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PaperlinX shifts the focus back home with new CEO

Wednesday, 25 February 2015
By Print 21 Online Article

Turnaround whiz, Andy Preece, will be based in Melbourne as he takes on the top role at the paper merchant, following the termination of former MD Andrew Price’s European adventure.

PaperlinX MD & CEO, Andy Preece

Reflecting the changing dynamic and focus of the company, and the business, the new managing director and CEO will be effectively operating from Australia, with an appropriate amount of time spent in Europe. PaperlinX is currently fielding offers for some of its European businesses, following the sale of Spicers Canada.

The role will be to grow the new diversified businesses in hardware and printing supplies while continuing to tighten up its management and operations. Preece’s track record in turning the local Spicers into a profitable diversified business obviously appealed to the board.

According to Robert Kaye SC, PaperlinX Chairman, the business is undergoing a throughout revaluation of its direction and composition. “As we continue to evaluate all strategic options as part of the recently commenced Strategic Review, including the potential sale or restructure of part or all of the European operations and with the pending sale of Spicers Canada, now is an appropriate time to make this leadership change.”

“The Board acknowledges Andy’s strong track record in leading the ANZA region to strong performances over the past three years and in particular his role in turning around the Australian business. He has proven capabilities to grow his businesses beyond the traditional commercial print sector as evidenced by successful diversified acquisitions in New Zealand during the last two years.

“Andy is well qualified to lead PaperlinX as the focus shifts towards scaling up our diversified businesses and tightening operational management across a more dynamic geographic footprint,” said Kaye.

With more than 20 years’ experience in paper merchanting and wholesaling Preece was appointed executive general manager, Australia, New Zealand and Asia in July 2012. Previously, he was group general manager Australia in 2011, and prior to that was general manager, Spicers New Zealand from 2007.

“We welcome Andy to his new role and the Board looks forward to working with him as we complete the ‘Review’ and take PaperlinX beyond paper to a new chapter.” said Kaye.

In an open and frank revelation of Andy Preece’s employment conditions, PaperlinX informed the ASX that his base salary of NZD 900,000 plus ancillary benefits such as superannuation may be adjusted in the event his responsibilities reduce following the completion of the Strategic Review if the outcomes include a reduced number of PaperlinX businesses. It seems to mean that the Board envisages him running a smaller company in the future if the European divestments go ahead.


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