Greg Bird has returned to Kolbus, 18 months after leaving when Muller Martini acquired the German manufacturer’s binding business.
Bird became northern Europe sales manager for Muller Martini, handling the merger of Kolbus customers into the Swiss company. This has meant bumping into Kolbus engineers and representatives.
“We have been in contact with him because we have some of the same customers and are discussing things like warranties,” says Kolbus UK managing director Robert Flather. Bird becomes his deputy with a sales emphasis, and says: “I have enjoyed my time with Muller Martini but the offer to undertake this new role with Kolbus UK was a fantastic opportunity to return to a company which I enjoyed being part of previously. With the new direction into packaging showing real momentum and growth I will embrace the chance to help continue the excellent progress made in this sector.”
Kolbus UK has retained its case making business and is developing a position in the expanding box making sector. It acquired UK corrugated machinery business BCS which has been renamed Kolbus Autobox. Arran Sethi, four years as BCS sales manager, moves to the sales manager role at Kolbus UK and will sell the entire range.
“When it comes to bespoke box making, we can now exploit the cross over between box making and book making,” he says.
Underlining this is the appointment of Jon Walker as technical director of Kolbus Autobox. He joined Kolbus when the company acquired the digital folder business of failed press manufacturer Timson. It had fitted Kodak printheads to a Timson press structure. Applying inkjet heads to the box making technology cannot be ruled out.
The return to the nest of Bird will attract most attention. “There is an element of succession planning,” says Flather, “but it does not mean that I am retiring. I shall be spending time doing other things within the group. We have had a few corporate changes over the last 18 months: the sale to Muller Martini, the acquisition of Autobox and the departure of Kai Buntemeyer.
“I shall be more involved in group activities. This is about more strategic activities than just running the UK subsidiary. This is an exciting time for Kolbus UK, these new appointments strengthen our management team and dovetail into our long term succession plans.”
By Gareth Ward
Jon walker gets new responsibilities as technical director of Kolbus Autobox, looking to development products that combine the growing need for ecommerce packaging and printed corrugated boxes. There is no solution as yet.