Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

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Flashbang
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Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby Flashbang » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:27 am

Reports received announce that Simon Kohler, Marketing Manager for Hornby, is leaving the company at the end of March.
Simon has for number of years been the 'public face' of Hornby at many model railway exhibitions where the Hornby stand was set up.
I for one wish him well in whatever his chosen path for the future may be.

The following email statement has been received by myself....
Statement reads:

As many of you are aware there have over the past 12 months been some very major changes at Hornby. One of the most significant of these changes has been the complete reorganisation of the Marketing Department which has affected all the Hornby brand teams – Hornby, Scalextric, Airfix and Corgi. These changes have resulted in the complete reorganisation of the various functions of marketing with the intention of the Hornby Marketing operation becoming more efficient and proactive. These changes have coincided with thoughts of my own relating to my future career and it is with a great deal of sadness that after some considerable thought I shall be leaving Hornby at the end of this month.

I have been with Hornby for 35 years and in that time I can honestly say that there has never been a single morning when I have not wanted to go to work. The genuine pleasure of meeting enthusiasts at the various Hornby Roadshows, the joy of seeing a long planned for model arriving in the shops and the friendship and consideration shown to me by my work colleagues and those in the “trade” have made my time at Hornby incredibly enjoyable.

So what of the future? I am pleased to advise that I have decided to establish my own Consultancy and Advisory business utilising the breadth of knowledge I have gained over the years and to this end I am equally pleased to announce that I will continue to assist and support Hornby as they require for at least 12 months after I leave. However before that day I have much to do but in the meantime I would like to thank you all for your good wishes, they are greatly appreciated.

Hornby is a great brand with an enormous future and I would like to thank the Directors and Staff for their help and support which has allowed me to take this next step in my career.

Kindest personal regards

Simon Kohler
Hornby Marketing Manager
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Lysander
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Re: Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby Lysander » Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:18 pm

All, I am sure, will wish him well. His contribution to this hobby has not been inconsiderable.

Tony
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Bufferstop
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Re: Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:27 pm

Simon seemed to me to be the only one from Hornby who "got it". The fellow they sent to open the Great Gathering Gala had little idea about the subject of railways, and wasn't particularly knowledgeable about their own products. He impressed me so much I can't even remember his name or job title. Even my wife could pick holes in what he said. I hope for Hornby's sake they can find someone capable of filling Simon's shoes.

PS. Thanks for sharing that Brian.
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Re: Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby Dad-1 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:49 pm

I almost fear for Hornby's future.

Simon was a great asset and had over the years to take quite a lot of flack over things of which he had
no control. He did know his subject, local shops, the marketing, and listened to what railway model purchasers
had to say. He once worked in a model shop in Wellingborough Road, Northampton so had a great deal of face
to face dealings with the real world of retailing.

Geoff T.
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whynot
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Re: Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby whynot » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:59 pm

"....and to this end I am equally pleased to announce that I will continue to assist and support Hornby as they require for at least 12 months after I leave."

Easy to read the conditions between the lines of that arrangement.
dave j
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Bigmet
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Re: Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby Bigmet » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:35 pm

He can use the year to write the insider story book...

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Peterm
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Re: Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby Peterm » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:04 am

I wish him well too... Enormous boots to fill.
Pete.

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Re: Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby GWR_fan » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:45 am

When first reading of this departure, my reading between the lines was one of possible cynicism or possibly lament at the real lack of achievement the last two years or so. One also wonders if Simon's model railway expertise as Marketing Manager for Hornby, was actually a hindrance rather than a positive. One also wonders was the move a gentle push into oblivion or a personal decision.

I can imagine that this departure has caused Simon a lot of disquiet as his long record in the industry should have counted positively in his success. Alas, numerous poor management decisions do rest heavily on his shoulders, irrespective of his responsibility for those same decisions. Is Simon's departure being seen as a sacrificial lamb for the market to boost market share price by Hornby showing that they are prepared to make sacrifices to improve the bottom line? Surely Hornby, given Simon's market knowledge, would have been the last man standing, but it would seem frustration with the market situation is simply too strong.

Where to now for Simon. The ex-Dapol boss went into designing his own range of high quality models to be released at a later date. I suggest that Simon's departure conditions will restrict him from such a venture for some time to come and possibly his 'availability' to oncall support production at Hornby for a minimum twelve months, is a way out to satisfy contractual commitments.

In reality, if Simon with his expertise in the hobby could not achieve a positive market outcome, then how is a newcomer beancounter going to turn things around. My suggestion is that direction at Hornby will shift away from high detail quality production and proceed in the 'design clever' toytrain market direction with reliance on toytrain set sales to boost income. This ensures a low detail market entry product line to satisfy the younger end of the market. I can see an increase in Railroad items and a reliance on fully amortised older tooling production at the expense of new high detail tooling.

The departure of Simon is not simply a change in position at management level, but a change in management direction. Perhaps Simon was a critic of the design clever philosophy and not popular on the board? Under his management, Hornby produced its best, high detail products. Such products are expensive to produce, while usage of older ex-Margate and Lima tooling is a more cost effective method to achieve sales with maximised profits. This is all about the bottom line on the account sheet.

This is certainly not a criticism of Simon and his past achievements, but more about a company who decided that a change in management direction was essential, not for the benefit of the hobbyist, but for that of the shareholders. The market is only interested in share dividends, not what is actually manufactured.


Tim

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rogue
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Re: Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby rogue » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:24 pm

whynot wrote:"....and to this end I am equally pleased to announce that I will continue to assist and support Hornby as they require for at least 12 months after I leave."

Easy to read the conditions between the lines of that arrangement.


yes, I thought that too

hicklingmick
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Re: Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby hicklingmick » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:05 pm

Wasn"t Hornby talking about bringing production back to the UK?
That would fit in with using old tooling and production methods and maybe Simon didn"t agree with that.

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Re: Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby model-train-hobby » Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:59 pm

Sad to here the news that Simon Kohler is leaving Hornby. He was not only a good man, genuine, honest, cautious, professional, hard working and loyal, he was not just part of the furniture for Hornby, he was the furniture, he had been there so long. He is also a wealth of knowledge, now that itself is one of the hardest things to follow or for someone to slot into.

We wish him well for his future, how could we not.

I am sure he has seen a lot this last two years, things we will never know about, I am sure he, being the person he is, has been very frustrated. I am also sure he is seeing changes now that he never thought he would see. We are all getting older and as we do with so many years under our belt there comes a time to 'change track', this is Simon's time.

Good luck for the future and thanks you.

PJ

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Re: Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby flying scotsman123 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:01 pm

Bad news for hornby, the only man there who actually knew about trains has left...
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Groundhog
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Re: Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby Groundhog » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:16 pm

flying scotsman123 wrote:Bad news for hornby, the only man there who actually knew about trains has left...

I totally agree, I think Hornby are on a slippery slope to a take-over by you know who. As they say-watch this space.

Colin :wink:

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Re: Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby trainlover23 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:58 am

Groundhog wrote:
flying scotsman123 wrote:Bad news for hornby, the only man there who actually knew about trains has left...

I totally agree, I think Hornby are on a slippery slope to a take-over by you know who. As they say-watch this space.

Colin :wink:



If you mean that Bachmann will take over Hornby then think again it won`t happen

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rosenblad
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Re: Simon Kohler leaves Hornby

Postby rosenblad » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:08 am

trainlover23 wrote:
Groundhog wrote:
flying scotsman123 wrote:Bad news for hornby, the only man there who actually knew about trains has left...

I totally agree, I think Hornby are on a slippery slope to a take-over by you know who. As they say-watch this space.

Colin :wink:



If you mean that Bachmann will take over Hornby then think again it won`t happen


I think we should stop this now. This kind of speculation does not lead to anything positive. All it does is generate a lot of rumor. Wait and see, it will all be revealed! :D
Carpe Diem!


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