Swindon-based field marketing firm, infinite Group, has appointed a new managing director to lead the business as it enters a new phase of growth.
Jean-Francois Cahorn was promoted to managing director this year, just eight years after joining the company fresh out of university.
During his tenure at infinite Jean-Francois, better known as JF, has lead teams for a number of major clients including Philips, TomTom and Sony.
He is now overseeing a big recruitment drive to expand infinite’s talent pool and ensure each client has the right team to get top results in a fast evolving marketplace.
Aged just 39, JF has extensive experience of all areas of field marketing from account management and training to events and sales.
Originally from Canada, he joined infinite in 2007 as a client manager on the Philips account after completing a master’s degree in International Politics and Contemporary History at the University of Bristol.
He was quickly promoted to account controller in charge of both Philips’ domestic appliances arm and consumer electronics arm.
Most of his time was spent in the field, training retail staff and promoting products at shopping centres and big events like road shows.
After three years overseeing the Philips teams, JF took over as client services director for TomTom where much of his role involved staging promotions at big events such as Bestival and Goodwood. He even dressed up as Santa in his quest to promote the brand.
A year later he returned to Philips to work on the transition of its TV business after it was sold to the Chinese firm TPVision.
He was promoted to strategic account director for Sony CE managing a huge team of about 150 people out in the field with a strong focus on achieving a rapid return on investment (ROI).
When infinite’s previous managing director and co-founder Nigel announced his retirement, JF was approached by the senior directors who encouraged him to apply for the role.
JF said it had always been his long term ambition to reach managing director or board level but that he did not expect to achieve it so soon.
“I said from the start that was the longer goal, that was my vision, but I would have given myself another few years,” he said.
“Then the opportunity came up and I thought, I am going to go for it.
“It’s a really exciting time at infinite as we are entering a new period with a change of office and a big recruitment drive to help us continually adapt to the fast changing retail market.”
JF’s priority as managing director is to continually engage with all infinite’s clients and understand their goals, ensuring infinite has the right people working on each account to deliver top results.
“One of the biggest challenges in this industry is getting the right people because most of our staff are out in the field so it is all based on trust,” he said.
“We have to constantly evolve and respond to changes in the market, you cannot allow things to stagnate.”
He would like to see infinite expand its work as a consultancy in the retail, field marketing and sales arena, making use of the huge amount of data the company collects from stores and events all over the country.
“We have people all over the country gathering valuable market data on things like sales figures, footfall, product displays,” he said.
“Advances in technology are changing the way we can collect this data and feed it back to our clients, I want to see this taken to the next level for infinite to take on more advisory work and start publishing reports based on that data.”
To find out more about infinite visit: www.infinitegroup.co.uk
Pictured above: Jean-Francois Cahorn