Hancox to leave Otto UK

Otto UK chief executive Mike Hancox is stepping down after two
and a half years at the helm of the multititle mailer. His move
follows a decision from parent company Otto Group to remove the
Parcelnet logistics business from the Otto UK unit and integrate
it into Otto’s Germany-based international logistics business.

Otto’s reason for shifting oversight of Parcelnet is to provide
customers with a “pan-European approach”, according
to Parcelnet managing director Carole Woodhead. The courier is
already piloting a cross-border service with a number of clients.
“We hope to go live with this service by the end of the
year,” she said.

Hancox said that the removal of the logistics business from Otto
UK has made his job as CEO very different to the post he came to
in December 2005. He expects to remain with the business until
August. After that, Hans Otto Schrader, chief executive of the
Otto Group, will take responsibility for the UK arm until a
successor is found.

During his stint as chief executive, Hancox moved away from the
traditional agency model of the Freemans and Grattan catalogues,
preferring to concentrate on accelerating the growth of the web
and the group’s direct businesses, which include Montage and Oli.
The internet business more than doubled during his tenure, from
£59 million to £129 million, and now represents a third
of all Otto’s UK retail sales.

Hancox’s departure follows a six-month internal strategic review
that, alongside the decision to separate the parcel delivery and
home shopping brands, analysed whether to sell, close or downsize
Otto UK or to explore investment and acquisition opportunities.
Although the company had received offers for the business, they
did not match Otto’s expectations. The review also ruled out
closing or downsizing the UK business. Otto has since hired
German agency EMC to further examine the UK home shopping
brands; this review is expected to be completed within three



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