According to Go Inspire Group chief executive Patrick Headley, the management rejig stemmed from GI Solutions managing director Alistair Ezzy wanting to return to a more commercial role at the start of the year. As a result, former Real Digital managing director David Laybourne joined the business in February as interim managing director on a six-month contract.
“Alistair wanted to stand aside; essentially he said that he didn’t really want to run GI Solutions,” said Headley.
However, he stressed that keeping Ezzy within the business was a critical part of the management rejig.
“Alistair is massively key to this business, I’ve got a massive amount of respect for him, but I think the role of managing director doesn’t always suit everybody – in his new role I know he will do very well for us.”
While Headley will be involved, Laybourne is leading the recruitment process with recruitment specialist Mercury Search and Selection.
The role will primarily involve running the flagship GI Solutions business in Leicester, with additional responsibility for the Eclipse 4DM business in Kettering, part of the Eclipse group of companies Go Inspire acquired last February.
Ezzy officially moved into his new role of commercial director for both GI Solutions and Eclipse 4DM on 23 April.
The 4DM site is now headed by general manager Ian Mackintosh, a seasoned DM executive who joined the business last autumn after Sheree Mercer-Bowell, who moved to 4DM last March, returned to GI Solutions as client communications director. Mackintosh reports into the managing director of GI Solutions.
“It’s been quite hectic year. I think the market has been quite tough in some respects and we had some work to do on costs. It was also the first year of the ‘new’ business [after buying Eclipse], but it certainly wasn’t a disaster, far from it, and, as a business, we’re much stronger for it,” said Headley.
“The focus now is growth and also, perhaps, some more strategic acquisitions."
In terms of what the business is looking for in its new managing director, Headley quipped “a clone of David Laybourne”.
“I would love to keep him here, but he lives on the South Coast and only ever wanted to join in a temporary capacity,” said Headley.
He said that the company wanted to look at candidates from both inside and outside of the industry, the key requirement being a passion to drive the business forward.
“If you look at the businesses in Leicester and Kettering, we have great teams at both sites, we’ve also got Alistair heading commercial, Shiree heading client communications and Ian running Kettering day-to-day so the new managing director we’ll be heading an impressive team – and we’ve already had some interesting CVs through. So, I think we’ll have a great shortlist at the end of the day.”
In total, the Go Inspire group of companies have combined sales of around £83m and a headcount of circa 600.