Fujifilm today announced that two of its longest serving Directors, Graham Rutherford and Tony Lawrence, will retire on 31 October 2004.
Graham Rutherford who currently heads up Fujifilm's Professional Products Group, leaves the Company after 21 years with Fujimex and Fujifilm.
Formerly with Kodak, Graham joined Fujimex in 1983 as a sales representative, promoting the Fujifilm range of professional films and cameras. During this time, he developed a small, proactive sales team before founding the Fujifilm School of Professional Photography. Graham then established several successful photographic initiatives such as the Fujifilm Student Awards and the Fujifilm Wedding and Portrait Awards. Soon after this, Graham was appointed Divisional Manager and Associate Director, before being transferred to Fuji Photo Film (UK) Ltd in 1990, where he was appointed Divisional Manager of Professional Film and Cameras, and was then made a company Director in 1998.
On his career at Fujifilm, Graham commented, "Joining Fujimex was like a breath of fresh air to me. To be involved in the development of the Fujifilm Professional brand right from the start was a challenge I relished. All along, there was a genuine desire from Fujifilm in Japan to make the products professionals really wanted, and with the quality of product and a small and enthusiastic sales team, customers were not difficult to attract."
It was also the recognition by Fujifilm that professional customers needed a different approach to enthusiasts or consumers that most impressed Graham. He added, "Understanding the reasons for buying, and the style of people they like to buy from, were very important in shaping our approach to marketing."
Reflecting on his retirement, Graham said, "It is difficult to describe the emotions going through my head after 40 years in the industry. I have enjoyed my work so much, and I put that down to the people I work with and the customers I have been dealing with over the years."
After 31 October, Graham plans to pursue his hobbies of cricket and history, but will continue to work with Fujifilm for a short period on some specific projects.
Tony Lawrence, currently Director of Photofinishing, leaves Fujifilm after almost 20 years. Tony joined Fujifilm from Albert Chemicals in 1985 as Sales and Marketing Manager, Photofinishing Products, and was then promoted to General Sales Manager in 1987. In 1991, Tony became Divisional Manager, and was appointed as Director of Photofinishing and Image Processing in 1998.
Prior to Albert Chemicals, Tony held the position of Deputy General Manager of Konishiroku UK (Konica's original name), promoting the Sakura brand of film and paper, before leaving the UK to become Managing Director of Miniprints International in Atlanta, which marketed processing labs to the US real estate market.
Outside of Fujifilm, Tony enjoys a varied range of interests include skiing and sports cars. He is also partial to a glass of his favourite tipple, Long Island Iced Tea! Four months ago, Tony celebrated becoming a grandad for the first time, following the birth of his daughter's baby, Sophie.
Looking forward to his forthcoming retirement, Tony commented, "I always admired Fujifilm and everything it stood for. Joining back in 1985 and helping Fujifilm attain its position as a leading, world-class imaging company was a dream I am very proud to have been a part of. It has been a rollercoaster ride, but I am happy to hand over to new, highly-qualified people who will take Fujifilm to even greater heights. I shall miss my colleagues and friends, but with my family scattered across the globe, I am looking forward to seeing more of them more often!"
In a simultaneous announcement, Fujifilm has today revealed plans to reorganise its photographic business to reflect changes in the UK market, with Adrian Clarke promoted to head up the Company's newly-formed Photo Imaging Group.