People and places



People and Places




Wholesaler SP Richards has promoted Chad Lee to the post of VP Logistics.


Lee was previously DC General Manager of the company’s Memphis operation from 2004 and prior to that managed the operations of the Atlanta distribution centre.


In his new role, Lee will be responsible for facility planning and optimisation, quality assurance and all aspects of inbound/outbound freight.


Lee will report to CIO and SVP of Technology Boyd Rice who commented on Lee’s promotion: "Chad has done an excellent job during his time in Memphis and we anticipate great things from him in his new capacity. He brings a current marketplace perspective to the team and has the drive and innovative mindset to lead our operational and logistical efforts."


Lee said: "We have significant opportunities to drive operational improvements and deliver excellence to and on behalf of our dealer customers. I’m looking forward to the challenge."




Long-serving Lyreco executive Bernhard Ruf will take over as the new Managing Director Sales of Staples Advantage Germany next year.


Ruf will take up his new post on 1 January 2011 after spending the last 13 years with Lyreco in various national and international sales and marketing roles, most recently as head of field sales in Australia.


Ruf will be responsible for the overall sales and customer service functions for Staples’ contract customers in Germany and will report directly to Rainer Thews, Regional VP Staples Central Europe and CEO of Staples Germany.


"In Bernhard Ruf we believe we have found the best candidate for this important and challenging role, and look forward to his contributions to our goal of becoming the undisputed market leader in office products," said Thews.


Spicers has confirmed the appointment of Sarah Jones as the new Finance Director of its UK business. Jones began in her new role on 20 September, taking over from Andrew Cowan who has left the business to pursue other interests.


Jones joins Spicers from retailer Carpetright where she was also Finance Director.


UK Managing Director Alan Ball told OPI that he had been given notice of Cowan’s departure and that it is not linked in any way with the recent decision of Group CEO George Adams to step down.


Ball also confirmed that UK Marketing and Communications Director, Jane Rowe, had not left Spicers, following rumours that she is no longer with the wholesaler. Rowe herself could not immediately be reached for a comment on these rumours.


Italian stationery and office products association AIFU has named its new President.


Well-known Italian office products executive Adriano Alessio has been elected to serve as AIFU’s President for a three-year term.


Alessio is Managing Director of leading Italian office supplier In Ufficio and has also been a member of BPGI’s executive committee.


He will be assisted by Errebian’s Ferdinando Rese, who has been elected Vice-President, while the rest of AIFU’s board comprises Luca Borroni (Office Depot), Gianluca Gibelli (Lyreco) and Franco Villa (Buffetti Group).


Staples has confirmed the appointment of Eric de Laage as the new head of its French operations.


De Laage has been with Staples since it acquired the Bernard mail order business in 2002 as part of the acquisition of Guilbert’s mail order arm.


He first joined Bernard back in 1998, rising to become Managing Director of the France/Belgium jan/san catalogue business in 2000.


Most recently he had been Managing Director of Staples European Catalogue from March 2008.


Staples does not have retail operations in France, so de Laage will be in charge of the Staples Advantage and Staples Direct businesses. Staples Direct is the new name for he rebranded JPG business.


French discount office supplies chain Top Office has named a new managing director as it looks to speed up its development.


Raphael Vanneste, formerly head of international development at mail order giant La Redoute, was named as Top Office’s new Managing Director in August, taking over from Charles Malvache.


Top Office, which is owned by French retail dynasty, the Mulliez family, owners of the Auchan hypermarket chain, has 38 stores in France, but its development has stalled in recent years and it reportedly made a loss of 12.4 million in 2009. In 2006, Top Office introduced a franchise model, but so far there are only 8 franchised stores. Vanneste will no doubt be looking to speed this rate up.


Arno Alberty, former EVP Sales Europe at Pelikan, has been named Managing Director of leading presentation technology supplier Medium.


Alberty took his new post on 1 September and says that he aims to expand the company’s market leading position through a pan-European growth strategy.


"I am expecting further dynamic impulses in the field of presentation technology, but I also recognise potential in commercial entertainment," said Alberty. "We will continue to emphasise technological stimuli," he added. "For instance, by developing high-quality product generations such as projectors that are supplied with a maintenance-free lamp technology, interactive boards or even 3D-screens."


Medium has been in business for around 30 years and employs about 120 people. Alberty will be based at the group’s head office in Düsseldorf, Germany.


Printing equipment and document management services provider Danwood has appointed a Divisional Manager for its Graphics and Production Systems division (GPSD) in the south west of the UK.


Chris Ashmeade joins the company from Konica Minolta where he was Regional Production Manager.


Ashmeade will report to Danwood’s Public Sector Director, Rory Atkins, who recently merged his Gloucestershire-based business, Topaz, with Danwood.


OP vendor Durable has named a new Managing Director of its Benelux operations to succeed Eddy Catry who is retiring at the end of the year.


The new Managing Director is Philippe Heymans, currently Country Manager Benelux for Elba Office Products. Heymans has also worked for Esselte and Planorga.


Durable Benelux was founded in 1997 and currently employs 12 staff in sales and marketing roles.


Wholesaler VOW has appointed a new regional director for the south of the UK.


David Taylor has been promoted from his role of regional sales manager, having full responsibility for the field sales team in the southern region.


Taylor has worked in the office supplies industry for 15 years holding a variety of positions at wholesalers, back office system providers and resellers.




Hans Servas, a 30-year veteran of the office products business in South Africa, stepped down as Managing Director of leading manufacturer and distributor SSC on 1 September.


In a planned succession handover, the new Managing Director is Trevor Girnun, who joined SSC several months ago as Deputy Managing Director.


Servas is staying on as Marketing Director and will continue to sit on SSC’s executive board until he retires at the end of 2011 in order to ensure a smooth transition.


Long-serving National Accounts Sales Manager Jimmy Millinger also retired from SSC earlier this summer and he has been succeeded by Janet Barker.