St Ives announces Matt Armitage to Board of Directors as the incoming CEO

– UK – St Ives plc, the leading marketing services and print group, announces that Patrick Martell, Chief Executive Officer, has informed the Board of his intention to step down as CEO on 31 July 2014 and leave the Group in order to take up a senior role within Informa plc later this year. Patrick will remain on the Board until the Group’s Annual General Meeting on 27 November 2014.

Patrick has been with St Ives for over 35 years and has served as CEO since 2009.  Under his leadership the Group has been transformed into a marketing services business where focused print services combine with other areas of marketing activity to offer a range of added value, integrated services. 

Matt Armitage, currently Chief Financial Officer and Group Managing Director, Marketing Services, will succeed Patrick as CEO with effect from 1 August 2014. 

Matt has been instrumental in developing and implementing the marketing services strategy, including leading on the series of acquisitions that have been completed, and overseeing their integration and growth within St Ives.   

Brad Gray will succeed Matt as CFO and will join the Board of St Ives, also with effect from 1 August. Brad is currently Deputy Finance Director, having joined the Group in 1988 from Grant Thornton London.

Richard Stillwell, Chairman of St Ives, 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.

“Matt joined us as CFO in 2007 from the marketing services sector. He is the ideal person to continue the ongoing implementation of our marketing services strategy, and to maximize the opportunities that exist for St Ives.”

Patrick Martell said: “I have hugely enjoyed my years at St Ives, and am proud of the growth platform that we have created through the transformation strategy. Matt and I have worked closely on the implementation of that strategy and he could not be better placed to take over the leadership of the group.  I have no doubt that he, and the team at St Ives, will build very successfully on what we have achieved.”

Matt Armitage said: “I am excited to be taking on the role of CEO at such a time of opportunity for St Ives.  We have come a long way in the past five years under Patrick’s leadership, and have created four strong pillars from which to grow a substantial and differentiated marketing services business.

 “We will continue to drive organic growth through investment and increasing collaboration across our existing businesses and will target further strategically relevant acquisitions that broaden and strengthen our client proposition and provide a platform for strong financial performance.

“Brad Gray has proven himself to be extremely effective in his current role as Deputy Finance Director.  He is very familiar with all financial aspects of the Group, he has played a key role in the Group’s recent acquisition strategy and I greatly look forward to working closely with him in his new role.”

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