Go Inspire names St Ives honcho as Solutions MD

Darryl Danielli
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Go Inspire Group has recruited the former head of St Ives’s print operations, Nick Cole, to lead its £45m-turnover Go Inspire Solutions direct marketing division.

For the past three years Cole was group managing director of the £150m-plus turnover St Ives Marketing Activation division, the last remaining part of which was sold last week.

Cole said he was pleased to be staying in the industry and was looking forward to joining a company that was invested in the future of print.

“I am really excited about joining the business, I think it’s a business that can continue to grow and has a great position in the market,” he added.

He will take up his new role on 30 July.

Go Inspire Group chief executive Patrick Headley said he hoped Cole would help “cement the lead supplier model” the business wanted to move into and would offer a fresh perspective having come from outside the DM world.

“I’m really delighted. I think Nick’s enthusiasm combined with his business acumen, will make him a real asset for the business.

“We’ve got a lot of experience of the direct mail production sector around the table, and I think having someone from beyond that world can only improve our offering.”

Cole will be the strategic head of the recently merged and rebranded Go Inspire Solutions business, which consists of the former GI Solutions operation in Leicester and Kettering-based Eclipse 4DM.

He will be primarily based in Leicester, with Go Inspire Solutions’ Kettering site run day-to-day by general manager Ian Mackintosh – who will report to Cole.

Cole began his print career at St Ives in 1996 as a graduate trainee in its Web division, leaving in 2002 to join Field Boxmore, which later became Chesapeake, where he held various senior operations and commercial roles. He then briefly joined Bezier as group operations director in 2008, before being lured back to St Ives 18 months later as managing director of its then large-format display division, Service Graphics.

“Nick’s combination of a manufacturing and commercial background will be an excellent fit; he has the operational rigour rounded with a commercial experience and that means he will be great with customers,” said Headley.

“We saw some very, very good candidates and it was flattering to see who was keen to come and work with the group, but in the end picking Nick was the obvious choice, it was a good fit.”

He will take over from interim managing director David Laybourne, who has been running the business since February. Laybourne will leave at the end of August after a handover period.

“David has done a fantastic job and in many respects I would have loved to have carried on working with him, but in Nick we’ve got a really good guy and I’m really excited to have him on board,” said Headley.

The Go Inspire Group companies, which recently rebranded, have combined sales of around £83m and a headcount of circa 600. As well as the main Solutions business, its companies include Data business Go Inspire Insight, design division Go Inspire Creative, Go Inspire Digital, DM operation Eclipse and programmatic direct mail service Paperplanes.

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