Blue Star reshuffles management team

According to industry sources contacted by ProPrint, the top-level departures include chief operating officer Mike Shannon and group sales and marketing general manager Lee Barnsley, as well as Nick Notaras and Graham Cole.

Blue Star managing director Chris Mitchell (pictured) told ProPrint “there have been changes, and new talent coming in”, but would not confirm any of the departures.

Mitchell did confirm the appointment of Sasha Dobrovolsky to the role of managing director, Print Solutions Australia. He will start on 4 January next year.

Dobrovolsky, who joins from California-based digital printing and logistics business Epac Technologies, will report directly to Mitchell.

Mitchell explained that the changes were part of an ongoing strategy for the trans-Tasman print group as it responds to the effects of the downturn, and included investments in IT.

He stressed Dobrovolsky’s on-demand printing pedigree, adding that Blue Star’s new strategy would “leverage a new generation of digital print presses”.

“The need to accelerate the transformation of Blue Star’s core printing businesses is heightened by the protracted downturn in our industry,” said Mitchell.

“While Blue Star is an exceptional business employing some of the most talented people in the industry, we have been no exception to the effects of the downturn, facing reduced customer volumes and intense price competition across all major business units, particularly our sheet operations.”

The company’s 2008/09 results showed a 32% drop in earnings, blamed on “very difficult trading conditions in Australia and New Zealand”.

The reshuffle is the latest in a series of structural changes throughout 2009, in particular the integration of McMillan Print Group, which Blue Star acquired in June 2007.

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