Andrew Jones took over as CEO of OT Group in 2021, joining from sister company Paragon ID. Since then, he has overseen the move to a new main distribution centre near Manchester (the former Office Depot UK Contract facility) and the group’s continued investments in technology.
In July 2022, OT Group announced the rebranding of its UK wholesaling operations under the Spicers name.
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2021: The jury was out in 2020 as to whether OT Group – created out of assets of Spicers and OfficeTeam – merited a place in the OPI Top 100. That doubt has now been put to bed as Ireland-based Paragon Group continues to invest in the multichannel operator – which comprises OT Wholesale, OfficeTeam, ZenOffice, Spicers Ireland, and now the former contract business of Office Depot UK & Ireland.
Paragon turned to one of its own to succeed Steve Horne as CEO of its OT Group business earlier this year. Andrew Jones had successfully grown the Paragon ID business during a four-year spell via a combination of organic growth and successful acquisitions. He also has extensive experience in global supply chains, software-driven businesses and in managing large disparate teams.
All of the above will stand him in good stead as he looks to double OT Group’s top line over the next three years. A strong start has been made with the acquisition of the Office Depot contract business. This closed at the end of September, with all accounts successfully transitioned onto Office Team’s SmartPad platform.
This was a strategic move for OT Group. Recognising the advantages of Office Depot’s contract distribution centre in Ashton-under-Lyne, near Manchester, this facility and its offices are now the group’s new headquarters. The previous central distribution centre at Smethwick, just outside Birmingham, is scheduled to be decommissioned at the end of 2021.
Jones says much of his early focus – in addition to the Office Depot deal – was on getting the company’s house in order. That has included improving distribution and making further investments in technology. Now, the OT Group will be much more outward looking as the new CEO looks to meet his ambitious growth targets.