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Premier Farnell Creates ‘Web Advisory Board’

LONDON — Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl), the leading multi-channel, high service distributor supporting millions of engineers and purchasing professionals globally, today announced the creation of a ‘Web Advisory Board’ (WAB) to help define and shape its online strategy for the future to ensure a continued leadership position, and offer cutting edge solutions and innovations for customers and suppliers, as exemplified by the element14 community. As the Company’s sales continue to grow via eCommerce channels, rapidly approaching the 70% milestone in some areas, the WAB will help it to focus on new trends to meet the changing needs of the Group’s customers and further enhance its offering and multi-channel approach.

The team consists of fourteen acclaimed experts, all highly qualified and skilled, bringing a unique combination of experience in digital marketing, search engine optimisation, e-communities, digital interaction, mobile communications and social media. The WAB, which brings together internal specialists and external advisors, will give advice and counsel to the CEO and Board of Premier Farnell on a wide range of topics.

“Once again we are looking to offer our customers and suppliers something unique and differentiating,” commented Harriet Green, CEO of Premier Farnell. “Our element14 community has changed the way that engineers collaborate, and the expertise and knowledge of this new group, and listening closely to the voice of our customers and suppliers, will help keep us at the forefront of technology, allowing customers to interact with us however and whenever they want.”

The Web Advisory Board team of experts are:

Tom Reddin: Chairman – Former CEO of he now runs Red Dog Ventures, a venture capital and advisory firm focused on helping early stage companies in the digital arena achieve the next level of growth. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at Coca-Cola USA, where he ran the Coca-Cola brand as Vice President, Consumer Marketing, and played a lead role in the business strategy.

Ty Braswell: Creative Digital Strategist – With a career at the forefront of entertainment and technology, digital strategist Braswell moves big ideas from conception to reality. He has held leadership roles at Sony Corp and Virgin Records, served as the digital architect building the mobile business for the NHL and Major League Soccer along with mentoring a variety of tech start-ups. With a professional background that spans television, entertainment and digital, Ty specializes in executing cross-platform marketing initiatives with buzz-building, innovative flair.

Jeff Hilimire: Chief Digital Officer – Hilimire leads digital strategy for Engauge. Enamoured of the web since his early 20s, Hilimire launched Spunlogic, a digital agency, during his senior year of college. Since Spunlogic’s inception to its 2008 acquisition by Engauge, Hilimire has been an active participant in and proponent of Atlanta’s rapidly growing social media and digital community. He launched Engauge’s Digital Innovation Group (DIG), a social, mobile and digital media practice, in 2009, and as the agency’s chief digital officer, counsels clients on the latest and most appropriate options for advertising and engaging customers to meet business objectives.

Jim Hodson: Search Marketing Strategist – With an extreme passion for all things search related, Jim Hodson brings a unique blend of IT and marketing skills to bear for the clients of his search marketing consultancy, Visibility Ventures. He has over 25 years of experience in Technology in a variety of roles and industries. He has been working with web-based technologies since 1995 and involved in online marketing since 2000. Early in his career he developed patient accounting systems for the medical industry. He later worked with electrical engineers to develop software to monitor machinery used in the textile industry.

Paul Sonderegger: Head of Strategy Endeca – Advises Endeca's customers on how to apply the principles of information visibility to company strategy. Prior to joining Endeca, he was a Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, focusing on search technology and user experience. Paul's research into enterprise search included deep dives into information retrieval theories, technologies, and the competitive strategies of commercial search providers.

Robert Brown: Jive Usability Lead – Serves as the Senior Vice President of Client Services at Jive. He is responsible for Services, Support, Education, and System Integrator Alliances. Prior to joining Jive, he was the Vice President of Sales for Innotas, a SaaS provider in the Project Portfolio Management realm. Previously, Robert held executive positions in Professional Services with Mercury, Kintana, Oracle, Price Waterhouse, and US Steel.

John Straw: Search Engine Consultant – A digital marketing entrepreneur and has spent the last 15 years working with or starting digital marketing start-ups. His latest venture is Linkdex. Previously was Vice President European Operations Interse Corporation, San Francisco. Interse specialised in software products that measured a user’s path through a web site and was significantly ahead of its time. Interse was purchased by Microsoft in 1997 for $160 million followed by several other start-ups and sales.

Pete Lomas: Premier Farnell Customer and Community Advisor – He is co-founder and Director of Engineering at Norcott. Prior to founding Norcott, was the Director of Engineering of Mosaic Technology Limited, an electronic design consultancy based in Manchester. Over a ten year period Mosaic grew to become a multi-million pound company, prior to its sale in 1997. He has a B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in computer science (engineering).

The Premier Farnell members of the Board are:

Kevin Yapp: Chief Innovation Officer – Joined Premier Farnell in June 2003 and is currently Chief Innovation Officer, responsible for strategy, brand and innovation, reporting to Harriet Green, CEO. He has over 20 years experience in marketing and eCommerce in B2B organisations.

Laurence Bain: Group Chief Operating Officer – Appointed Chief Operating Officer of Premier Farnell in July 2002 and joined the Board as an Executive Director on 1 July 2003. He was previously Vice President and Director of Operations for the Motorola Cellular Sector in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Mark Whiteling: Chief Financial Officer – Appointed CFO on 1 September 2006. He was formally Group Finance Director of Communisis plc, the pan-European print management/direct mail group. Prior to this, he was Group Finance Director of Tibbett & Britten plc, a FTSE 250 logistics company.

Devashish Saxena: Global Head of eCommerce and Social Marketing – Joined Premier Farnell as Senior Vice President for Global eCommerce and Social Marketing in the 1st quarter of 2010. He is responsible for Premier Farnell’s global eCommerce drive, and the development of the element14 community and web plans.

David Shen: Global Head of EDE / Technical Marketing – Joined Premier Farnell in July 2007 and is currently the Global Head of Technical Marketing, reporting to Laurence Bain, COO. Previous roles have seen him responsible for APAC as regional Vice President and Managing Director for Altera Corporation and Vice President, APAC for technical and supplier marketing for Arrow.

Dianne Kibbey: Head of eProcurement / Community Technical Team – Dianne joined Premier Farnell in January 1999, reporting to Devashish Saxena, Senior Vice President Global eCommerce and Social Marketing. She is responsible for leading strategic and operational design and development of first online community element14 for design engineers and for developing and managing global eCommerce strategy.

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