The UK’s largest independent designer and manufacturer of toys has a new man at the top.
Christopher Spalding has been appointed chief executive officer at HTI Group, formerly known as Halsall’s, which has a base on the Fylde..
He will be taking over from John Hutt, who will be taking up the role of chairman and who will retain an active involvement in the strategic direction of the business.
Mr Spalding is currently managing director of Leapfrog International, the US-headquartered educational entertainment group.
He has spent the past five years growing its international division as part of the group’s global leadership team. His previous experience includes roles with major blue chip companies including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Virgin and Associated Newspapers.
John Hutt, principal investor, said: “We’re delighted to confirm Chris’ appointment, which follows a rigorous selection process undertaken by the board. He has achieved considerable success at Leapfrog during his tenure, significantly growing international sales, profits and market share.
“We’re convinced he has the right mix of skills and experience in our core domestic and international markets to make a major impact on the group’s forward performance.
“His ambition for HTI will be instrumental in helping us achieve the next aggressive phase in our plans and his day-to-day leadership will allow me to focus on strategic opportunities for HTI Group, while pursuing other business interests.” Mr Spalding said: “HTI Group’s pedigree and potential make this an incredibly exciting time to be joining the business.
“As the UK’s largest independent player in its sector, the group has an enviable portfolio of brands, licences and customers, supported by an incredible team and a truly global presence. I’m looking forward to working with that team as we continue our investment in our intellectual property, licensing programme and strategic customer partnerships around the world.”
HTI Group, founded in 1952, partners with major retailers and wholesalers in 75 countries around the world, including Carrefour in Europe and Walmart in North America and Canada. It has a newly-enlarged showroom off Copse Road, Fleetwood, and also operates from Hong Kong, Germany and China.