Why Adare may be overshadowed by the cloud of its second debt-for-equity swap, but chief executive Robert Whiteside’s non-move Power 100 position reflects his reaction to these economic challenges. Targeting the US and the Middle East and cross-sector activity as key progressive methods, Whiteside is developing Adare’s additional services from traditional print to secure, data-driven communications. To quote one colleague, “stylistically, it has not been Whiteside’s way to shout about Adare’s success and development, but rather get on with the business of delivering value and letting results do the talking”. As Adare’s repayment plan rolls out into 2014, only time will tell if these results really do talk…

Why New to the Power 100 but far from a newcomer to the industry, Richard Hill was appointed production operations director at IPC Media in June this year, some 24 years after he first joined the business. Hill, who has been IPC production director since 2000 and is also current chair of the PPA Production and Technology group, stepped up to the position following a major restructure that saw the business shed around 150 positions. Well liked and highly respected amongst both publishers and printers, those who know him describe him as a genuine and approachable while being a tough but fair negotiator – a skill he will no doubt need in the months ahead.

Why “HH continues to punch above its weight, successfully competing against billion-dollar giants…” So says one of Robert MacMillan’s peers. With recent client wins ranging from Siemens to Pepsico, it’s a fitting description. You can easily apply it to MacMillan, too – as a Fulham supporter and as HH Global’s chief executive officer. Two examples of MacMillan’s drive – and why he’s recovered from last year’s drop in the list – happened last month. Firstly, a successful print management deal with a major Indian telecommunications player. Secondly, the Pirelli Group (who use goods and services from more than 12,000 companies) crowned HH its supplier of the year. And that’s in the last month alone.

Why Ricoh’s UK and Ireland head of production print holds onto last year’s three-point climb to 27. Stephen Palmer joined Ricoh in 2010 having previously held senior positions at Kodak, Danka and Infotec, roles that have stood him in good stead by giving him a broad appreciation of the industry and technology-led businesses. Palmer has built up a reputation in the industry for his affability, calming influence and expertise. According to those who know him, his key business skills are his clarity of vision and his ability to communicate that vision to those around him.

Why It’s been a challenging eight months for Unite GPM sector national officer Paul Finegan, who took over from Steve Sibbald in January. While the turmoil in the industry has calmed a little, it is still going though a period of much-needed structural change and all too often Unite members are in the firing line. A lifelong Liverpool fan, as proven by his penchant for wearing one of his two official club ties at any given opportunity, Finegan began his career as a labourer at a printworks almost 40 years ago. With his blue-collar roots beyond reproach, you could never accuse him of being a champagne socialist; he prefers chardonnay for a start. But he’s most definitely a confirmed Francophile regularly holidaying in the south of France.

Why It’s been an eventful year for the UK general manager of graphic communications Mike Holyoake, centred on the “soft restructure” of Xerox’s operations along global reporting lines. Whereas arguably graphics used to be the quiet backwater of the business, certainly compared with Xerox’s other operations, now it’s subject to a renewed focus and, according to colleagues, a lot of that is being driven by Holyoake. “It’s safe to say that he didn’t jump into a warm seat, he’s had to not only drive the business forward, but also use his sales experience to virtually build a new business,” says one colleague.

Why He may be new to the Power 100, but Tesco’s new head of marketing procurement for print, paper and post, following the departure of Katleen Pelsmakers, is certainly no stranger to buying,
having notched up 17 years at companies including Booker Cash & Carry and Dixons. Described as “a star in the making” by one supplier, Cedric Clarke is very much a family-man and is also reported to be a keen five-a-side football player and all-round sporty type according to one colleague. That athleticism may well come in handy in the coming months when he’s being chased by print sales reps keen to get onto his circa £400m supplier roster.

Why Amanda Abernethy’s reported traits of being cool, calm and collected must come in seriously handy when the GDO director and general manager walks the tightrope of heading a division that occasionally wins business away from the customers of its manufacturing sibling. Big contract wins, at least those that the business can talk about, have been relatively thin on the ground in the past year for Xerox veteran Abernethy. However, the £9.2m, five-year deal announced in Janaury for the University of Nottingham’s managed print services must figure prominently in the mother of three’s highlights this year.

Why After a relatively quiet 2011, last July Paragon hit the headlines for the wrong reasons when its UK operation was hit by a staff walk-out after the company launched a 90-day consultation on employee contracts. The dispute was resolved a month later, leaving executive chairman Conor Donnelly free to focus on his day job of driving forward the Paragon Group of companies “with an aggressive sales strategy that will support the growth of the business,” according to a colleague. “New innovations and acquisitions” are still at the heart of Paragon’s future strategy, and supported by his management team, “Conor continues to be a well-known and reputable character within the industry,” says
our source.

Why When the going gets tough, Mark Cornford gets going, insists a colleague: “He’s a very good leader with outstanding people skills who can keep the army marching in difficult times.” These difficult times have called for difficult decisions, and Integrity has had to make redundancies and trim costs this year. “Yes, he’s demanding, but also understanding; he has empathy, inspires individuals, fosters teamwork and is very customer-facing.” More management of change is in the offing at Integrity Print, which is sharpening its focus on growth areas of the business. Whatever the challenges, managing director Cornford, a rugby enthusiast and jogger, is unlikely to run out of steam.

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