Thirlby joins Pureprint to accelerate growth

Darryl Danielli
Thursday, July 9, 2015

Anthony Thirlby has joined Pureprint Group as chief operating officer, a newly created role, as part of the £60m business’s growth strategy.


Thirlby was formerly managing director of ESP Colour, where he earned a reputation as a world authority on print process improvement, but for the past six months he has been running his own consultancy, advising businesses in Australia, Scandinavia, the US and the UK – including Pureprint, where he led on a project to integrate multiple workflows into Tharstern Primo MIS.

Pureprint chief executive Mark Handford said: “This is very exciting for us, I’m delighted we managed to sort something out as I know a lot of people wanted to talk to him. But he’s excited about the business because we have so many facets. 

“And for us it’s important that we have somebody with Anthony’s skills having an overview across not just Pureprint, but Abstract, Imprint and anything else we may add in the future.”

Thirlby had been consulting with Pureprint two-days a week for the past six months, but officially took up his new full-time, main-board, role yesterday (8 July).

“Having spent some time working in other countries it became apparent that we are so advanced in the UK it’s incredible,” said Thirlby.

“But Pureprint is already taking that to another level. What the guys are getting involved with here, how the business is growing and the new markets it’s getting in to, it’s a challenge that I really wanted to do – this is a multi-faceted business that is not just about print, so I can’t see me getting bored here.”

While much of Thirlby’s role will be centred on technology investments and production efficiency, he will also be tasked with bringing the best out of the various cultures and practices of Pureprint’s multi-site operation.

He said he was also looking forward to working with the Pureprint teams and perhaps challenging pre-conceived ideas on anything from sales and client retention and development, through to production and logistics.

“What you’ve got to remember is that the team here has almost trebled sales in three years, so there are clearly brilliant people in place here – and I’m looking forward to working with them all on the next stage of Pureprint’s growth, because I know we can all learn off each other,” he said.

Another key element of Thirlby’s role will be to free up Handford’s time to focus on the business’s strategic development, including M&A deals.

“With the size of the business now, we have to be even more strategic,” said Handford.

“There were a lot of opportunities out there anyway, but the whole Paperlinx situation has created even more. After the BGF deal, a lot businesses come across my desk and you have to free your time up because you know one of them might be a gem that helps us with diversification.”


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