Thirlby leaves Pureprint for new challenge

Jo Francis
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Pureprint and Anthony Thirlby have parted company in what has been described as an amicable split.


Thirlby joined the £60m-turnover business in the newly created board role of chief operating officer in July 2015, with a brief centred around the group’s technology investments and improving production efficiency across its different operating sites.

Pureprint chief executive Mark Handford said the projects Thirlby had been involved with were now coming to fruition.  

“We needed someone to come in and evaluate the business and change our workflow, and run those projects.” Handford said. “We’re now coming to the end of the projects he started, and Anthony has some opportunities around his consultancy. This is very amicable, we remain close just as we were even prior to him joining us.”

Thirlby left at the end of March.

He told PrintWeek: “Several other things have come my way, and out of respect for Pureprint I wanted to step out of the business in an orderly fashion. I have the greatest respect for Mark and the business itself.

“We ticked off a huge amount very quickly – the MIS integration is second to none at Pureprint, and there’s a great team there who have made that work,” he added.

Thirlby is renowned for his process improvement expertise, and has advised businesses around the world on productivity techniques. He said he was considering a number of different opportunities and was likely to make a decision on his next move in a week or so.

Uckfield-headquartered Pureprint will officially open its 100% digital factory, at the former Beacon Press site, later this year. It has two B2 HP Indigo 10000s and added three Indigo 7800s last year. A further spend on digital kit is in the pipeline.

Earlier this year the group bought two Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 litho presses, and a Tharstern MIS also formed part of the group’s major reinvestment programme.

The group gained a £5.3m investment from the Business Growth Fund in January 2015.

“We’ve effectively got two brand new factories, with the presses in a line and paper coming in at one end and finished work out of the other,” Handford added. “If another project like this came around, Anthony, if available, would be our first port of call.”

Handford said Pureprint was not planning to recruit a replacement COO.




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