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New managing director for Ling Design

Alessandro Arosio takes over from Ian Bant upon his retirement

Ling Design has appointed Alessandro Arosio as its new managing director, taking over from well loved and respected industry stalwart Ian Bant who retires at the end of June 2017 after a 38 year career in the industry.

Ian joked: “Hopefully news of my departure and my successor’s arrival will keep Theresa and Donald off the front pages for a couple of days!”

While Alessandro joins Ling with no card publishing experience, he has a strong pedigree in branding, design and new product launches as well as a desire for fresh thinking and delivering growth in competitive domestic and international markets. Alessandro’s recent roles including global marketing director of Dyson, strategic advisor to Better Than Coffee (BTC Bars) as well as an executive coach for AA Coaching.

David Byk, ceo of Ling’s parent company Swan Mill said; “We are delighted to welcome Alessandro to the Ling team. At a time when there is real pressure in our sector we believe he has a true passion for product and a pedigree for getting under a category and driving what the customer wants while hitting the onerous commercial requirements of running a greeting cards and gift packaging publisher”.

It is end of an era for Ian, who came into the industry in 1979 and has held senior positions with Andrew Brownsword, Gordon Fraser and Hallmark before joining Ling and staying on as managing director when it was acquired by Swan Mill in 2015.

On announcing his plans to retire at the start of this year Ian said: “I will be 62 by the time I retire which feels like a good time to be going. It feels like the right time to start enjoying some of the rewards that our wonderful industry has provided me with but never allowed me the time to enjoy!”

Also joining Ling in the next few months are Sarah La-Plain, who has been appointed as charity sector manager and Terasa Teagle who will be the new head of purchasing.

Neither are strangers to the industry. Sarah is arguably best known as the ‘advent calendar queen’ as she worked closely with her parents in the Caltime advent calendar family joining Woodmansterne when it acquired the company a few years ago. She recently sold calendars and bespoke cards to national accounts including charities.

Terasa will arrive at the beginning of August from a purchasing role at the Great British Card Company. Terasa brings a wealth of experience in card sourcing, procuring and printing and is replacing Sam Ferrara who, after many years with Ling, is leaving to pursue some personal projects.

Commenting on the new appointments, Ian Bant said: “Although I will have some sadness on leaving this great company, wonderful industry and fantastic people after many years I am sure the new faces coming into Ling will bolster the already strong team. I am really heartened to retire leaving such a successful company with great design and product that will continue to thrive in a tough market’.

David added: “Amazingly, it’s already two years since Swan Mill bought Ling and it continues to go from strength to strength. Looking ahead we think that the design offer and service proposition is better than ever and every new release validates that. Velvet Olive is looking excellent, Penny Kennedy is now fully integrated and sales are increasing with great new licenses and the Ling team is working really well with a fantastic mix of greetings card expertise and the desire to drive innovation and improvements.”

Pictured at top: Alessandro Arosio and Ian Bant

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