As another year of intense growth draws to a close, What More UK announces a change in directorship. Operations Director Roger Tout will step into a non-executive director role, handing the reins to former Works Manager Garry Ireland.
Roger Tout has worked for What More UK since 2000, having joined the business the year after it was founded. In his 16 years as Operations Director, Roger has had overall responsibility for the warehousing and despatch of all What More UK orders, both to customers across the UK and internationally.
Originally from Tiverton in Devon, Roger made a move to the North West when he met his wife of 36 years, Karen. In his early career, Roger spent 12 years in the army, achieving the rank of sergeant. Following his departure from military life, Roger began a career in transport and distribution. In his former employment he ran the operation of one of What More UK’s very first transport suppliers.
At the age of 56, Roger feels the time is right to retire. He said:
“It’s time to pass the reins over to a younger man. I’m excited to see the next generation come through. Garry’s promotion to director also sends a message to staff across the organisation that with hard work they can make it into the top jobs.
“I’ve enjoyed being a part of What More UK’s incredible growth. I’d like to thank all my suppliers and staff for their fantastic support over the last 16 years – I couldn’t have done it without them.”
What More UK Director Tony Grimshaw OBE said of Roger:
“He is not just a brick in the wall that is What More; Roger is part of the foundations.”
Roger now intends to enjoy more travel with his wife Karen in their mobile home. The couple also have a six week trip to Australia planned to visit one of their three daughters who lives there. Roger will also be available to What More UK colleagues for advice and guidance 24/7, and will attend regular board meetings.
Roger will also continue to offer support to his successor, former Works Manager Garry Ireland.
After six years with What More UK, Garry is taking up the position of Operations Director. With a proven background in plastics manufacturing, Garry originally joined the company in 2010 as their General Production Manager, improving process controls that allowed teams to manufacture to meet demand. In 2013 Garry was promoted to Works Manager. In this role Garry worked with the warehouse and dispatch teams, driving up standards in production and delivery.
Garry is looking forward to taking up his new Operations Director role in January. He said:
“We have a great team across all departments at What More UK. I have worked closely with the link between production and warehouse, and in my new role I will focus on the link between operations and sales. It’s my goal to help strengthen the team for a successful 2017.
“Of course, I am only as good as the team that work for me and I thank them for their support. I would like to think that other staff within our organisation can see how they can build a career from working hard, as I have. I’m delighted that What More UK has believed in me and given me the opportunity.”
During the course of 2016, What More UK has added 66 products to its plastics and homewares ranges, and a further 50 products to its bakeware and Wham Cook ranges. The business has also begun exporting to five new countries including Vietnam and Guatemala, and hopes to extend its reach to a total of 80 countries in the next 12 months.
The first quarter of 2017 will see What More UK attend three homewares trade exhibitions in the UK, Frankfurt and Chicago. By spring the manufacturer may well be celebrating its first award win of 2017 too, having been shortlisted in two categories of the Housewares Innovation Awards taking place in February.