Entering May with a spring in our step, I would like to share with you how we evolve by; strengthening our capability, an update on who we are, some team updates and how we aim to keep ourselves a clear mile ahead of the pack;

John Webster has been recently appointed icebreaker Chairman. John was a banking CEO at 35, and is still going strong 40 years later! His experience as a CEO has included over 100 MBI/ MBO deals from £2m to £1bn and supported over 1000 SME business start ups,  an expert in Venture Capital, Executive coaching and Private equity, he has trained over 100 chairmen. John who now lives in South Africa is an active fixed wing and hot air balloon pilot, paraglider pilot, league tennis player and bridge enthusiast. John keeps us ahead of the pack leading our professional development program and is available to the icebreaker team as required on assignment in his capacity as an exceptional coach!

Paul Siegenthaler (MBA, HEC) joins icebreaker as a leading practitioner and expert in M&A, working with United Distillers Deutschland GmbH, Diageo plc, Diageo North America, Linpac, Selecta, Wincanton plc, Brakes, Northern Foods plc, and Portfolio companies owned by AXA Private Equity and Permira. Paul has over two decades of experience in delivering the value of the business case those M&A deals had promised the shareholders through integration of businesses involved in acquisitions or mergers, often across Western Europe and North America. Paul is author of “Perfect M&As – The Art of Business Integration”

David Mitchell BCOM (HONS), FCA, FCT, MIFT joined icebreaker last year; a leading turnaround professional with main board level experience in Manufacturing, Engineering, Property & Construction, Facilities Management, Automotive, Chemicals, Healthcare, IT, Telecommunications & Media.  Either as CRO, CFO, FD or Adviser across listed and private equity backed businesses in both the UK and Europe. Past Board Member Institute of Interim Management, Runner-Up in inaugural IIM Awards 2009, Member of all Major UK Banks & Big 4 Accountants Turnaround panels

Karl Zierold BSc (Hons) MBA joins icebreaker International Senior Marketing Executive with diverse sector experience achieving top & bottom line growth through innovative strategic marketing plans with the ability to lead organisations successfully through significant periods of change. Acknowledged for strategic marketing plans and organisational leadership. Successfully developed and implemented international brand and marketing campaigns and product launches for Caradon, Diageo, BAT & Novar and SMEs.

John Spear MBA is a specialist support to icebreaker projects to identify and exploit new markets. John has delivered break through sales strategies for brands such as Samsung, Unilever, Heinz, Johnson and Johnson, LVMH, Sony and Diageo as well as retailers such as BhS, Boots and Next. Specializing in advising on marketing strategies in channel to market, ecommerce, supply chain management, web marketing strategies and studies in areas such as how supply chain can deliver competitive advantage for luxury goods manufacturers John brings together the integration of ecommerce with a traditional retail model technology driven sectors such as retail, supply chain, technology, utilities, light rail, Power Generation, offshore telecoms and defence.

Paul, Karl and David have now joined the elite band of 7 of the current team who have just completed the icebreaker CPD program becoming icebreaker fellows. icebreaker fellows are icebreaker team members awarded fellowship to work together as peers in the pursuit of developing our leadership knowledge thinking or practice in our field of expertise; delivering results, transferring skills and leaving a legacy.

Icebreaker fellows are exceptionally well equipped to cope with the complexities of turnaround and business change in the most challenging distressed environments. That said we have applied our skills to achieve award winning results in less “survival critical” scenarios too. The common themes is our tenacity, focus and drive to achieve exceptional results by identifying exceptional simple solutions, transferring skills and leaving a successful legacy, for our customers regardless of whether customers are a SME or listed company.

My role as CEO continues to be ensuring the client value is about 5x the source of value of the component parts and the icebreaker solution achieves on time and on cost, without drag on and accurately hits the target. Whilst the expectation the team are exceptionally capable – I ultimately oversee resourcing, decision making and delivery, team adherence to our code of conduct, and continuing to develop a genuinely exceptional coherent team of the very best professionals, and exiting the rest. Exiting team members who can’t make the next stage of evolution is in any business central to capability development. I lead delivery and contribute directly to team expertise on assignment – as well as to ensure there are no overheads compromising client value or our exceptional agility.

Tom Pickering

CEO icebreaker executive interim management