Mr Purves has considerable experience in food service equipment and international sales having spent 17 years in the foodservice equipment industry and, before taking up his new position, he was export manager at Falcon.
“It’s a privilege to represent two British manufacturers who have great reputations for quality and innovation in product development,” Mr Purves said. “Export markets are ever more important for us as we look to further expand our business,” he adds. “Williams is a premium brand on the international stage, recognised the world over.”
Tim Smith is chief executive officer of AFE Group, which owns Williams and Falcon. “We’re delighted that Robert has taken on this new role,” he said. “He has exceptional knowledge and experience of AFE’s cooking and refrigeration products. He’s the ideal choice to work with our international operations to expand our export business and capture more of the post-Brexit market opportunities in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere.”
When he’s not travelling abroad Mr Purves will be based in Cheshire, allowing him good access to both the Williams and Falcon factories, in King’s Lynn and Stirling respectively. Outside of work he’s a sports fan, especially rugby union, and he’s followed Manchester United since moving to the North West in 1997. Although a Scot, he enjoys and even appreciates Test cricket.
Meanwhile Williams’ current head of international sales, Gerry Coffey, is retiring after 20 years leading the export team. He will work with Mr Purves over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth hand over. “Gerry joined Williams in 2001 and has played a key role in establishing our Dubai office and making Williams one of the most successful UK manufacturer teams in the Gulf region,” said Mr Smith. “I want to thank him personally for the huge contribution he’s made and for the support he has given me, and his colleagues, throughout the past two decades. We all wish him the very best for his retirement.”