“He is the one I proposed to take over a long time ago,” says Heanue. Miles has been in charge of Heidelberg’s South Africa operation, which like Scandinavia, reports into the UK. “When he took over in South Africa, he inherited an ageing workforce in sales and service and has revitalised that workforce by bringing in new ways of doing business based on relationships and on the selling the ROI and a more modern approach.”
Miles, like Heanue and George Clarke before him, is an accountant by background and qualification. Aged 43, he is only part way through his career, but has already been finance director of Kodak in South Africa and chief operating officer of business services group, Itec SA. He will be replaced at the head of the Johannesburg operation by his financial director.
“If I have any regret it is that I didn’t join Heidelberg sooner,” Miles says. “Gerard has an ability to create and steer true growth and the past five years have been the most fulfilling of my career.”
But this will not mean an adherence to the procedures and approach that is in place. “Heidelberg UK must continue to develop and innovate in order to provide the best value to its customers, whose needs are always evolving. Our service and support must remain world class and we need to ensure customers can take maximum advantage of the digitised world and the advanced technology Heidelberg can offer.”
“He will be a breath of fresh air,” says Heanue, “leading a generation shift in the UK.”
South Africa has yet to undergo the consolidation and changes that have characterised the UK market over recent years. It has left Heidelberg UK with customers who are among the most productive in the world.
Miles will take over on 1 April with Heanue remaining on hand for customer introductions and to the industry at Picon where Miles will represent Heidelberg. He will move to the UK over the summer in time for his two children to join the UK academic year.
And like any South African, a love for cricket and rugby is inherent.
By Gareth Ward
Ryan Miles represents a change of generation as he takes over the reins at Heidelberg UK as Gerard Heanue prepares to step down as managing director at the end of this month. Miles has already sharpened and revitalised the South African business in his five years there.
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