Sun Branding Solutions adds Simon Gore and Sonia Whiteley-Guest to top team


Sun Branding Solutions (SBS) has beefed up its senior management line up with the appointment of former Holmes & Marchant managing director Simon Gore and ex-Morrison’s strategy, planning and communications director Sonia Whiteley-Guest. The high profile appointments are part of Sun Branding Solutions ambitious growth strategy, designed to ensure the business is ‘superfit for the future’.

Gore will lead the creative teams – Chiswick-based design agency Parker Williams, Bradford- based Sun Branding Creative, along with the Packaging Science team, as managing director, creative.

Whiteley-Guest will lead UK and international client servicing, along with the legal labelling, copywriting and digital software solutions teams as group commercial director.

Martin Hawkins, currently board director of client services at SBS, is appointed group operations director with responsibility for all UK and international graphic artwork production, colour and print management.

The trio will make up an executive board that reports directly in to Sun Branding Solutions’ managing director Paul Bean.

Gore and Whiteley-Guest are the latest additions to a senior talent pool that includes new business sales director Julie Hall, who was appointed to the team 2014. Hall has more than 20 years’ experience in client-side grocery and health and beauty, and will continue to lead the new business charge.

Bean said: “We’ve invested a significant amount of time and effort into refining our senior team with the needs of our clients front of mind. Retail is facing unprecedented change characterised by the rise of the discounters, the growing importance of on-line retailing and the transparency and exposure that digital platforms have created, especially around quality and price comparison.

“It’s a world of relentless pressure and our senior team now have all literally ‘walked in our clients’ shoes’. They bring a whole new dimension to our understanding of how we can further improve our services for our clients. The appointment of stellar industry talents like Simon and Sonia enables us to create a working structure that clearly and effectively supports the wealth of talent that is already in our business,” said Bean.

Gore’s impressive agency credentials include stints at the helms of Holmes & Marchant and Lewis Moberly as managing director and board planning director at Brown Inc., part of Added Value. Prior to moving into the agency world, Gore began his career client-side with Scottish & Newcastle Breweries and CIC Video International.

Whiteley-Guest has an equally illustrious background in retail, with experience that spans trading, marketing and store operations. Her career began at ASDA, where she progressed to head of marketing for the George clothing range and also managed the Extra Special and Good for You own-label grocery brands. Most recently, she was at Morrison’s where she successfully relaunched the supermarket’s own-label brand portfolio.

Meanwhile, Hawkins has spent more than 25 years in the print and packaging industry, including almost 20 years with SBS and his unique combination of client service and operations expertise will now be directed towards spearheading technical innovation and delivering market leading quality to SBS’s client base.

Bean added: “Simon’s reputation precedes him: he’s strategically strong, commercially savvy and a very personable team player. Sonia has worked with us as a client and we know she can combine strategic thinking with hands-on operational implementation. Martin’s operational strengths will drive efficient and proactive delivery. In terms of supporting senior talent, Julie’s fresh perspective and client understanding is growing our retail footprint as well as building client awareness and interest in the breadth and depth of our services.”

Gore said: “Sun Branding Solutions is streets ahead in its thinking about the retail arena that its clients operate in and also about its own capabilities and how it wants to grow as a business. It’s immensely exciting to be part of a journey where the commitment to creative quality and delivery are such a key focus. I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Whiteley-Guest added: “I’ve been a client of Sun Branding Solutions’ competitors so I recognise exactly where the opportunities are here at SBS. I also know the challenges retailers are facing from a front-line perspective. I’m looking forward to bringing that insight to bear at a problem-solving level for the people who are now on that same front line, through a team that not only has the know-how and capability, but who also care about the sector.”