Kerridge steps down as Benson MD

Darryl Danielli
Friday, November 21, 2014

Mark Kerridge has stepped down as managing director of Benson Group, the £120m turnover packaging printer that was acquired by Graphic Packaging International earlier this year for £100m.

Kerridge: This is an excellent outcome for all parties
Kerridge: This is an excellent outcome for all parties

Kerridge’s departure was announced internally last week, but he will remain as a consultant to the business reporting to GPI European chief executive Joe Yost.

“Since the acquisition I have been working with GPI to manage the controlled transfer of the management of the Benson Group to GPI’s European team, so in terms of my executive responsibilities for the Benson Group, they have now ended,” said Kerridge.

“However, I’m still working on special projects in the background to support and advise the Benson Group and GPI over the next eight months or so until June next year.”

Kerridge joined Benson in January 2002.

Prior to the group’s sale to GPI, which completed in May this year, he oversaw its growth from £10m sales to £120m, a period that included five acquisitions, £50m of organic growth, a £25m capex spend and the MBO he led with commercial director Nick Benson in 2011.

He also oversaw the sale of Medica packaging to Sullivan Street Partners earlier this month.

Kerridge said the next eight months would be “time to reflect” on his future plans.

“I think they will be in print and packaging though, they’re in my blood now but there’s time to reflect on that before I make a decision, but there are lots of opportunities,” said Kerridge.

While he said that it wasn’t part of his initial plans to leave the business after the sale to GPI, the decision to step down as managing director was a joint one.

“It’s all very positive, but to some extent after spending 13 years building something I began to realise it was time to move on and leave GPI to the important business of securing the future of Benson Group and GPI in Europe.”

There will be no direct replacement for Kerridge. However, his MBO partner Benson remains with business as commercial director, and will now report to Yost.

Sales director David Devenport has been promoted to vice-president of sales, convenience sector (effectively the Benson Group) and group marketing director Helene Roberts has been promoted to vice-president marketing, innovation and design, convenience brands and consumer brands.

Both will report to Yost.

“Speaking on behalf of all his colleagues, Mark has overseen significant growth in the Benson business and has been key in driving it to where it is today and the business is incredibly thankful to him for doing that and for providing such strong leadership,” said Roberts.

“He’s built a fantastically strong leadership team… and that’s why it's key for us to have the continuity of those roles so that we can build on the foundations he built.”


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