugby balls and on players so that fans could monitor athletes’ statistics, including tackle strength and pass accuracy.

25/11/10 – Channel 5’s sales director Kelly Williams, one of only two senior executives to survive Richard Desmond’s cull following his acquisition of the broadcaster in the summer, is to leave after 14 years.

Williams, who has headed the TV sales operation at Channel 5 for the last seven years, is to be replaced by former Viacom UK TV sales chief Nick Bampton.

He will join Channel 5 on 1 December in the role of commercial sales director while Williams, who is currently in the midst of striking the TV ad sales deals with media agencies for 2011, will leave at the end of January.

“After 14 years’ service, we fully understand his decision to move on but with Nick and Kelly working closely together for two months, we can ensure a smooth transition,” said Stan Myerson, group managing director at Northern & Shell.

24/11/10 – Discount grocer Netto has moved quickly to appoint a new Managing Director in the wake of Charles Kay’s resignation earlier this month.

Property Director William Smith will take charge of the retailer with immediate effect and will oversee the Netto to Asda store conversions in the coming months. Smith was already heading up the Netto integration team, which was appointed to see through the changeover after Asda’s acquisition of Netto’s network of British stores in May.

23/11/10 – Avnet Technology Solutions has recruited former Juniper and Symantec executive Grant Reddin to steer its sales efforts in the networking and security space.

After serving as UK distribution manager for Avnet partner Juniper, Reddin joins the distributor in the post of UK sales director, networking and security. He also held sales and management positions with Symantec. Reddin will report into networking, security and UC business unit director Pete Hannah, who moved up into that position following Laura Harman’s recent promotion to a wider group sales director role.

Reddin said: “I plan to capitalise on the investment that Avnet has already made in networking and security, and quickly identify new areas of high growth potential for our partners.” Hannah said: “Grant Reddin is highly regarded in the distribution, networking and security industries.”

22/11/10 – Paul Smith, managing director of Musgrave Retail Partners which owns Budgens and Londis, has resigned following a boardroom reshuffle at Musgrave Group.

Mr Smith, who has been managing director for the past three years, has been replaced by Donal Horgan, currently the MD of SuperValu and Centra in the Republic of Ireland. He joined Musgrave in 1997 as finance and logistics director and became MD of SuperValue and Centra in 2004.

Other changes to the board include Noel Keeley, currently Musgrave HR director, who will take up the position of MD for Musgrave Wholesale Partners. Martin Kelleher, currently MD of Musgrave Wholesale, will assume Mr Horgan’s position with SuperValue and Centra in Ireland. In addition, Sharon Buckley, group commercial director, will assume responsibility for the supply chain across the group.

Musgrave group CEO Chris Martin said: “Throughout this recession we have continued to invest in our business and particularly our retail partners across Ireland, the UK and Spain. “The success of that strategy has given us a platform to drive future growth in each of our markets and positions us to profitably grow the business for Musgrave and our retail partners in 2011. I would like to congratulate each of the directors on their appointments and wish them every success in their new roles.”

19/11/10 – Executive Offices Group has appointed current chief executive Peter Allport as chairman. John Drover has replaced him as chief executive and Tim Giles has been appointed chief operating officer.

19/11/10 – CB Richard Ellis has appointed Elaine Hughes to the position of director in the valuation team in Edinburgh. Hughes joins from DTZ. In its global corporate services division, Ken Loeber will become global executive managing director in business development, while Jim Wilson becomes executive managing director of client development and operations.

18/11/10 – Yvonne Scullion, sales operations director at CBS Outdoor, is to join WPP out-of-home agency Kinetic in the new role of UK client commercial director, the first major appointment since James Copley was promoted to chief operating officer.

It is understood that the new role has been created to provide a senior member of the team who can talk to clients about Kinetic’s expanding range of services, which include mobile, data, digital and experiential.

Appointed to sales operations director in 2005, Scullion’s role at CBS Outdoor, then known as Viacom Outdoor, was to help clients use its inventory more creatively and effectively. Before joining CBS Outdoor in 2004 to work on the pitch for the London Underground outdoor ad contract, Scullion was client services director at Interpublic media agency Universal McCann, now known as UM, from 1999.

Scullion has over 20 years of media experience. She started her career at Publicis Groupe media agency Zenith Media in 1988 and worked there in a number of roles until 1999, latterly as managing partner.

17/11/10 – Kathryn Beadle has been appointed managing director for the UK, Ireland and the USA for Hurtigruten following a restructure. The promotion means the former head of sales is now responsible for developing sales in the Americas, Far East, Australasia
and Eastern Europe as well as the UK and Ireland.

She said: “Our destination-oriented cruise market is rapidly expanding and to capitalise on this we need to alter our business model to trade more effectively in a global market place.

“Hurtigruten is a unique product and I am very excited in continuing to grow our business in the UK and USA but also to further develop new markets.”

Beadle takes responsibility for the UK from Iain Cottam who is being promoted to the group’s partnership director taking on a global strategic role focussing on strategies, alliances and partnerships.

He said: “We see opportunities in further growing our strategic alliances and partnerships and further strengthening our distribution efforts around the globe.

“As such I will continue to work closely with the UK and US markets as well as our other major markets.”

17/11/10 – John Cridland has been named the new voice of British business, when he was appointed to replace Richard Lambert as director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) from January 2011.

Mr Cridland, 49, said: “Under my leadership, the CBI will be working to create high quality, workable solutions that promote competition and allow all businesses, both new and established, to thrive and prosper, serve their customers, and create jobs. I strongly believe that a combination of innovation, dynamism and plain hard graft will help to
rebuild the UK’s international reputation and will ensure that the UK is the best place to invest.”

16/11/10 – Universal Music U.K. has promoted Paul Smernicki to the new role of director of digital, effective Jan. 1.
He will report to Universal Music U.K. commercial division managing director Brian Rose. Smernicki will work with Universal Music artists, labels and partners on digital innovation across the company.

He steps up from his current role of Polydor director of digital & D2C, to which he was appointed in May 2008. Smernicki has overseen Polydor’s move into the direct-to-consumer area with store launches for the Rolling Stones, Take That and Lady Gaga. He has been at Universal for 11 years and was label manager at Fiction from 2003 to 2006, when he became Polydor head of digital.

In a statement, David Joseph commented: “Paul has exceptional drive, vision and an absolute refusal to tread the established path. He also brings a rare combination of skills to his role, being as comfortable talking to artists about the creative elements of their album campaign as he is about how to harness the latest technology to nurture fan communities.”

15/11/10 – Insight Enterprises has created a vice president of sales role in the UK to reflect the recent growth of its local business.

Olaf Akkerman, who joined Insight via the corporate reseller’s 2006 acquisition of Software Spectrum, was recently promoted to fill the slot, from his previous role as sales director of the Enterprise Group & Software Group.

Insight EMEA president Stuart Fenton said: “We have continued to grow in software, hardware and networking in the UK as a result of acquisitions.

“We needed to increase the leadership in the sales organisation to manage the continuing translation of our business into a solutions company.”

Akkerman was UK and Ireland country manager of Software Spectrum when Insight purchased the firm four years ago. Fenton said Insight has not yet announced a replacement for his former position.

12/11/10 – Newsweek has promoted John Pentin to the role of international advertising director, overseeing regional sales and marketing efforts in Europe and Asia.

He will report to global publisher Rhona Murphy, who said: “John has deep relationships in the industry and a wide knowledge of pan-regional business. “He has proven himself to be an effective and enthusiastic leader through both good and challenging times, always keenly supporting his team members and the Newsweek brand.”

Pentin has been regional advertising director of Newsweek since 2005, managing the German, Africa, Eastern Europe and Middle East regions. He had previously held the role of UK sales director.

11/11/10 – Tiger Airways Holdings has appointed Stewart Adams, the former managing director of UK regional airline bmi Regional, as its new managing director for Tiger Airways Singapore, confirming reports that current MD Rosalynn Tay has resigned.

Mr Adams, who comes to Tiger Airways with 34 years of aviation experience, is to take over as MD from January.

It was reported that Ms Tay had tendered her resignation and had also touched on a recent slew of management changes at Tiger. Several people have been hired from BMI Group – where group CEO Tony Davis had worked previously – and some have been elevated to senior posts. According to a source, the changes had not gone down well with many of the local staff, especially at management level.

10/11/10 – FSA director of financial stability David Strachan, who is leading the transition to the new regulatory structure, has resigned from the FSA to join consulting firm Deloitte.

Strachan has been leading the FSA’s regulatory process design team and has also been representing the UK at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. He will stay at the FSA until early next year before joining Deloitte as co-head of its centre for regulatory strategy in Deloitte’s risk and regulatory practice.

Strachan joined the Bank of England in September 1985 before transferring to the FSA.

In an internal email to staff FSA chief executive Hector Sants says: “It is with regret that I have to inform you that David Strachan has decided to resign from the FSA to join Deloitte. ‘I have very much enjoyed working with David, have benefited from his wisdom and expertise and have always respected his integrity and approach. I wish David every future success and happiness and thank him for all that he has done for the FSA.”

09/11/10 – The corporate and investment banking arm of Royal Bank of Canada has named Mark Preston as a managing director and head of its UK advisory business. Preston, who will be based in London, will be responsible for RBC’s senior relationships with UK businesses across all its industry and product sectors.

09/11/10 – Adventis’ finance director Peter Linnell has resigned from the advertising agency after four years at the company.

Linnell is due to work his six month notice period while the business searches for a replacement.

He joined the company in 2006 from Lowe London where he was finance director. He has previously worked at Grey Global in various operational roles including advertising, media and PR. He was latterly chief financial officer for its Europe Middle East and Africa divisons generating revenues of over £300m.

08/11/10 – Polydor director of communications Selina Webb has been promoted to the new position of senior director, communications for Universal Music UK.

In the new role Webb will report to Universal Music UK Chairman and CEO David Joseph. He says Webb has overseen “countless successful artist launches for Polydor” over the past few years as well as some of the biggest music news stories.

“In her new role, she will turn her passion, creativity and exceptional PR instincts to leading a fresh approach to communications for Universal Music UK,” he adds. “As market leader we have responsibilities to our artists, employees and businesses, but also to the wider music world.
Selina is respected throughout our company and the industry and there’s no better person to ensure our points of view, creativity and issues are communicated and understood.”

The move means Polydor’s press department will be overseen by head of press Susie Ember.

05/11/10 – Nigel Ward is joining semiconductor firm Silica as country director for the UK & Ireland and Bill Osterlund is being promoted to become Silica Nordic sales director.

Announcing the appointments, Miguel Fernandez, Silica President commented, “The new regional leaders will help us achieve our goals of accelerating business, profitable growth and competitive advantage for our valued franchise partners and our customers. I very much look forward to working with them to drive our business forward.”

Nigel Ward is taking overall management responsibility for the demand creation and quoting activity within the UK for Silica and Avnet Abacus. He will be dual reporting for Graham McBeth, President Avnet Abacus and Miguel Fernandez, Silica President, will become a member of the Silica European Management Board.

In his new role Bill Osterlund will report directly to Miguel Fernandez while taking management responsibility for sales and demand creation in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. He will join the European Management Board and will be the first member directly representing the Nordic region.

04/11/10 – Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has restructured its senior management team, promoting Ian Pearman to the role of chief executive.

Pearman, the former managing director, replaces Farah Ramzan Golant, who has been promoted to executive chairman of AMV BBDO. He becomes responsible for running the business and leading talent, creative and profit delivery for the UK’s top billing ad agency. He will report to Ramzan Golant.

Ramzan Golant will be responsible for defining the strategic direction of the agency, advancing its position and expanding its offering. She continues to report to the AMV BBDO Group chairman, Cilla Snowball.

Pearman has been with the agency since 1996, when he joined as a trainee, and was promoted to the role of managing director three years ago.

Ramzan Golant joined AMV in 1990 and was appointed managing director in November 2002 and chief executive in November 2004. She said: “In our new roles, Ian and I will be able to spend more time on the strategic direction of the business and the ambition to expand our footprint. Time to think as well as do.”

03/11/10 – Simon Walsh, a 17-year veteran of Computacenter, and currently a managing director, is leaving the reseller giant after Christmas.

Mike Norris remains chief executive of the company, a job he’s had since 1994. The firm has another managing director, Chris Webb – but he deals with the services side of the business.

The company made the following statement: “After 17 years of working for Computacenter, Simon Walsh will be leaving the company at the end of December. Since initially starting out as an account manager, Simon’s rise to the top and huge contribution to Computacenter’s success has been great to see and we wish him all the best.”

03/11/10 – Payments system veteran Erik Sepkes has resigned as chairman of UK financial systems house Gresham Computing, as the vendor reports an upbeat set of third quarter interim results.

Sepkes’ immediate departure was confirmed in a two-line statement, with the board thanking him for his input during his two-year tenure. He joined Gresham in April 2008 after completing 38 years with Citigroup where he held various management positions, including operations and treasury and cash management.

With Sepkes gone, Ken Archer, currently a non-executive director, has taken over the chairmanship, with interim CEO Chris Errington taking the helm on a permanent basis.

02/11/10 – LeasePlan has announced the appointment of Simon Carr as brand director of its specialist small fleet division, FleetLine.

Simon has been promoted after four years at LeasePlan, most recently as regional director of LeasePlan’s sister franchise brand, Network. Prior to that, he was general manager of sales at FleetLine.

In his new role, Simon will work closely with Matthew Dyer, Commercial Director at LeasePlan UK, and he will have overall responsibility for FleetLine brand’s positioning and business strategy.

Commenting on his appointment Matthew Dyer, commercial director, said: “We are delighted to promote Simon to head FleetLine. His background within LeasePlan means that he is ideally placed to draw on all the experience gained across different aspects of the business and apply it to build our small fleet credentials. This will be invaluable in
ensuring clients benefit from being part of the world’s largest vehicle management group, while at the same time receiving FleetLine’s bespoke services.”

Simon Carr said of his appointment: “As other major players move away from servicing small fleets, I see a huge opportunity for FleetLine to grow its market share by providing the very best corporate practices and latest technology to small fleets. I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the business in an exciting period of growth. As specialists in remote small fleet management, FleetLine has the specific expertise required to meet the complex, varied needs of our clients – whether they are SMEs or major corporations, requiring one or 100 vehicles.”

01/11/10 – Eurosport Group has promoted David Kerr to become its new UK managing director as part of a senior management reshuffle.

Kerr takes up his new role today, working at Eurosport’s Covent Garden office and its West London production studios.

He joined Eurosport in 2005 as director of British Eurosport, responsible for local rights acquisition and scheduling for British Eurosport, British Eurosport 2 and all Eurosport online operations.

As Eurosport’s new UK managing director, Kerr will continue to oversee the British Eurosport channels, along with all other UK-based operations. The pan-European sports broadcaster has also hired Guillaume Canard-Duchene to the newly-created role of UK head of sales.

Canard-Duchene, who has worked at Eurosport for 15 years, will oversee the pan-European and UK media sales teams based in London.

01/11/10 – Swisslog (UK) Ltd has announced a further strengthening of their organisation with the appointment of Andrew Manship as Managing Director and Head of its Europe2 Region.

Andrew’s promotion has relocated him from Sydney, Australia to the UK, where his new position carries multiple responsibilities. In addition to his roles as Managing Director of UK and Ireland and Head of Swisslog’s Europe2 Region, Andrew will oversee the business units in Belgium, The Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. He brings with him a wealth of experience, having previously held the positions of Managing Director for Swisslog Australia and New Zealand, Sales Director for Dematic in Northern Europe and Head of Operations for Siemens Electronics Assembly Systems.

On his appointment, Andrew said: “I’m very much looking forward to the opportunities of my new role. Swisslog has strengthened its core business well despite the wider economic downturn. It is now an exciting period where we look to capitalise on that strength as the first green shoots of recovery are beginning to show through in our focus industries.”

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