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Read takes on UK CEO role at Walstead

Read has played a key role during the growth of Walstead

Walstead Group’s Debbie Read has become CEO of its UK business, reinforcing her position as one of the most powerful women in UK print.

Read retains her existing role of group commercial director at the pan-European business.

She will report to group CEO Paul Utting. The move effectively brings the UK into line with the structure at its continental operations.

Read joined what was then Wyndeham Press Group in the autumn of 2009 as group procurement director.

Prior to that she spent two decades working in increasingly senior production roles in magazine publishing, including as production director at IPC Media, and group production director at Bauer Media.

Utting commented: “Debbie has played a key role during the growth of the wider Walstead business over the past 15 years. Her appointment into this newly created role is testament to her hard work and commitment since joining the business in 2009.”

Read said she was excited about the new challenge.

She said: “I am delighted to have been appointed into this role and I am looking forward to working closely with UK senior leadership team to implement and drive improvements across the business whilst retaining my group commercial role and responsibilities.”

Walstead’s UK operation is now the only multi-site web offset business in the UK. It employs more than 800 staff at its operations in Bicester, Peterborough, Roche, Walstead Binders in Leicester, and Walstead York.

The group also owns pre-media business Rhapsody.

The overall Walstead Group had sales of €648.9m (£554m) in calendar year 2022.

Its continental production facilities are in Spain, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland and Germany.