Bicycle manufacturer and retailer Ribble Cycles has appointed Jon Owen as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Matthew Lawson as Chief Digital Officer (CDO).
The new hires will help significantly strengthen the presence of the brand, the firm said, which is owned by retail and consumer sector specialist private equity firm True Capital, in digital and traditional marketing channels.
Owen joins from a four-year stint at Shop Direct, where he drove a 20 per cent p.a. increase in sales as Director of Very.co.uk, and subsequently sat on the group board as Group Retail Director. Prior to this, he spent seven years at Asda and Walmart in a variety of core and online roles in the UK and internationally, culminating in a role as Asda Marketing Director.
Lawson joins Ribble Cycles with an extensive background in online marketing and a proven track record of driving SEM and web conversions.
Lawson’s past roles include eCommerce Director at loveholidays.com, where he helped in increasing revenue by 130 percent in 18 months, and Head of Conversion at ao.com, where he contributed to developing the brand from £10m to £300m over a period of eight years.
The current MD James Dove will work alongside Owen and Lawson as Brand Director. James joined the Preston-based company in 1990 and is the son of Terry Dove, who acquired the brand in 1980.
Owen commented: “I'm delighted to be joining Ribble. It's a strong, well-run business making a great range of road bikes. With the investment and support of True Capital, and the energy and commitment of the management team, we've got ambitious plans to grow the business over the next few years."
Lawson added: “It’s a very exciting time to be joining Ribble and I’m looking forward to implementing my knowledge of how to get customers to convert online, which will be pivotal during the launch of our new website. The brand has an exceptional heritage and we have a number of new ideas to put in motion as the brand reaches its 120th birthday.”
Ribble Cycles was established in 1897 and the range has received numerous awards and positive reviews from core media channels over the years. Ribble’s Sportive Bianco was awarded 10/10 in Cycling Weekly and 98 per cent in Cycling Active’s £1,000 bike test, and leading female British triathlete Stephanie Forrester competed on a Ribble bicycle at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Paul Cocker, co-founder of True Capital, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to attract people with the kind of talent and experience that Jon and Matthew will bring to the business. It is indicative of the huge opportunity that Ribble has to grow as a brand and I am confident that, together with James, we now have a world-class management team that can execute on our ambitious plans for the company.”