Former Kolbus UK sales director joins Muller Martini

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, April 30, 2018

Muller Martini GB has appointed former Kolbus UK sales director Greg Bird as a sales manager.

Bird, who will assume his duties with the manufacturer on 14 May, will work alongside existing sales manager David McGinlay.

A Bristol School of Printing graduate, Bird spent 24 years at book printer Butler & Tanner – which operated both Kolbus and Muller Martini kit – progressing through various production management roles that included five years as manufacturing director.

He joined Kolbus as UK sales manager in 2008 before becoming sales director in 2015.

Bird will assist Muller Martini with the integration of Kolbus customers it has picked up since it took on Kolbus’ perfect binding and book line business in January.

The transfer of the perfect binding and book line business to Muller Martini completes this week, with Kolbus now expanding its current activities in the packaging market and continuing to focus on case making, parts manufacturing and its foundry business.

Bird told PrintWeek: “Although it perhaps seems like a very logical decision staying with the book and magazine production and finishing equipment side, as this is my area of expertise, leaving Kolbus was incredibly difficult – the last 10 years have been very good with Kolbus and I have a lot of respect for the company.

“Kolbus have decided that their future lies in luxury packaging and although they were keen for me to stay, my final decision was made because I think I still have a lot more to offer to the book production side so it seemed like the right way to go, rather than into the packaging world.”

He added: “Muller were very keen to enable me to join, they highlighted the fact that I’d have a key role in helping the integration of Kolbus and Muller, which was quite interesting, and there seems to be a lot of opportunities on the horizon with Muller.

“As of tomorrow [1 May], Muller are responsible for the service of Kolbus equipment as well so you could almost say that the amount of business that Muller Martini GB will have is almost doubled overnight. So they need extra support and this internal knowledge of Kolbus.”

Kolbus UK managing director Robert Flather told PrintWeek that Bird’s role at the company will not be replaced, as he will take over Bird’s duties.

“I know it was a very difficult decision for Greg but he goes with our total blessing and best wishes.”

He added: “5pm tonight marks the end of 118 years of Kolbus selling book binding machines. The last few months have been fantastic, we’ve made quite a number of significant machine sales since the deal was announced at the end of January and we’re exiting the market on a high and leaving with confidence for the future.

“Our strategic direction is now much more into packaging and so already I can see our R&D being focused onto this market, and there are new products coming down the line. We’re also looking at whether there are other market sectors we should be moving into.”

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