Connect Group has appointed Jon Bunting as its Interim Chief Executive Officer.

Jon assumes his new position as Connect announces a strategic review of Tuffnells, one of its core businesses. The review will consider the actions and investments needed to create a sustainable recovery for Tuffnells, looking as well at the long-term prospects for the business within the Group.

As CEO of Connect’s other core business Smiths News, where he has been part of the team for more than 25 years and held the position of CEO for two years, Jon has overseen a continued strong financial performance. He brings a wealth of strategic and logistics experience to the role and a deep understanding of Connect Group’s businesses.

Speaking on the appointment, Connect Group Chairman Gary Kennedy said: “In a challenging year, we have been resolute in pursuing a recovery plan that balanced improvements to profitability, with necessary investment and prudent capital management.

“The revitalised performance of Smiths News and the progress with our central restructure has established a solid foundation for the group’s medium term recovery.

“The turnaround of Tuffnells remains our most pressing challenge. The strategic review of that business reflects our focus on delivering improvement and removing its impact on overall group performance.

“As we look to reinvigorate our recovery plans we have appointed Jon Bunting as our interim Group Chief Executive and I’m certain that his clear leadership and unwavering dedication will serve Connect Group well, as we push forward to deliver improved performance.”

Jon replaces outgoing CEO Jos Opdeweegh, who has stepped down from the Swindon-based company.

In a move to further strengthen and support the leadership team, Michael Holt (non-executive director of Connect Group) today becomes Executive Chairman of Tuffnells. Working with Tuffnells CEO Peter Birks and the team, Michael will contribute his knowledge and expertise during the period of the strategic review. Michael was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of FedEx Express Europe and has more than 30 years of sector experience, including a successful period leading the turnaround of ANC Group.

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