The Smiths News Executive
Like any business, our people are at the very heart of our success.
Their commitment to delivering the best quality service throughout the supply chain is unparalleled, ensuring we have a compelling proposition in our chosen markets.
Smiths News actively recruits - and naturally attracts - some of the brightest talent in industry: people who care about results and are accustomed to success. Today, we have a vibrant and ambitious Executive, which is pursuing a bold strategy for growth, while safeguarding our heritage in the newspaper and magazine industry.
Strategy and Business Development Director
Smiths News has the potential to use its distribution expertise in a growing range of industries, delivering new revenue streams for the business. It is my job to help make this happen.”
Louise Ryan has worked for Smiths News since 1999, with a particular focus on trade marketing. She was appointed Trade Marketing Director in 2008, and held this role until being named as Commercial Director in 2012.
In 2015, Louise was appointed as Strategy and Business Development Director, giving her responsibility for focusing on the strategic direction and development of new revenue streams including Jack’s beans Coffee Company and Pass My Parcel (both launched in 2014), as well as accountability for all Sales and Marketing Activity and External Communications.
With such a time sensitive supply chain, and increasing customer expectations for broader service offerings, technology is fundamental to our business operations and future success.”
David Todd joined Smiths News as IT Director in 2015, bringing with him industry expertise from Retail, FMCG, and Entertainment sectors. Previously, David was IT Director at Rank Group Plc, and prior to that he was Commercial IT Director at PepsiCo UK.
David holds accountability for the IT strategy across Smiths News and provides support to the Group. He also oversees Rascal Systems, a joint venture between Smiths News and the Kemble family.
David has extensive experience of building and leading transformational change programmes in complex businesses, and ensuring that business strategy is underpinned by a coherent IT strategy. David ensures that the company’s technology agenda is executed in-line with overarching business objectives, and leads a skilled team to deliver core service and project investments.
Smiths News is a business with a clear sense of direction. I want the finance team to play a key part in pursuing our strategy for growth.”
Richard Renwick, Finance Director, joined Smiths News from Treasury Wine Estates, where he held the position as European Finance Director. Richard has extensive experience of managing complex business change projects and supporting major corporate transactions.
Richard is responsible for all areas of finance across Smiths News – providing a solid foundation (through efficient transactional processing and an effective regulatory and control environment) whilst positioning the finance team as true business partner – supporting the organisation to deliver on its strategy.
Richard is also responsible for all Management Information, Data Analysis and Reporting across Smiths News.
Working at every level of Smiths News has given me an important insight into the business as a whole. I am committed to pursuing our strategy for sustainable growth.”
Jonathan Bunting joined Smiths News as a graduate trainee in 1994, quickly focusing his career as a sales and marketing specialist. In 2001 he joined the Executive team as Trade Marketing Director, later playing key roles in the Group’s demerger from WH Smith and the winning of publisher contracts worth over £500m p.a. He was appointed to the Board of Smiths News PLC in 2010, with responsibility for establishing the Group’s development and diversification strategy.
In May 2012 Jonathan became Managing Director of Smiths News with further responsibility for Dawson Media Direct and its subsidiaries - these businesses , together with Instore Field Marketing, WWMD, Martin Lavell and Rascal Systems, form Connect News & Media. Further diversifying the division, while maintaining performance and investment in its core businesses is one of Jonathan’s stated priorities.
Jonathan is a well-known and respected figure in the industry, reflected in our strong relationships with publishers and retailers – his belief in sharing direction and working to long-term goals is central to Smiths News position as industry leader.
Publisher and Retailer Services Director
Innovation is a core characteristic of Smiths News. We are a growing business, with a strong heritage. And that makes it a very exciting place to work.”
Simon Gage joined the company in 1986 as a management trainee, and has subsequently held a wide variety of roles in the company. Following the demerger in 2006, Simon was made Magazine Sales Director of Smiths News in 2008 and then in 2012, Simon became Sales Director.
In 2015, Simon was appointed Publisher and Retailer Services Director. He’s responsible for the service offer to our existing clients and managing the trading relationships, overseeing the publisher and retailer account management teams, including the independent retail sector, and has accountability for our sales centre in Worcester. Simon also oversees our InStore Field Marketing business.
HR and Internal Communications Director
Our people are our greatest asset, and we are committed to helping them grow within the business. My job is to ensure that everyone is able to play their part in delivering our business objectives."
Deborah Preston worked at Vodafone for nine years prior to joining Smiths News, and held a number of senior HR roles. She has also held specialist roles in executive recruitment, and talent and change management.
Deborah has worked in a range of sectors, including telecoms, financial services, construction and hospitality.
At Smiths News, Deborah’s responsibility focuses on helping to develop our personnel, and leading on Employee Relations and HR policy expertise across the Group. Her team also develops and delivers a long-term strategic people plan that will underpin business growth for Smiths News as well as Connect News and Media and its companies.
The Smiths News team culture is all about pride and passion for the getting the job done, whatever the circumstances. As a result our service is unparalleled, and we deliver a nightly miracle to retailers up and down the country.”
Clare Davies has been Operations Director at Smiths News since August 2012. She joined from Norbert Dentressangle (now XPO), a major European logistics company, where she served as Business Unit Director.
Clare has spent the majority of her working life in the logistics industry. She spent 12 years in senior operations roles at Wincanton PLC, and her experience includes running multiple distribution centres, delivering operational efficiency in complex supply chains and supporting business growth in an operational and commercial leadership role.
Clare oversees every aspect of Smiths News’ operational performance and delivery service standards, and is responsible for 41 distribution centres, as well as 3,500 staff. Her accountabilities includes; ensuring Smiths News has the right operational solutions in place to successfully deliver Pass My Parcel and oversees customer services, ensuring there’s a seamless approach to our newspaper and magazine customers. Clare is also responsible for WWMD and Martin-Lavell, our corporate news distributor which supplies more than 1,200 businesses throughout the UK.