The toy company Hornby has appointed Simon Jeffery as group marketing director to spearhead its expansion into Europe and the US.
The role is new and Jeffery will report directly to chief executive Frank Martin. Until now, Martin has overseen marketing at Hornby.
Jeffery moves from LucasArts, the interactive division of Lucasfilm in the US, where he was president and chief operating officer. He started his career at Electronic Arts before moving to Virgin Interactive Entertainment as European marketing manager and then vice-president of marketing, first in Europe and then in the US.
Hornby started looking for a top-level marketer in June (MW June 10) following its acquisition of Spanish company Electrotren and its planned acquisition of Italian company Lima. If the Lima purchase goes ahead, Hornby will be the brand leader in model railways in the UK, France, Italy and Spain.
Martin says: “As a growing international business, we have ambitious plans to develop the scale and depth of our operations significantly.”
Hornby has had a chequered history since it was founded in 1907. The company has gone through a series of takeovers and management buyouts and is now owned by a group of businessmen that includes Peter Wood, founder of insurance giant Direct Line. In 1995, it announced plans to move manufacturing to China. UK operations are concentrating on design, distribution and marketing.
Hornby’s &£1.3m ad account is handled by WAA and Media and is bought by BLM Media.