Plant management changes at Polestar

Jo Francis
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Polestar has parted company with the managing director of its Bicester web offset site.

Lindsay Atkinson left the company last week, prior to the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Polestar chief executive Barry Hibbert said customer services director Jim Mellon had taken charge of the plant on an interim basis, and that Atkinson would not necessarily be directly replaced.

“Lindsay is moving on as he has now integrated the operations, purchasing and commercial areas into the overall central planning system,” Hibbert said.

“Bicester is ahead of plan and performing very well. We will have Jim Mellon in place to oversee the final stages of the integration as we are introducing a group-wide IT upgrade imminently, with Bicester coming fully online. Then we will decide if we need another MD or not after September.”

Other managers within the group are likely to become available later in the year as Polestar continues the restructure of its web offset platform, and the first of six new web presses from Goss International is commissioned.

Polestar Bicester runs a battery of presses that includes four 72pp Manroland Lithoman webs. The plant is set to play a crucial part in fulfilling the requirements of IPC Media from July onwards, during the period when a raft of titles will transfer from Wyndeham to Polestar prior to Polestar’s new web offset facility at Sheffield becoming operational.

Atkinson joined the then-BGP business in 2010 in a manufacturing improvement role during the tenure of David Holland, and subsequently became managing director following the departure of Geoff Hughes in February 2011.

Prior to that Atkinson had worked for Polestar for a number of years, and had been managing director at Polestar Petty in Leeds.

Polestar acquired BGP and Stones the Printers, now Polestar Bicester and Polestar Stones, when it acquired Goodhead Group in a pre-pack deal in November 2012.

PrintWeek was unable to reach Atkinson for comment and his future plans are unknown.

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