Paperlinx management shuffle sees French exit as Price joins board
By Pamela Mardle Thursday, 02 August 2012
Paperlinx director for UK and Ireland Paul French has decided to leave the company at the end of September.
He will join Metamark, a specialist design and digital materials manufacturing business, as CEO.
The paper merchant has redistributed his responsibilities across senior management. Paperlinx marketing director Philippa Charlton said that the company had decided against finding a replacement for French in an attempt to make the business "flatter and leaner".
Some of his duties will be transferred to Adrian Dennis, divisional director of sign and display, and Mike Thomsett, divisional director of Paperlinx Procurement Solutions and Brightstream, who have both been elected to join Paperlinx’s UK Leadership team.
The company said the directors were pulled onto the board to signify its commitement to its diversified business areas, which includes its £110m sign and display division.
Meanwhile, in a remarkable turnaround, Paperlinx appointed Andrew Price as non-executive director despite his failed attempt to unseat chairman Harry Boon by a narrow margin in shareholder votes five months ago.
Concerns were raised about Price’s expertise as a potential non-executive director in the run-up to an extraordinary general meeting held in March and the company accused him of "threatening the organisation’s stability at a most critical time".
In a letter to shareholders, Paperlinx claimed that Price had "delicate current relationships with key suppliers, credit insurers and lenders" and "no prior experience of restructuring a large international business operating in 25 countries".
Boon has since decided that "the time is now right for Andrew to join the board in the next phase of implementing the ongoing restructure programme" following the sales of Paperlinx assets and the completion of the strategic review.
He added: "Price brings the perspective of a print buyer who understands the changing demands of the paper industry."
Price said: "Having spent recent weeks in Europe reviewing several of the key operations of the company, I am please to be joining the board on 1 September.
"I look forward to making a significant contributuon to the current restructuring of the scaled-down business which should lead to a return to profitability through lower costs, more efficient order to fulfilment processes and a diversified product range."
Paperlinx has also appointed industry outsider Ian Hunt to assist Chris Grice in his new role as head of commercial print as it targets the commercial sector.
Grice, who has worked for Paperlinx for 24 years, is moving up from group procurement director following Malcolm Lane-Ley’s exit on 31 July. Grice will oversee sales and procurement across Paperlinx’ three businesses: The Paper Company, Robert Horne and Howard Smith.
Hunt has been recruited as commercial director to manage the operational sales strategy across all three businesses. He brings experience in leading sales operations from Thomas Cook, Amercian Express and RAC.
Both appointments are effective immediately.
The company hopes that the restructures will return it to profit following a net loss of A$60.9m over the six months to December 2011.Tweet
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