Jeff Whiteway to depart from Spicers

Jeff Whiteway has announced that he is saying a fond farewell to Spicers and SPOT Group, after 33 years of service.

Whiteway has been instrumental in creating many of the group’s plans for the future, but has now come to the decision to move on and allow the business to drive forwards without him. He will be handing over to a new CEO during the first quarter of this year, and will be on hand on garden leave thereafter. During the transition Octavia Morley, chair of the group, will be closely involved.

Whiteway said: “One of the most frequent questions I am asked is, ‘how do you keep doing what you are doing?’

“The office products trade, Straker, OyezStraker, OfficeTeam and, latterly, the SPOT Group have all been good to me, have provided a lifetime of memories, great times and challenges and a bit of money along the way. At all times enjoyable, having surrounded myself with the highest quality of colleagues and created a fantastic team – I am very proud of you all.

“We now embark on a new chapter, following what has undoubtedly been my most challenging period in the history of the business. We have put together tremendous plans for both the Spicers network and OfficeTeam sales and support, creating a foundation to operationally support both OfficeTeam and wider dealer community whilst also bringing the sales focus and customer service support back to OfficeTeam which, perhaps, has been weakened as a result of the integration within the SPOT Group in recent years. I firmly believe the plans we have now put in place will transform the business during 2019 and beyond.

“Finalising these plans provided an opportunity to reflect on how these will be best adopted. In truth, I have ‘run out of steam’ at a time when the business needs pace and momentum. Maybe a sign of age (though I hope not), but also a realism that, having been in the business for 33 years under five private equity partners and with business transforming so rapidly, now is the time for a change in personnel – and, therefore, a new leader.

“The decision I have come to with the SPOT board is to handover during the first quarter of the year. I will remain employed by the business for the year ahead, though we anticipate my gardening skills will be enhanced during this period, as I will not be actively involved in the business after the handover period.

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“I will however, remain a shareholder of the SPOT Group. Better Capital has supported me in these discussions and are underway on the identification of a successor, and will update you as soon as possible. In the meantime, Octavia Morley, our chairman, will cover the transition period.

“I leave excited for the future of both OfficeTeam and Spicers. I regret I will undoubtedly lose contact with many of you, but hopefully not all – I have made many great friends.

“I wish you all and the company the very best for the future – have fun and always remember business is important, but family comes first.”

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