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Breaking News – December 2010

30/12/10 – European telecoms operator Colt Group SA today named Mark Ferrari as chief financial officer from March 31, replacing Stuart Jackson, who will leave the company.

Ferrari, a non-executive on the Colt Group board since January 2009, is currently manging director of private investment firm Devonshire Investors, an affiliate of FMR LLC. He has worked in group companies of FMR’s Fidelity Investments since 2000.

Colt Group in a statement said Jackson has decided to resign, with his board position to be given up Friday and his departure from the company set for March 31.

Colt Chief Executive Officer Rakesh Bhasin said Ferrari’s experience managing investments in telecom and technology companies and his non-executive role at Colt mean that “he knows us and he knows our industry.”

“He will make a significant contribution to Colt at a time when we are transforming our business,” Bhasin said.

Jackson is leaving the company to pursue a career holding non-executive directorships, Colt said. Colt said another non-exectuive director, Frans van den Hoven, will also retire from the board as of Friday, as previously announced.

29/12/10 – Software group Tracsis has announced that Robert Watson has resigned his directorships at Tracsis and other subsidiary companies of the group.  Mr Watson will stay on as an employee, working for the company on a part time basis on consultancy assignments and project  work.

Tracsis, which was spun out of the University of Leeds, designs and licenses software which covers crew scheduling, crew rostering and performance modelling.

John McArthur, Tracsis chief executive, said: “We are pleased that Robert will continue to be employed within the group and look forward to his continued involvement given his extensive knowledge and experience of the UK rail industry.”

28/12/10 – ColepCCL, a contract manufacturer of aerosol and liquid products in personal care, beauty, consumer healthcare and homecare markets, has appointed Peter Ingelse as its new Corporate Sales Director.

Aged 47, Peter Ingelse has an extensive international experience in the Contract Manufacturing industry. He is joining ColepCCL from Evyap, a leading Turkish personal care brand owner and manufacturer where he was General Manager of the contract manufacturing business unit.

During his 20 year career in the contract manufacturing industry he worked in a number of senior management positions.  Peter Ingelse is a Dutch citizen. He holds a BA in Economics and followed the INSEAD International Executive Programme.

27/12/10 – Niranjan Hiranandani has resigned as Chairman of the London AIM-listed Hirco plc amidst CBI looking into allegations of irregularities in the handling of employees’ provident funds for his Indian companies.

Hiranandani had offered to resign earlier but Hirco’s institutional investors like HSBC and Standard Life had refused to accept his resignation.

24/12/10 – Ryanair today announced the appointment of Katarzyna Gaborec as Sales & Marketing Executive for Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Katarzyna replaces Tamas Laszlo who left Ryanair in December after almost two years with the airline.  Henrike Schmidt, Sales & Marketing Manager Central and Eastern Europe, said:

“We are very pleased to be appointing a new Sales & Marketing contact for our central and eastern European Counties in times when business is strong and growing in those markets. With three new routes to Southern Europe announced at our polish airports this week alone and one new destination to be added to our Bulgarian network, Katarzyna joins at a time of excitement and further expansion. With her extensive experience within sales and business development, she will help Ryanair to develop and approach markets in Poland and other Eastern European Countries and enable Ryanair to accelerate its industry-leading performance in all her assigned markets.”

Katarzyna Gaborec graduated with a Masters Degree in Law and furthered her education in Ireland graduating with a degree in Business Law. She gained public relations experience in both Poland and Ireland and has a strong background in strategic planning.

“I’m delighted to be starting in such a dynamic company and work in these exciting markets at a time of growth and expansion. I hope to introduce even more passengers to Ryanair’s guaranteed lowest fares and unrivalled customer service.”

23/12/10 – Forsyth, one of the largest and longest established providers of serviced offices in the UK, yesterday announced the promotion of Operations Director, David Hall to that of Managing Director.

David (40), who has a wealth of experience and understanding of the serviced office sector, originally joined Forsyth as Regional Manager in 2003 and will now be leading the firm into 2011 as it celebrates its 20th Anniversary.

Moving forward, David’s expertise will assist in further shaping the company’s development and efficiency particularly in the field of Management Contracts, which since the economic downturn has seen Forsyth operate 11 Centres on behalf of a variety of clients, who had been left with empty loss making properties.

Speaking about his promotion David said “Whilst the economic climate remains challenging, the serviced office market is holding up well. We have seen an increase in our occupancy levels and the flexible easy in, easy out terms and fixed prices are proving popular with both small and large companies. These are exciting times for Forsyth and we are planning measured expansion into 2011, our 20th Anniversary year.”

22/12/10 – Musgrave Retail Partners GB has appointed Anna Burleigh to the role of marketing director. Burleigh joins the group on 18 January 2011.

Prior to joining Musgrave GB, Burleigh spent the last year in marketing and brand consulting. Before this she was at Dixons Retail for six years and spent three years as brand director before being promoted to marketing director in 2006, during which time she led the marketing and brand strategy for Currys, Dixons.co.uk and own-label. Previously, she held marketing positions at Argos and PC World.

Donal Horgan, managing director for Musgrave GB, said: “Anna brings with her a wealth of retail experience and is an excellent addition to the GB management team.”

22/12/10 – Syndicate Asset Management, the parent company of Ashcourt Rowan, has appointed Mark Cheshire as interim group chief executive following the resignation of group chief executive Jonathan Freeman.

Freeman was appointed as interim joint chief executive in March 2009.

Cheshire was appointed to the Syndicate board as an executive director for group sales and business development last month.

A former chief executive of Lloyds TSB Private Banking, Cheshire was appointed as chief executive of Ashcourt Rowan’s wealth management businesses in November 2009.

He oversaw the launch of Ashcourt Rowan in January this year, created out of the merger of Syndicate subsidiaries Ashcourt Asset Management, Ashcourt Financial Planning and Rowan and Company Capital Management.

21/12/10 – Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services Ltd. CEO Ben Hamburger, considered the heir apparent of the family firm, today resigned from the company after just nine months in his post. He will move to London and establish the family’s private investment business there.

Ben Hamburger is the son of Gideon Hamburger, the elder brother of Harel chairman Yair Hamburger, who is the company’s dominant figure. Ben Hamburger joined the company in 2006 and later replaced Yair as CEO.

Ben Hamburger will be succeeded by two CEOs of subsidiaries: Michel Siboni and Shimon Elkabetz, both of whom will answer to Yair Hamburger. Siboni will continue as CEO of Harel Insurance Ltd., while Elkabetz will also be CEO of Harel Finance Ltd.

Harel is Israel’s third largest insurance company with NIS 100 billion in assets under management and a market cap of NIS 4.7 billion. It is Israel’s largest health insurer, one of the largest elementary insurance companies, the second largest manager of mutual funds, and the fourth largest manager of provident and pension funds.

21/12/10 – Toyota GB has appointed Matt Harrison as commercial director to lead sales and marketing operations in the UK.

He joins from Toyota Motor Europe, where he was director of Lexus Europe. He has previously held the marketing director role at Toyota GB.  Harrison replaces, and reports to, Jon Williams who was promoted to managing director of Toyota GB in October.

Before joining Toyota in 2000, Harrison spent 10 years in sales and marketing roles with Ford.  Harrison says Toyota is confident it can “regain sales momentum” in a UK car market that is currently in decline.

20/12/10 – Ellis Watson, former managing director of Trinity Mirror, has resigned from Simon Cowell’s company, Syco, where he was chief executive.

Watson joined the company, partly owned by both Cowell and Sony Music Television, in March.  It is understood that family reasons are the cause of the move, with the rapid expansion of Syco in both the UK and US, as The X Factor prepares for its bow on American screens.

Sony has said that it is not currently looking to replace Watson as chief executive.

20/12/10 – Sam Delaney is to step down as the editor of Heat magazine to work on a book and a new television show for the US cable TV channel Comedy Central.

Heat’s executive editor, Lucie Cave, will step in as acting editor of the Bauer Media magazine from next month. Delaney was appointed editor in September last year.

Delaney said: “I have been honoured and privileged to edit such a great magazine and work with the best editorial team in the business.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute but these new opportunities are too exciting to turn down. I wish Heat every success in the future and leave it in the supremely talented hands of Lucie Cave.”

Heat’s managing director, Sophie Wybrew-Bond, added: “Lucie is a huge talent who has become an invaluable member of the Heat team over the past seven years, as a broadcaster, writer and senior editor.”

17/12/10 – CMS Cameron McKenna is set to lose a four-partner litigation team in Warsaw led by top-rated Polish dispute resolution head Pawel Pietkiewicz.

The group also comprises litigation partners Michal Subocz, Lukasz Hejmej and Tomasz Manicki.

All four are understood to be joining White & Case, although the US firm was unable to confirm the hires.

Camerons has appointed its Warsaw head of commercial Malgorzata Surdek to lead the local dispute resolution practice following the resignations. Meanwhile, Warsaw employment head Katarzyna Dulewicz will see her duties extended to become head of commercial in the office.

Pietkiewicz is one of Poland’s leading litigators and also advises on arbitration matters. He advises on matters including product liability and injury claims and in sectors including pharmaceuticals, cars and tobacco products.

In an internal announcement Camerons’ managing partner Duncan Weston said: “Pawel Pietkiewicz, Michal Subocz, Lukasz Hejmej and Tomasz Manicki, partners in our dispute resolution practice in Warsaw, have decided to leave the firm and join White & Case. We wish them every success for the future.”

17/12/10 – Property firm Forsyth today announced the promotion of Operations Director, David Hall to that of Managing Director. David (40), who has a wealth of experience and understanding of the Serviced Office sector, originally joined Forsyth as Regional Manager in 2003, since which time he has consistently applied his knowledge and skills to strengthen the sales and operations of the company, and now taking it into 2011, as it celebrates its 20th Anniversary.

Moving forward, David’s expertise will assist in further shaping the company’s development and efficiency particularly in the field of Management Contracts, which since the economic downturn has seen Forsyth operate 11 Centres on behalf of a variety of clients, who had been left with empty loss making properties.

16/12/10 – igxglobal UK Limited, a leading information infrastructure and security integrator, announces their plans to promote  Kenny Marlow to the leadership position of Chief Technology Officer.

Mr. Marlow joined igx in 2006 as a Juniper professional services expert and quickly rose to the executive ranks with his keen sense of proper technical design and efforts to support a high client satisfaction standard.

Mr. Marlow has been a key advisor to both the Managing Director for UK Limited and CEO of both igxglobal inc. and igxglobal UK Limited     The promotion of Mr. Marlow to the highest technical position within igx reaffirms their mission to be a proven technical organization made up of skilled craftsmen, subject matter experts and ultimately building trusting relationships within their growing client base.

“Kenny has a unique value in that he brings the highest technical leadership and dedication to our clients with the best possible advice on how to improve their IT environments, while offering me sound business advice to ensure igx sustains the highest ethical and quality standards “, said Thomas Duffy, igx’s President and CEO.

15/12/10 – GfK has promoted Joe Staton to director and general manager of its Roper Consulting business in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Staton joined the firm from The Future Foundation in April this year as global trends director, and was responsible for leading development around the TrendKey consumer trends platform.

On top of overseeing the day-to-day running of the firm’s London office, Staton will now be responsible for leading innovation within Roper Consulting’s global consumer trends and insight offer.

Holly Heline Jarrell, group managing director at GfK Roper Consulting and GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, said: “Joe has already greatly strengthened our trends offerings in his role as director of consumer trends here and in the US and I am thrilled he is taking on this new set of responsibilities leading our UK GfK Roper Consulting business.”

14/12/10 – Seamus Keating, currently Logica’s chief operations and finance officer, has been announced as the firm’s chief executive for the Benelux countries. He will take up his new job as soon as a successor for his role as CFO has been found, replacing Wilbert Kieboom, who has decided to leave the group.

Kieboom will, however, stay with Logica until next year for the transition period. Keating is also a non-executive director of Mouchel Group.

14/12/10 – Christopher Vale has been promoted at the London-based affiliate of State Street Global Alliance to its chief executive officer, a role he will take over in January.

He is currently the firm’s chief investment officer for Asia and will succeed Rexitor founder Kenneth King as Rexiter’s CEO. Vale has previously worked at Kleinwort Benson Investment Management.

In addition, Jared Chase, a senior managing director at State Street Global Advisors, will take up the role of chairman of Rexiter.

13/12/10 – Banknote printer De La Rue, in the process of fighting off takeover interest from Oberthur Technologies, has appointed Tim Cobbold chief executive.

Cobbold will join the troubled note manufacturer on 1 January, taking up a role left vacant by James Hussey, who quit in August over paper quality problems at one its UK plants.

De La Rue called in the Serious Fraud Office after establishing that staff “deliberately falsified” paper specification test certificates on banknotes believed to be destined for India. It warned it could lose a customer over the problems and recorded a related £35 million first half charge.

Then, earlier this month the firm confirmed it has received a “highly preliminary and opportunistic approach”. The bid from French firm Oberthur, reportedly worth £750 million, was rejected.

Cobbold joins De La Rue from Chloride Group, a power supplier, which has recently been taken over by Emerson Electric. He joined the company in 2007 as chief operating officer before taking over as CEO the following year.

Non-executive chairman Nicholas Brookes, who has been acting as executive chairman since Hussey’s resignation, returns to his old role as does group finance director Colin Child who has held the position of COO.

Says Cobbold: “I look forward, with the rest of the Board, to demonstrating De La Rue’s fundamental value by building on its core strengths as an independent company and growing value for its shareholders. I look forward to working with the experienced team at De La Rue to strengthen the business and deliver on its potential as the industry leader.”

10/12/10 – Former Computacenter UK managing director Simon Walsh – who resigned his post in November in order to take his career in a new direction – will take up the role of executive vice president of managed networking services provider Colt’s Enterprise business in February.

In his new role, Walsh will take charge of expanding the fast-growing firm’s integrated networking, IT and comms services business, with a particular emphasis on its enterprise cloud strategy.

Colt, which provides an integrated network and IT services proposition in ther UK and Europe through its own 25,000 km network and a stable of 19 data centres, already claims 3,000 enterprise customers.

“Simon is a significant figure in the IT industry and demonstrates our commitment and focus on offering enterprises a unique and integrated IT experience,” said Colt CEO Rakesh Bhasin.

“He brings a wealth of experience to our senior leadership team and a proven track record in business transformation,” he added.

Walsh was previously linked to a high-profile position in telecoms and networking by sources in the recruitment sector, although shortly after his resignation from Computacenter he said he was “attracted to the prospect” of working in a private equity environment.

10/12/10 – Adidas has handed head of communications Barry Moore responsibility for London 2012 marketing activity.

His role has been expanded following the resignation of London 2012 brand marketing head Mark Phillips, who will leave mid-December to set up his own consultancy business.

Moore will work with UK marketing director Nick Craggs and Erica Kerner, global Olympic Games director and head of Adidas’ London 2012 activation.

Adidas GB is a tier one sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

09/12/10 – Wendy Lahmich has been promoted to UK sales and operations director for Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line.

She steps up from her former position of head of sales and marketing for the two brands.

The two lines’ managing director UK business Lynn Narraway said: “After 10 years with the company, Wendy is now very widely known and respected within the cruise and travel industry.   “As the UK business for our brands grows, more initiatives, strategies and targets are required to continue to raise our profile effectively.

“Wendy has already demonstrated her abilities to do this, having this year created successful new commercial relationships for Holland America Line and spearheaded the GoCarnival.co.uk online booking system – which has already lowered time and acquisition costs for the rapidly increasing number of agents using the system.”

09/12/10 – Kellogg has appointed Peter Harrison as its permanent UK marketing director.

Harrison has been covering the role on an interim basis since Kevin Brennan left the company in July to join Premier Foods.

He will take responsibility for Kellogg’s £80m advertising budget for brands including Special K, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and All-Bran and will report to UK managing director Greg Peterson.

Before taking over as marketing director Harrison managed marketing campaigns for Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut and Frosties brands.

Separately, Kellogg has promoted John Bryant, its US-based chief operating officer to chief executive. Current CEO David Mackay plans to retire in January.

08/12/10 – Telford Homes has announced a change of management, which will see Jon Di Stefano promoted from finance director to chief executive, with incumbent Andrew Wiseman moving into the role of chairman.

07/12/10 – Aegis media agency Carat has promoted board director Matthew Landeman to its management team with the new role of business director, Carat’s most senior client group management position.

Landeman will lead a team responsible for overseeing clients such as Disney Parks and Arla Foods. He was involved in winning pitches for both earlier this year.

Landeman was appointed a member of the board in 2008, since which he has overseen the Debenhams, Telegraph Media Group and Arla Foods accounts. Carat retained the Arla account in September.

Since he joined Carat 14 years ago as a TV buyer on the Disney account, Landeman has had a number of roles, including planning and account management, and was promoted to head of radio in 2006.

Tracy De Groose, managing director at Carat, said: “Matt has made a huge contribution to the business and recently has been instrumental in Carat winning both Disney Parks and Arla Foods.

“It’s great to be able to develop and reward real talent and ambition from within the business. I am confident he will play a key role in the future success of Carat.”

06/12/10 – Mark Holden, one of the architects of the re-engineering of Total Advertising into PHD, is to become the network’s global strategy director, the agency announced this morning.

Holden’s move comes 48 hours after the agency was highly commended in the media agency of the year category at the B&T Awards. He will be replaced by MD Toby Hack who joined the agency from the Nine Network last month.

According to the PHD announcement Hack will take on responsibility for new business and agency growth.

Holden, who arrived in Australia in 2007 with the brief of setting up PHD in the country, will continue to work with key Australian clients as part of his global remit.

06/12/10 – Kingsley Daniels has been appointed as Associate Director of Sales for FPS Group, a leading British umbrella company.

The new role is a promotion for Kingsley who joined the company as sales manager one year ago. He is a graduate of Manchester University, and previously he has held sales roles with various UK-based service oriented companies.

David Dean, FPS Group Chairman, said: “Since he joined FPS, Kingsley has revitalised and fortified our sales function. The umbrella company sector is dynamic and under Kingsley’s direction our sales force has become highly responsive and energetic. This promotion reflects his success.”

03/12/10 – Sage has promoted its current head of small business Brendan Flattery to take over the UK CEO role from the start of next year.

Following the management reshuffle, that was announced along with the third quarter results yesterday, which saw current UK boss Paul Stobart promoted to handling Northern Europe the firm has been quick to announce further changes.

Flattery has been at Sage for seven years and enjoyed spells as managing director for the accounts division, mid-market division and then the small business operation and he becomes only the fourth CEO for the 29 year old vendor.

“At Sage, we believe strongly in managing talent and developing great leaders across the business that inspire, motivate, lead by example and empower their teams to be the best they can be,” said Stobart.

“Brendan’s appointment as UK CEO represents a new generation of leadership for the UK business and I look forward to supporting him in this exciting new chapter for Sage UK,” he added.

03/12/10 – Andrew Crawley, one of the four current and former British Airways executives who were acquitted of price fixing, has been promoted to the airline’s main board.

He is becoming commercial director with specific responsibility for exploiting revenue opportunities from the merger with Iberia.

He was promoted to the sales and marketing director post two years ago despite at that time facing a court appearance on the price fixing charges.

Crawley has been with the airline since 1992 and has had a range of sales, marketing and operational posts in the UK, Europe and Asia.

02/12/10 – Dimitris Blatsios has been appointed CEO of COSMOTE’s Albania subsidiary AMC. The appointment takes effect from 6 December.

Blatsios was executive chief commercial officer in GLOBUL, COSMOTE’s subsidiary in Bulgaria from March 2009 and general manager in GERMANOS Telecom Romania, since October 2006.

Before that, Blatsios was in charge of the international retail division of GERMANOS Group of Companies (Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, FYROM and Cyprus).

Prior to joining GERMANOS Group, he held top managerial positions in various multinational companies such as Henkel and Johnson & Johnson.

OTE Group chairman and CEO Michael Tsamaz thanked outgoing AMC CEO Stefanos Oktapodas for his vital contribution to the development of AMC over the past 10 years and wished him every success in his future endeavours.

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