eReaders company, Kobo, appoints new country manager for the UK

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Wood: UK Kobo role

Wood: UK Kobo role

Kobo, a global leader in eReading with over 7m users in more than 170 countries worldwide, has announced the appointment of Phil Wood as country manager, UK.

According to the company, Wood joins the eReading company in a newly created UK role as Kobo continues to assert its position as the eReader of choice for British consumers who are switching to digital reading devices in their thousands.

Wood joins Kobo from TomKat Consulting where, as a consultant to consumer technology, electronics and IT sectors, he helped companies to define target markets, develop new business, create strategic alliances, launch new products in addition to offering full marcoms and SEO/Google PPC support.

Kobo said Wood brings a wealth of digital reading background to his role with Kobo. Before TomKat, he was director of Interead, the UK eReading start-up where he was charged with generating worldwide awareness for the COOL-ER eBook reader through direct and retail channels. COOL-ER became the third largest selling eReader within its first year in the UK.

Wood has a career working in technology marketing; having managed international markets for Dun & Bradstreet and, as director for Actel Corp, he supervised marketing, public relations, global media and direct response advertising throughout Europe and Asia Pacific.

At Mitsubishi Electric, Wood led colour display and printer launches across Northern Europe. During his tenure at Hitachi, he led Pan European market research activities. Whilst at Sun Microsystems, he was integral in the Java OS and SPARC microprocessor product launches.

Kobo said his appointment comes at an exciting time for the business. Since launching in the UK with an exclusive retail partnership with WHSmith, the company has broadened its retail distribution through deals with John Lewis, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Dixons online with further retailers planning to stock its eReading products.

Wood said: “The eReading industry is a dynamic and fascinating space. I am excited about helping to grow the Kobo brand in the UK and replicating the phenomenal success the company has seen in North America. My goal is to deliver a cohesive UK strategy and business plan at a time when the global business is moving forward at a phenomenal rate. My experience in the nascent eReading market in the UK has given me a great perspective in helping to manage Kobo’s UK business. There are great times ahead for Kobo in the UK.”

Matt Welch, general manager for Kobo, said: “Having someone with Wood’s technology, commercial and eReading expertise positions us well for our planned growth in the UK. We have seen tremendous first six months here and with Phil as country manager I am confident we’ll see Kobo continuing to drive forward the eReading revolution.”

Kobo launched in the UK in October 2011 as the exclusive eReader brand for book and news retailer WH Smith. Its portfolio of eReading products, the Kobo WiFi, Kobo Touch and Kobo VOX are available in all WHSmith high street stores and leading travel hubs. Kobo said it believes in an open platform and consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device and has attracted millions of readers from countries across the globe. 

Kobo offers free eReading apps so users can read on most popular devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, Android phones, iPhones, iPads, Blackberry smart phones and Blackberry PlayBooks – in addition they can browse and shop the Kobo store.  Plus, with Kobo Sync users can read from one device to another and pick up from the page that you last read – so their library will always be kept up to date.