St Ives group chief executive Patrick Martell – who has been at the company since joining as a 16-year-old apprentice – is leaving for Informa, the publishing and events business which owns Datamonitor and Lloyd’s List.
Martell became chief exec in 2009 and has spearheaded the company’s expansion into marketing services. During this time, St Ives has spent more than £200m buying the likes of Occam, Response One, Incite, Amaze, and most recently pharma agency The Hive Group.
In its most recent results – released in March – St Ives reported a 50% increase in revenue from its marketing services division to £46.7m – and 35% of group profits – as the company inches closer to its goal of marketing accounting for half of group profits.
Chief financial officer and marketing services group managing director Matt Armitage will succeed Martell from August 1. Armitage started his career at Unilever, and was finance chief at Tequila before joining St Ives in 2011.
Martell started his career in 1980, when he joined his local printing firm as an apprentice straight from school. The company, Fletcher & Sons in Norwich, was part of Clays, the 200-year-old business specialising in books.
In 1985, Clays was bought by St Ives and Martell took on his first management role, ultimately switching to the Bungay office. After joining the executive board in 2003, Martell was promoted to managing director for UK operations two years later. Then in 2009, the company revealed its first loss, of £7.2m. This sparked the departure of then boss Brian Edwards, with Martell succeeding him as chief executive.
St Ives chairman Richard Stillwell said: “Patrick has made a major contribution to St Ives, in particular through his leadership over the past five years during which time the Group and its prospects have been transformed. We are extremely grateful to him and when he leaves to take up his new role it will be with our very best wishes.”
At Informa, Martell will be chief executive of business intelligence, and is one of a number of key appointments to the company’s executive management team. The business specialises in academic publishing, global events and business intelligence.
Informa group chief executive Stephen Carter said: “Today’s changes seek to increase operational, customer and market focus at Informa. We are repositioning the group to deliver growth and scale in each of our markets.”
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