PrintWeek's annual run-down of the industry's most influential individuals, here we look at numbers 60 through to 51.
Why Tony Rafferty is tough: when not skiing the black runs he’s negotiating a market every bit as stomach churning. Pre-tax profits slid nearly 29% in the year to 31 March but colleagues swear by his commercial acumen and exacting standards. Rafferty is "restless, visionary and a challenge to work with," says one on the chief executive who recently renamed his company to reflect its graphic scope. "In some ways it would be easier if Tony weren’t so heavily into innovation, but it’s uncanny how he can make the complex simple." Rafferty, also an accomplished cook, is "a driven man who demands the best", which may be to come.
Why Duplo UK managing director Peter Jolly certainly seems to have the Midas touch. Within months of starting his secondment to sales from his role as marketing manager in 2011 he was breaking sales records, and nine months after taking the reins at Duplo UK he secured a five-year revenue and profit high in its 2012/2013 financial year. "He’s either incredibly lucky, or bloody good, those that know him, know it’s the latter," explains one colleague. However, while he may have gained the respect of his team and customers in double quick time, when they discover the Glastonbury festival regular’s guilty pleasure is rumoured to be Chas & Dave it could be lost just as quickly.
Why He’s outspoken, confident, and no shrinking violet when it comes to talking up his own abilities. One way or another this is going to go down as a seminal year for Berforts BT&D chief executive Gerald White, not least due to the appending of the BT&D into his title following June’s merger deal with Felix Dennis. This means he’s now running a business that has effectively doubled in size, leapfrogging into third spot in the league table of British book printers. Where other acquisitive businesses – notably MPG – have failed, White believes his financial nous will prove a vital point of difference when it comes to the performance of BT&D: "We’re going to turn it around," he’s said recently.
Why "Simon doesn’t do things by halves – it’s either go big or go home," says one colleague when asked to describe the colourful (pink and yellow usually) Webmart managing director. Biltcliffe is an unconventional leader, with one source describing his management approach as "gritty Yorkshire determination with a dose of whacky and entrepreneurial spirit". He’s one of life’s givers too: employees get a share of Webmart’s profits, suppliers get free competitiveness tools and clients win tubs of sweets for submitting 360° feedback. And then there’s his literal approach to blue-sky thinking – once a week he takes the Webmart company camper van out into the wilds, turns off his tech and opens his business books to plan his business strategy.
Why This time last year Schawk announced pre-tax losses of $4.4m (£2.8m). This is down to major investment in the brand’s colossal development and repositioning from POS-based services to include high-tech brand development using its own bespoke graphic management software, Blue. Much of this development is down to Schawk’s UK director Rob Moore. A card-carrying Everton supporter, his fastidious approach to detail and commitment is felt through five of Schawk’s European businesses. Working closely with both retailers and print suppliers, he’s helped the company achieve major wins with high-profile clients such as BP and BIC, where Schawk’s packaging scored a silver accolade in the Pentawards.
Why As director of professional print at Canon Business Imaging Group Wayne Barlow’s year has largely been taken up with integrating the Canon and Océ UK graphics sales operations, where he now heads up the cut-sheet part of the merged business, all while still being, according to one colleague, "the best salesman in the business". However, no matter how busy he’s been, he always finds time to be print’s social butterfly. Whether he’s staying at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s, hanging out with Kate Moss at the Polo, mixing it with Team GB gold medal winner Greg Rutherford and singer Nelly Furtado (and managing to upset Sean Connery) or entertaining customers, he’s always at the centre of things.
Why Lawrence Merritt’s rise has certainly been meteoric. Starting off at ZDNET & Ziff-Davis where he rose to the position of advertising director, Merritt then worked on the launch of Expedia in Europe, then headed up the European SEM team at Yahoo!, before joining Photobox in 2007, to become UK and Ireland managing director in 2011. In this role Merritt employs his "strategic, results-driven approach" to help serve the 8m of the group’s registered customer base these two markets represent. Managing close to 200 employees, Merritt takes a leading role in product development, business strategy and commercial execution.
Why A "disarming charm" and an insightfulness that enables him to get to the nub of a problem and find the simplest way around it are the key strengths one BAPC colleague attributes to the trade association’s chairman Sidney Bobb. "When he came up with a solution to a problem, I was always surprised at how simple it was," he explains. People who know Bobb constantly refer to his passion for print and for people and it is no doubt this that enables him to work closely with both printers as well as, crucially, suppliers to the industry so congenially. He’s also very aware that the industry is changing. "He’s not a dinosaur. He’s very forward-thinking."
Why Luke Pigott has had another successful year driving Howard Hunt forward in his role as group chief executive. With the key acquisition of London digital marketing agency ORM secured in October last year, the group continues to grow and expand its offering under his leadership. Pigott’s Herculean efforts haven’t passed by unnoticed. One of his proudest moments of 2012 was when Howard Hunt was identified as a Deloitte UK Futures 1000 company – the group was singled out for special praise as one of the fastest growing businesses during the recession. This die-hard Spurs fan is also a delight to work with according to one colleague: "He’s ambitious, motivational and unshakably positive," they said.
Why As head of print management, Mark Cruise’s key challenge of late has been making the satellite broadcaster’s contracting marketing budget go further. However, rather than simply turn the thumbscrews on his suppliers, Cruise has identified other cost savings, such as bringing artworking in-house and slimming paper weights. There’s also a chance that those budget savings may yet come into play if Sky decides to aim its marketing big guns at sports TV rival BT, once the football season kicks off proper. Affectionately known as Herr Flick in the office thanks to a theatrical limp following a recent motorbike accident. The good news is that his beloved bike escaped relatively unscathed "otherwise he really would have been inconsolable," says one colleague.